"It's really difficult to meet your protein requirements on a vegan diet!" –
Someone must have reckoned without beans... Although legumes are best known for giving us the unpopular “little tones”, they still have completely different qualities. For example, did you know that there are over 700 different types of beans? And many varieties are high in protein AND minerals? Post workout meal, here we come!
What are beans anyway?
The well-known kidney bean probably comes to mind for most of us when we think of beans - no wonder, since it is delicious, versatile and rich in protein. Just three of the reasons why we at Löwenshare also use them in our chillies.
However, there are over 700 other types of beans and just as many different recipes. Be it pickled beans, hot chili, minestrone or white beans in tomato sauce... Anyone who has recognized the potential of legumes knows that with beans there is no room for boredom in the kitchen.
Botanically, beans belong to the genus Phaseolus. Some types of vegetables that are sold on the market contain the designation “bean” without belonging to the genus Phaseolus: soybeans, mung beans or urd beans, for example.
Beans can now be found all over the world. If they are not grown somewhere, you can be sure: you will still find them in any supermarket! They originate in Central and South America, especially in Mexico. They are still used there today in various chili, taco and wrap dishes.
Due to their low price and the uncomplicated cultivation, beans have always been considered an important staple food, especially in poorer countries. In other countries, too, beans are regarded as one of the most important crops.
But what exactly is it that makes beans so popular? Is it really "just" a question of price? Or is there more to it than that?
What can the bean do?
You could probably already guess: Yes, there is more to it than that! Or: There is more in the bean than you might think. Beans were an important food even earlier: Evidence has been discovered in Peruvian caves that indicate that as early as 6,000 B.C. Beans were eaten.
This is not surprising when we look at the nutrient content of the small legumes: 100 g of dried white beans have a whopping 140 mg of magnesium, and dried kidney beans even have 150 mg of magnesium per 100 g. And even canned beans still contain 63mg per 100g, keeping your muscles, nerves and bones working well.
The minerals of the Italian Borlotti beans are also impressive. 100 g of the white-brown dried legumes contain 900 mg of calcium. Good for bones, teeth and your nervous system. A first step in the right direction to cover your daily requirement of 1000 mg of calcium! How can you easily implement this? With a portion of our Italian bean stew , in which we have processed fresh vegetables in addition to organic Borlotti beans.
Another advantage that makes beans indispensable in our kitchens: the high fiber content. Dietary fiber is a long-chain, complex carbohydrate that is difficult to digest, makes us feel full faster, and promotes gut health. In addition, legumes, including beans, prevent the universally unpopular cravings. Because they only contain complex carbohydrates, they only allow our blood sugar levels to rise and fall slowly. If that doesn't call for spicing up the next dish with a portion of beans!
But not only the carbohydrates contained in beans are good for our health. The protein content does not have to hide either. 100 g of dried kidney beans contain 21 g of protein, while the canned version has 10 g. Beans are a great source of protein, especially for vegans, as they also contain the rare, essential amino acid lysine.
Especially with grain, beans are an unbeatable combination, since their limiting amino acid is methionine - and grain increases the biological value. So how about a delicious bean stew and rice for your next post-workout meal?
You don't have to be afraid of unwanted weight gain: beans are very low in fat (kidney beans only provide 1 g of fat per 100 g!) and have a low energy density. In relation to their quantity, they only provide a few calories - and you'll still feel full thanks to the dietary fiber! A win-win situation...
“Every little bean…”
Yes, we all know this saying. Beans aren't exactly known for letting our digestion do its work - literally. Many people who try legumes for the first time complain of flatulence. The reason: the indigestible dietary fibers that cause our intestines a lot of trouble. What is incredibly valuable for our health can be annoying in the long run.
As a rule, however, the flatulence decreases over time. The more fiber you consume, the better your body gets used to it and can process it more easily. According to the Networking Center for Daycare and School Meals in Baden-Württemberg , even kindergarten children should be accustomed to eating legumes as early as possible. How so? In this way, the body gets used to the roughage and later has fewer gas problems.
If you still don't feel any improvement despite regular bean consumption, try this: deliberately chew more slowly. Then your digestion has less to do. Certain spices also help against a feeling of fullness: next time add some caraway, fennel or chili. Or go straight for our Chili Vegano : Kidney beans and soy mince provide you with a good portion of protein and fiber, while a pleasant spiciness ensures that the beans cause fewer tones...
Preparing beans: You have to pay attention to this
There are basically only two ways to prepare beans: either you buy pre-cooked canned beans or you get dried beans. Dried ones are considered more nutritious, but they also need to be soaked for a very long time.
You can count on at least 12 hours for the soaking time. Be sure to use enough water when soaking. Beans double their size and absorb a lot of water. Then dump the soaking water away.
Then you can get down to business: Let the beans simmer for about an hour.
Please refrain from eating beans (or legumes in general) raw. They contain the substance lectin, which can be toxic.
Once you've prepared the beans, you can use them however you like. In addition to rice, they also go very well with quinoa or potatoes. Or how about a delicious, hearty bean stew? Or crispy veggie patties? A creamy bean spread? The possibilities are endless... And best of all, it doesn't matter how you eat beans - your protein requirements can easily be covered.
Beans are valuable sources of protein and fiber, and not just for athletes. Diabetics are also recommended to integrate them into their diet more often due to the blood sugar-regulating effect.
As you can see: there is no reason to eliminate beans from your diet - you can even solve the "little" problem with the help of selected spices... If you rely on beans as a source of protein, you can be sure that you are only doing your body good with it: From Intestinal health through nutrient supply to muscle building.
So if you find out that you don't have any beans in the house at the moment: That's your sign! Stock up on our chili, bean stew or fresh beans - and enjoy all the health benefits that beans will bring you!