Inexpensive, easy to cook and packed with nutrients make black beans the perfect food to include in your diet! Black beans are loaded with protein and are a great substitute for meat, poultry and fish for all of you vegetarians out there. Not only that, but lots of public health groups are now saying that legumes (such as black beans) help prevent disease and optimize health.
Black beans contain the following nutrients that are essential to an athlete’s diet:
Protein – Black beans are high in protein (15 grams!) and also contain no cholesterol.
Fiber – Cooked black beans contain 15 grams of fiber. It is recommended that women consume 21 – 25 grams of fiber and 30 – 38 grams for men daily. Black beans are great for our digestive tract, especially our colon. Keep that colon clean by eating lots of black beans!
Antioxidants – Black beans have more antioxidants than other members of the bean family and are comparable to other high antioxidant foods, such as blueberries and cranberries. Not only do they increase the body’s supply of antioxidants, but they also pack a lot of anti-inflammatory nutrients, which is ideal for athletes.
Just one cup of black beans is packed with the following nutrients:
Calories – 227
Fat – 1g
Saturated Fat – 0g
Cholesterol – 0mg
Sodium – 2mg
Protein – 15g
Fiber – 59.8%
Vitamin B1 – 35%
Iron – 20%
Try to add three cups of black beans to your diet each week. Your body will thank you! Try this delicious recipe with this week’s power food:
Southwestern Black Bean Quinoa Salad
Yield: 6 servings
1 15-oz. can black beans, no salt added, rinsed and drained
1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions
1 cup frozen corn
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh mango
¼ cup chopped red onion
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried, if fresh is not available)
1 small fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 lemon, juiced
1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric
Mix beans, quinoa, corn, pepper, mango, onion, cilantro and jalapeño together in a mixing bowl. In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, chili powder and turmeric together. Toss into salad mixture and chill until serving time.
Nutrition per serving (about 1 cup):
Fat: 5 g
Sodium: 9 mg
Carbohydrates: 36 g
Fiber: 8 g
Protein: 8 g
Recipe comes from The Plant-Powered Diet: The Lifelong Eating Plan for Achieving Optimal Health, Beginning Today by Sharon Palmer, R.D.
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