My nephew asked me if beans really are good for your heart, which led to a wonderful discussion about plant-based proteins, the importance of dietary fiber, and the difference between correlation and causation.
This wasn’t out of the blue; he had been singing, “Beans, beans, the musical fruit! The more you eat, the more you toot!” so I taught him the alternate version, “Beans, beans, good for your heart! The more you eat, the more you fart! The more you fart, the better you feel, so eat those beans at every meal!”
(His excuse is that he’s eight years old. I have no excuse.)
If your kids are also curious about the link between a diet rich in legumes and cardiac health, here are a few talking points:
- Yes, beans are good for your heart!
- No, it’s not because they make you fart. The farting doesn’t actually matter. (And if you cook them until they’re done, and eat them pretty often, they don’t make you fart much at all.)
- Beans are full of healthy fiber. (Which helps regulate blood sugar and cholesterol, among other benefits.)
- The fiber in beans also helps to help feed your microbiome (the helper bugs that live in your belly).
- Beans have healthy protein. Yes, meat has protein too, but it’s not healthy to eat too much meat. It’s better to get some (or most, or all) of your protein from plants like beans and lentils.
- They also have lots of important vitamins and minerals.
- What foods can you think of that have beans in them? Which one should we try this weekend?
Also, quick reader poll:
I’ve been making coloring books about vegetables and other healthy(ish) foods. Would you be interested in a coloring book about beans? Let me know in the comments.