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It’s National Bean Day

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Green, red, kidney, lima or soy are just a few of the different kinds of beans recognized on National Bean Day – Jan. 6.

This day celebrates the bean in all sizes, shapes and colors. Humans have been cultivating beans (legumes) since the early seventh millennium BCE. And today, just as throughout the Old and New World history, beans provide a significant source of protein. Not only are beans an exceptionally healthy meal and snack choice, but they supply an excellent source of fiber. They are low in fat and are high in complex carbohydrates, folate and iron too. (They also work wonderfully in soups – just saying.)

One cup of cooked beans supplies between nine and 13 grams of fiber. Soluble fiber can help in lowering blood cholesterol.

There are approximately 40,000 bean varieties in the world – but only a fraction of these varieties is mass-produced for regular consumption.

To observe National Bean Day, get cooking, snacking and savoring! This holiday offers so many recipes to try thanks to all the varieties of beans available. Try beans you’ve never tasted before. Introduce a new variety of bean to your cooking regimen. When you do, be sure to share the recipe. Since beans are so beneficial, you’ll want to keep friends and family informed of your bean discoveries.

And don’t forget to save some space in your gardens for beans this spring. With so many varieties available, try out a few (or a dozen, it’s up to you).

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