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‘Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart’: you know all the rhymes, but now discover the reasons | Full of Beanz







Assortment Of Dried Beans And Legumes









Beans are a natural source of protein and fibre.
Photograph: Nadine Greeff/Stocksy United

“Beans, beans the musical fruit!” As well as giving airtime to beans’ more gaseous qualities, the famous rhyme should also celebrate the nutrition benefits of this humble legume (it’s not a fruit, sorry).

Gas is part of the natural digestive process, and some of the most nutritious foods can also contain naturally occurring sugars that our small intestine lacks the enzyme to digest. This isn’t just limited to beans – onions, apples and garlic are also beneficial foods that contain these sugars. It’s all perfectly natural, and no reason to stop eating them!

Low in sugar
The NHS recommends having no more than 30g of free sugars per day (which is sugar added to food or drinks, or naturally occurring sugars in honey, syrups, and unsweetened juices and smoothies). Heinz No Added Sugar Beanz have just 4% of your recommended intake of sugar a serving, which is important for a balanced diet. Always try to pick up the low or no added sugar varieties of your favourite foods, and look for snacks with natural sugars rather than added sugars when you need a pick-me-up.

High in fibre
“Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart!” Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are all naturally high in fibre, which cuts the risk of heart disease. Fibre is also what partly slows down digestion for these more robust foods, and can have flatulent effects, but that’s actually good for our digestion, as a high-fibre diet feeds all the friendly bacteria in our gut. Aim for a mix of soluble and insoluble fibre-rich foods; soluble fibres dissolve in water and are more easily digested (sourced from beans, oats, barley, apples and citrus fruits) and insoluble fibre is not digested as it moves through the intestines, but is good for avoiding constipation and maintaining gut health (find it in beans, wholewheat or bran, and nuts).

High in protein
Beans are naturally high in protein, with Heinz No Added Sugar Beanz containing 19% of your recommended daily intake in every serving. That’s great news for vegans who are looking for a convenient, high-protein, meat-free meal. They are dairy-free too. It’s not just gym bunnies and athletes who should pay attention to how much protein they eat, as it’s an essential building block for everybody, used to repair tissues as well as making enzymes and hormones.





Breakfast With BeansBreakfast with beans and tomatoes standing on wooden floor. Horizontal indoors shot.



Try serving up beans with additional veg for a healthy mealtime. Photograph: Pietro Karras/Stocksy

Low in fat
We often see “reduced fat” versions of yoghurts, cheese and other everyday foods, but beans are naturally low in fat. This means beans can be a healthier snack that fills you up, as well as working as a meal in itself. Low-fat versions of your favourite foods can help you maintain a healthy weight, but they sometimes contain more added sugar to compensate for the reduction in fats; always check the label before you buy to ensure low-fat products have less than 5% sugar per 100g too.

No nasties
Food should be a simple pleasure, so as well as having no added sugar or artificial sweeteners, no added sugar beans have no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives: it’s just tasty beans in your favourite tomato sauce. Half a can is one of your five a day, and serving extra veg on the side gives your greens a boost. Try sweet potato wedges for another tick on your five-a-day list, or higher-fibre vegetables such as broccoli and carrots on the side.

If you still find yourself tooting after dinner, experiment with eating and chewing more slowly, add a pinch of ginger, turmeric or the Indian spice asafoetida, or eat beans with wholemeal bread to help make them more digestible.

The beans rhyme might raise a smile, but that’s really only half the story when they’re so rich in fibre and protein, and low in sugar and salt too. The more beans you eat, the better you feel, so – as the rhyme goes – “let’s have beans for every meal!”

Find out more about Heinz No Added Sugar Beanz here

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