Beans deserve more credit than they get. This fiber-rich, shelf-stable staple is a mainstay of many cultures, and beans are inexpensive and extremely versatile. Beans come loaded with magnesium and potassium, and they are a great source of non-animal protein. They do contain carbohydrates, but ½ cup also provides as much protein as an ounce of meat without the saturated fat. To save time you can use canned beans, but be sure to drain and rinse them to get rid of as much added salt as possible.
If you have the time, stew a pot of dry beans in your slow cooker all day. Beans may help to lower blood sugar, and slow-cooker bean recipes are the ultimate dinner to come home to on a cold day.
Not convinced? If you’re feeling adventurous, try this vintage pinto bean pie recipe. It sounds strange, but it’s surprisingly delicious. Unfortunately, the pie itself does not count as a superfood.
5. Whole Grains, especially steel-cut oats
The key to getting the most out of your bread and other grain products is to look for items with the words whole grain at the top of the ingredient list. Watch out for misleading terms like multigrain or enriched. Whole grains are lower on the glycemic index than processed grains and provide steady, sustained energy. They are an excellent source of fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, and folate—all the good stuff!
Steel-cut oats are especially power-packed. They contain high amounts of magnesium, which helps the body use glucose and secrete insulin, and magnesium-rich diets can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. A bowl of hearty morning oatmeal is unbeatable, but they are just as satisfying for lunch or dinner. Try this recipe for spiced apple cinnamon oatmeal and see if it doesn’t become your new wintertime staple!
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