Biblical beans–superfood then and now

BeansSuperfoodMany of us are familiar with the old ditty—

Beans, beans the musical fruit, the more you eat the more you toot.

But humor aside, beans are excellent for digestion, releasing natural chemicals that aid the digestive process. Beans help prevent and cure constipation and can stop hemorrhoids and other bowel-related problems from developing by keeping wastes moving along at a regular, healthy pace.

If you’re worried about beans causing gas, increase bean consumption slowly to give your body time to adapt. You can also flush the dried beans with boiling water or soak them overnight, replacing the water in the morning to cook.

Beans are one of the most nutritious, inexpensive and storage-friendly foods on earth. Various types of beans are consumed all over the world and were an important non-perishable staple food in Biblical times, as described in Ezekiel 4:9 and 2 Samuel 17: 28,29.

Bible scholars say that the beans mentioned in the Bible were probably broad beans, as they were extensively cultivated throughout the eastern Mediterranean and are known to have been a popular food in Egypt.

Today we know that dried beans are packed with potent levels of plant protein (17.9 grams per cup), soluble fiber, which helps lower LDL and reduces blood pressure, as well as being high in vitamin C, potassium, iron and thiamine.

A cup of cooked beans provides about 12 grams of complex carbohydrates, a great source of quick energy which is likely the reason they were so important to King David’s exhausted army.

Studies at the University of Minnesota and University of Kentucky years ago found that a daily cup of cooked beans was an effective antidote to heart problems and that among middle-aged men, replacing sugar, bread and potatoes at a meal with that cup of daily beans dramatically reduced cholesterol levels.

Beans also contain chemicals that inhibit the development of cancer and help control insulin and blood sugar levels so vital to the good health of diabetics.

The variety of beans is truly amazing. Besides the many colors and types of beans found in the supermarket, just in our part of the world there are bean varieties native to the U.S. Southwest, Mexico and S. America with names like Black Calypso, Black Turtle, Rebosero, Sangre de Toro, Colorado River, Pima Lima, Ayocote Morado and Four Corners Zuni Gold. Learn more about them at nativeseeds.org, a Tucson AZ non-profit dedicated to preserving native seeds of all types.

So get on the bean bandwagon and cook your beans from scratch, as canned beans provide fewer nutritional benefits and may contain additives and other harmful chemicals.

 

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