We have been discussing some foods which are essential to control or possibly eliminate diabetes. So far, we have looked at some vegetables, legumes, nuts, and fruits. I am devoting some time to look at protein plant-based foods. The first in the series will be Cannellini Beans. The aim is to identify foods which will not spike our blood glucose levels and for that reason, I will begin with the Cannellini Bean.
Please Meet the Cannellini Bean
This bean gives us more protein when compared with the other plant-based foods. I am sure you now understand why I decided, to begin with, the cannellini bean. These beans are also low in calories and fats. Here is a list of things worth knowing about the cannellini bean:
- It is a soluble fiber
- It is starchy
- It contains the following:
- It contains the following B-Complex Vitamins:
- B5-pantothenic acid
The Effect on Blood Glucose
When we eat cannellini beans, we have a smaller rise in our blood glucose because the glucose gets digested slowly, but steadily. Please be reminded that this is the effect that diabetics should aim for whenever we eat. Foods such as cannellini beans are better if we want to control our blood glucose. It has been suggested that eating as much as a cup of cannellini beans a few times per week, can lower blood pressure (Taylor, 2012).
The lowering of blood pressure for persons with diabetes is a big deal since there is a tendency for high blood sugar and diabetes to “walk hand in hand.”
These beans are low on the glycemic index and are packed with fibers and hence they are good for diabetics. They do not raise the blood glucose as much as other foods. The rise is gradual and this makes eating beans, especially the cannellini beans, on a daily basis a good practice for diabetics (Castillo, 2012).
Below I will share with you a more detailed look at other healthy benefits of eating the cannellini bean:
- Prevents fatigue due to the protein content
- Build and repair our tissues, again due to the protein content
- Helps body to resist diseases
- Aids in digestion and energy metabolism
- Aids in adrenal functions and fat metabolism
- Repairs DNA
- Lowers cholesterol
- Helps dermatitis to heal
- Aids in proper nerve function
- Helps in the making of red blood cells
- Lowers blood pressure
- Help to maintain fluid balance
- Supports immune function
- Protection against heart disease
- Protection against cancer
The above list is not complete, but I do believe you get the idea. Cannellini beans are good for the entire family, especially those of us with diabetes. Needless to say, I am pausing to go and soak my beans and I am hoping you are doing the same because I could not end without sharing with you a Cannellini Bean Recipe.
Stewed Garlic Cannellini Beans (served with Sweet Potatoes and Carrots)
Ingredients for the stewed beans:
- 2 Cups dried cannellini beans
- 5 Cloves of garlic finely chopped or crushed
- 1 – 2 teaspoons salt (dependent on your preference. Note, I practice a low salt intake)
- 1 Medium onion finely chopped
- 1 Sprig of thyme
- 1 Piece of escallion finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper (hot pepper)
- Some freshly chopped parsley
- 1 – 2 dash/es of black pepper
- 2 Tablespoon olive or coconut oil
Ingredients for the sweet potatoes and carrots:
- 2 Medium sweet potatoes
- 2 Large carrots
Presoak and cook beans:
- Place the beans in a large enough container and add enough water to cover the beans and let it soak for a minimum of two (2) hours and a maximum of ten (10) hours. The water should cover the beans by approximately 3 inches
- Pour the beans into a large enough pot and cover with about 4 inches of water. You will be using the water in which it was soaked. So, just top this up.
- Add all ingredients with the exception of the parsley
- Cook on medium flame until the beans are tender, but not mushy (this could take approximately 40-50 minutes)
Cook sweet potatoes and carrots:
- Place enough water in a pot to cover the sweet potatoes and the carrots when they are sliced
- Add salt to taste
- Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- Wash and peel the sweet potatoes
- Cut into slices (about 1 inch thick)
- Wash and scrape/peel the carrots
- Cut the carrots into large pieces (cut widthwise, dividing the carrot into 2 pieces, then cut each piece lengthwise into 2 pieces)
- Add the sweet potatoes and the carrots to the pot of boiling water
- Cook until a small knife can be freely inserted into a piece of the sweet potato
- Drain all the water
- On a plate, place 2 pieces of carrots, 2 slices of sweet potato and serve with 1 cup of stewed cannellini beans to the side, sprinkled with some freshly cut parsley
Cannellini Beans are good for ALL, diabetic, pre-diabetic or the diabetic-free. It is starchy, but gets digested at a slow and steady pace and as such it will prevent horrible spikes in our blood glucose, thereby controlling diabetes. It would do all of us some good to eat a cup of beans on a daily basis and the research has shown that it will lead to a lower blood glucose. The cannellini bean is a plant-based protein,
The cannellini bean is a plant-based protein, second to none with numerous other health benefits. A recipe was shared to show you how easy it is to incorporate this plant-based food into your diet. The more we learn about what Mother Nature has given us, the easier it is to see that there is no need for us to continue to live with life-altering illnesses such as diabetes.
Let us commit to the change and embrace a healthier and happier life without diabetes. I would like you to try the recipe and please leave your comments below. Until next time, eat right.
- Castillo, Michelle. “Beans May Be Beneficial for People with Diabetes.”CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 23 Oct. 2012. Web. 14 July 2016.
- Taylor, Kate. “The Power of Beans, Peas and Lentils.” University of Toronto. U of T News, 24 Oct. 2012. Web. 14 July 2016.
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