We reach for whole grains to get our fiber fix, protein to keep us full, and veggies to ward off disease. But why are we overlooking beans? They might not be the sexiest of vegetables, but beans are more versatile and nutritious than you’d think. Not only do they pack more fiber than many grains, cereals, and pastas, but they also come with additional perks. They’re high in protein, low in fat, and full of other important micro-nutrients such as zinc and iron.
#1 They May Help You Live Longer.
A study that tracked the dietary habits of elderly people across four countries found that eating just 20 grams of legumes (basically any plant that grows fruit inside a pod, including beans) may reduce one’s risk of death by 7 to 8 percent—and no other food group even comes close. Legumes may also help with brain function as we age, which means they can help increase the quality of those extra years as well.