Bean, Corn and Avocado Tostadas

Benefits

Oh, my goodness! Where do I start? Let’s start with beans! (the magical fruit!)

Beans provide myriad health benefits, and they fit into several different food groups: Although they are rich in complex carbs like breads and starches, as a plant-based food, they are also part of the vegetable group, offering an array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, like their veggie companions. They can also hold their own in the protein group, supplying protein aplenty. Unlike some other members of this group, beans provide little to no fat and are cholesterol-free. In fact, beans actually lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels instead of potentially causing them to increase, as animal proteins do. Though they’ve been around for centuries, beans are a modern-day super food.

  1. They Are Heart-Helpers Beans are “heart healthy” because they contain an abundance of soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  2. They Are Low In Fat Most beans are about 2 to 3 percent fat, and contain no cholesterol.
  3. They Pack Protein The Dietary Guidelines for Americans say we should be eating more plant proteins. About 1/2 cup of beans provides 7 grams of protein, the same amount as in 1 ounce of chicken, meat or fish.
  4. They Balance Blood Sugar With a low glycemic index; beans contain a blend of complex carbohydrates and protein. Because of this, beans are digested slowly, which helps keep blood glucose stable, and may curtail fatigue and irritability.
  5. They Cut Cancer Risk Scientists recommend that adults consume 3 cups of beans per week to promote health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, like cancer because of their abundance of fiber and antioxidants.
  6. They Will Move You Filled with fiber, beans can promote regularity by preventing constipation. Weighing in at 5 to 8 grams of fiber per 100 grams (3 ounces), beans are ideal for those who are sensitive to gluten.
  7. They’ll Satisfy You Because beans are metabolized more slowly than other complex carbs, they may aid in weight loss by keeping us feeling full without being excessively high in calories.
  8. They’re Convenient Canned, frozen or dry, beans are a breeze to purchase, prepare, and store.
  9. They Are Wallet-Friendly Beans are the least expensive source of protein, especially when compared to meat.
  10. They Are Nutrient-Rich Aside from protein, complex carbs and fiber, beans contain a powerhouse of nutrients including antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals, such as copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium and zinc. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans refer to many of these important nutrients as “shortfall nutrients,” meaning most of us aren’t getting enough of them. Beans can help you step up to a more complete plate.
  11. They’re Versatile They can be incorporated into a main dish (chili), side dish (rice and beans), appetizer (soup) or snack (dip). Be creative by having a variety in your pantry.

Avocados, Salsa, Corn, Cilantro, Onions & Garlic: I won’t go into the many, many benefits of these healthful ingredients as we will use the in subsequent recipes. Just keep in mind that all of these plant foods provide tremendous benefits for our health on top of being delicious!

I hope this recipe becomes one of your family’s favorites! It’s a staple for ours.

cook-with-joy-tostada

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