Beans Peas and Lentils -- Not a Dry Subject
One of my favourite recipes is a bean salad. I mix together three or more canned beans/peas such as black-eyed peas, chickpeas and kidney beans (rinsed of course and preferably organic) and to it I add chopped celery and red pepper and then I dress it with olive oil, lemon juice, fresh basil and pepper.
You are what you eat. We've all heard that expression right? Our bodies burn fuel to operate just as an automobile burns fuel to operate and what we give our bodies to burn has a direct affect on its performance and maintenance, much like an automobile. No rocket science involved. OK, so we haven't paid enough attention to the quality of fuel we've provided to our bodies and now we're paying for it with diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension and a slew of other preventable and food-curable illnesses. Not to worry - all is not lost. Food not only has the power to prevent illness but also heal and reverse what ails us. In every food group there are foods that rise to the top in their category; those that provide optimum health benefits. Too numerous for me to list, I'll narrow it down to what I think is the best five choices in the category of beans, peas (otherwise known as legumes and pulses) and lentils and I'll briefly describe how they assist in your well-being. The winners are:
1. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. They help your kidneys function properly.
2. Kidney beans, also know as chili beans. They clean your digestive tract, increase the good bacteria that lie within and take away extra cholesterol.
3. Lentils neutralize the acids that your muscles produce.
4. Black-eye peas provide you with selenium which boosts your immune system.
5. Soy beans. Soy beans lower cholesterol and can help prevent breast and ovarian cancers.
As you can see, just in the category of beans, peas and lentils you can better your health and/or prevent illnesses. Look for recipes that incorporate not only my top five listed above, but any of your favourites. One of my favourite recipes is a bean salad. I mix together three or more canned beans/peas such as black-eyed peas, chickpeas and kidney beans (rinsed of course and preferably organic) and to it I add chopped celery and red pepper and then I dress it with olive oil, lemon juice, fresh basil and pepper. This fuel is high in fiber and will lower my cholesterol, clean my digestive tract, boost my immune system and maintain my kidney function. It tastes good and is a very easy, quick and inexpensive recipe to make, not to mention vegan.
Wait, did you think I was done? Not quite. I mentioned there was lemon juice in that recipe. Lemons dissolve gallstones and can prevent cancers. They are loaded with vitamin C and potassium…so squeeze on the lemon juice. Warm a cut lemon to squeeze more juice out of it and while you're eating dinner or first thing in the morning drink a cup of hot water infused with a half of a lemon. The health benefits of lemons are endless. Oh yes, there's more. The olive oil dressing will help raise your good cholesterol and lower your bad cholesterol. Last but not least, basil is a source of potassium and calorie free! Oh my, what am I thinking…there's celery and sweet red pepper in that recipe too…don't get me started. Bon appetite and best of health!
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