I have been on the search for the perfect food. To qualify as perfect, the food had to be a super star in health, affordability, and of course, taste. It must contribute to interesting, easy-to-make recipes, appeal to kids (not adult picky eaters. I have no patience for the adult picky eater), prevent disease, and importantly, lead to overall happiness when you see it come to the table. Therefore, the perfect food would need an abundance of protein and fiber, but little or no cholesterol. Fat-free would be nice. And for all its nutritive punch, low in calories.
After eliminating several superfoods (mostly kicked off the short-list due to high cost), I determined a winner.……the garbanzo bean! Packed with fiber, protein, manganese, folate, and iron, garbanzo beans are also nearly fat free and have no cholesterol. The health benefits of the little garbanzo bean are huge. These bland-looking round beans will unclog your arteries, stabilize blood sugar levels, decrease your bad cholesterol, improve blood flow, and boost energy by replenishing iron.
I would contend that a national consumption of garbanzo beans could solve all of our nation’s problems. Well, at least a bunch of them.
First, a cultural menu shift from meat to beans would solve world hunger. Consider this:
…. a ten-acre farm can support 60 people growing soybeans, 24 people growing wheat, ten people growing corn and only two people producing cattle. Reducing meat production by just ten percent in the U.S. would free enough grain to feed 60 million people, estimates Harvard nutritionist Jean Mayer. Sixty million people — that’s the population of Great Britain, which, by the way, could support 250 million people on an all-vegetable diet.(www.opednews.com)
And then there is our crisis in healthcare. According to the CDC, the cost in our country of cardiovascular diseases is about $450 billion per year while treatment of these diseases accounts for about $1 of every $6 spent on health care. Compelling evidence shows that populations with diets rich in beans have 80% fewer heart-attacks than populations with heavy meat diets. You do the math.
Finally, garbanzo beans could save the children. More than 1/3 of America’s children are obese or overweight putting them at a terrible risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.(www.cdc.gov)
Want to be a good steward of your own body and at the same time effect the fate of the nation? Then eat garbanzo beans. Only $.30 cents a serving. The low cost of saving ourselves and our world.
A Few Quick Serving Ideas (found at www.whfoods.com)
- Puree garbanzo beans, olive oil, fresh garlic, tahini and lemon juice to make a quick and easy hummus spread.
- Sprinkle garbanzo beans with your favorite spices and herbs and eat as a snack.
- Add garbanzo beans to your green salads.
- Make a Middle Eastern-inspired pasta dish by adding garbanzo beans to penne mixed with olive oil, feta cheese and fresh oregano.
- Simmer cooked garbanzo beans in a sauce of tomato paste, curry spices, and chopped walnuts and serve this dahl-type dish with brown rice.
- Adding garbanzo beans to your vegetable soup will enhance its taste, texture and nutritional content.
And lots of great recipes!