Chances are you’ve heard of the Blue Zones — the mystical-sounding places where a shockingly high proportion of residents live to be 100 years old. While researchers have uncovered several secrets to their longevity, perhaps the most-remarkable factor is that these longest-living people get 90 to 100 percent of their diets from plant foods. And chief among those? Beans.
Pasta salad is a classic summer dish, guaranteed to make an appearance at potlucks, picnics and barbecues. Why is this dish so popular? Because most pasta salad recipes involve very little prep work besides cooking the noodles, especially when store-bought pesto, mayo or dressings get involved. And since they can be served cold or at room temperature, pasta salads don’t need to be reheated — a major win for hot days. Read more
Bring On the Three-Bean Salad
Just one serving a day of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils appears to reduce “bad” cholesterol, a review of 26 controlled studies has found. According to the lead researcher, a single ¾ cup of these foods may lower LDL cholesterol by five percent, which can translate roughly to a five or six percent reduction in heart disease risk. Two factors may influence this. First, the foods have a low glycemic index, meaning that they keep blood sugar levels even (and eaters sated) by breaking down and getting absorbed into the body at a slow and steady rate. Second, they also appear to help rid our systems of the bad fats we ingest. The catch? We currently eat less than half a serving a day.
What to look for
The health benefits of beans are extensive. Canned varieties make for quick recipes, plus you can’t beat the price. Canned foods do get a bad rap for being super salty, but rinsing and draining canned beans can remove up to 40 percent of the sodium. Low-sodium and no-salt added varieties are also available.
10 Healthy Recipes
Chunky chili, smooth hummus and warm and satisfying baked beans are just a few of the healthy creations you can whip up.
2. Pinto beans: Cowboy Beans
Do you find yourself hungry 30 minutes after eating? Certain foods can help keep you satisfied so you avoid mindlessly munching throughout the day. Add these 10 filling foods to your daily repertoire.
A bowl of warming oatmeal can help jump-start a cold winter day and keep you satisfied, thanks to all that fiber.
Recipe: Apple Harvest Oatmeal
#2: Cottage Cheese
This underappreciated food has a perfect balance of fat, carbs and protein. You can count on the combo of protein and fat to help fill you up. Top ½ cup of low fat cottage cheese with fresh fruit or granola or use cottage in dip, quick bread, or pancake recipes.
Recipe: Cottage Cheese Biscuits
Pistachios, pecans, almonds, walnuts, or cashews— nuts contain healthy unsaturated fat combined with protein to help keep you satisfied. With an average of 7 calories per nut, a small handful (about an ounce) makes a great snack.
Recipe: Almond Lover Trail Mix
Nine out of 10 Americans eat too much salt. It’s estimated that 77 percent of our salt comes from processed and restaurant foods. If your goal is to eat less salt, here are 10 simple ways to do it.
#1: Use fresh or frozen vegetables instead of canned
One-half cup of canned vegetables has about 15 percent of your daily sodium requirements. This is no surprise since sodium is used to preserve canned food. Instead, choose fresh or frozen vegetables whenever possible. If you’re stuck on the convenience of canned veggies, low sodium varieties are also available.
#2: Make your own potato chips
Chips are brimming with salt, but luckily you can make your own in a snap! My kids and chip-addicted husband loved Ellie’s Cracked Pepper Potato Chips. You can always adjust the spices to your liking.
While they’re certainly convenient for summer cookouts and parties, canned baked beans can be a deceivingly high-calorie side dish. Make your own flavorful, lightened up version with our recipes and tips.
Some foods just taste great together, like milk and cookies. But others pairs actually work together to help your body get the most nutrition bang for its buck. Here are 5 of the most powerful food combos.
Feeling a little down in the dumps? While it may not be able to cure all that ails you, what you eat can certainly affect how you feel. Make these 5 feel-good foods part of your regular routine.