Beans-a whole host of varieties-have been part of the Latin American diet for centuries. And yes, it's true_ Beans are good for your heart! But there's so much more. Beans are extremely beneficial in an antidiabetic diet because they rank low on the glycemic scale-unlike "staples" in the American diet like refined grains and baked goods, which often cause the inflammatory, hunger-inducing spike in blood sugar levels. They could even help with lowering the risk of colon cancer. Legumes (dried beans and peas) are also a major source of several nutrients-magnesium, potassium, folate, and cholesterol-lowering fiber-most often missing in Americans' diets.
That said, here's the second Latin powerfood on my list...
GARBANZO BEANS: These delicious beans are very high in fiber, which will improve your elimination cycles and support the growth of health intestinal flora. They are very low in natural sugar content, and high in complex carbohydrate content and protein, giving you a steady source of high-quality fuel for balanced energy throughout your day. They also have a warming effect on your body and a calming effect on your mind. Garbanzo beans are used in cooking throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
Make sure to check back tomorrow when we tackle the Latin fruit category!