Is the old saying about beans and your heart really true? Get the answer along with more fascinating facts about beans.
Despite their small size, beans have played a big role in history-and in people’s diets. They’ve been grown for more than 10,000 years in places ranging from ancient Egypt to outer space.
In the 1850s an Austrian monk named Gregor Mendel used beans to show how offspring retain traits of their parents, launching the science of genetics. In some cultures beans have even been used as money.
As a food, beans are an inexpensive source of protein and nutrients. They’re rich in anthocyanins, the same antioxidants found in grapes and cranberries that may help protect us against heart disease and cancer.
Beans are also high in fiber. They can help lower cholesterol and the risk of diabetes. But beans can be dangerous if they’re not prepared properly. Kidney beans, for example, contain a toxin that is destroyed by cooking.
Generally, beans from a can are just as nutritious as dried beans, but watch out for added salt. Despite their name, re-fried beans are not fried twice. They’re boiled and then cooked with sautéed onions and garlic to a soft consistency. And “baked beans” are often stewed, not baked.
However they’re prepared, beans can produce gas no, not than kind but you can reduce this side effect by boiling them for 10 minutes and then soaking them overnight. As an everyday expression, a “hill of beans” may not be worth much, but as a meal, beans are nutritionally priceless.