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  • Writer's pictureNutripanda

Beans: A Simple Secret to Longevity

Rich in protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals, beans are a staple in many diets around the world.


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When it comes to simple, nutritious, and affordable foods, beans top the list. But did you know that beans are also linked to longevity? The humble bean could be a key ingredient in living a longer, healthier life.


Beans and Longevity: The Blue Zones Connection


The concept of Blue Zones, regions of the world where people live significantly longer lives, often reaching 100 years or more, has become a topic of interest for those seeking to improve their health and extend their lifespan. These zones include areas like Okinawa in Japan, Sardinia in Italy, and Nicoya in Costa Rica and a common dietary thread among these diverse cultures are beans!


Studies have shown that beans are a consistent part of the diets in Blue Zones. They are a primary source of plant-based protein and are packed with fibre, which is known to help maintain healthy digestion and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. The high fibre content also helps to stabilise blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full longer, which can aid in maintaining a healthy weight.


Incorporating beans into your diet can be a simple yet powerful step towards better health and longevity. And to make it even easier, here’s a tasty and nutritious recipe that showcases the versatile butter bean.


Butter Bean Puttanesca Recipe


This Butter Bean Puttanesca is a hearty, flavourful dish that's perfect for any time of the year. It’s easy to make and packed with nutrients that support a long and healthy life.


Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional, for a bit of heat)

  • 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes

  • 1 can (400g) butter beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 handful of pitted Kalamata olives, halved

  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)

  • Grated Parmesan cheese (optional, for serving)


Instructions:

  1. Sauté the Aromatics: Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and red chili flakes (if using) and sauté for another minute, until fragrant.

  2. Simmer the Sauce: Add the chopped tomatoes to the skillet, along with the oregano. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Let the sauce cook for about 10 minutes, allowing the flavours to meld and the sauce to thicken slightly.

  3. Add the Beans and Olives: Stir in the butter beans, Kalamata olives, and capers. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes, until the beans are heated through and the sauce has thickened to your liking.

  4. Serve and Enjoy: Remove the skillet from the heat. Garnish with fresh parsley and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese if desired.


We don’t think you need any pasta with this, but you could serve with a small slice of crusty bread to mop up the juice and some lovely greens or salad.

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