Beans are rich in special kinds of fiber-like carbs called “resistant starch,” which limits the sharp spikes in insulin and glucose levels that normally follow consumption of foods high in easily digestible starches (sugars, fruit juice, soda, white bread, potatoes, and pastries).
This benefit occurs even when the source of resistant starch is consumed many hours beforehand. Accordingly, resistant starch can help control weight and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes
Legumes (beans, lentils, split peas, string beans) and whole, unprocessed grains contain the highest percentages of resistant starch.
In addition, most of the pigments in beans are anthocyanins: the same kinds of antioxidant polyphenol pigments that give berries their red-blue-purple hues. (“Black” beans are actually very dark purple.)
Anthocyanins help control blood sugar modestly and blunt the inflammatory—hence, pro-diabetic, blood-thickening, and artery-damaging—impact of dietary sugars and standard starches.
What about corn? Corn's image has taken a beating, thanks to the ubiquitous nature of the unhealthful products made from it: corn syrup and corn starch.
But recent research shows that whole corn kernels—as opposed to refined corn flour or starch—are a perfectly healthful food, rich in the polyphenol antioxidants that make colorful fruits and veggies good for health.
Wild Salmon or Halibut with Black Bean Corn Salsa
Prepare the salsa ahead of time to allow the flavors to blend.
4 medium fresh tomatoes seeded and diced
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 can (15 oz) seasoned black beans, drained
1 can (11 oz) corn, drained
1 medium jalapeño pepper, finely chopped or 1 can (4ounces) diced green chilies
1/2 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
1 tablespoon organic extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
- Combine allspice, cinnamon, cumin, and salt in a small custard cup to create spice mixture.
- Combine all salsa ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir to mix well. Add up to 1/3 of spice mixture, to taste. Set aside.
- Salsa should be prepared ahead of time. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
6 (6 oz) wild Alaskan salmon or halibut fillet portions
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon organic ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon organic ground cayenne pepper (optional)
2 teaspoon organic ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoon organic extra virgin olive oil
Organic black pepper, to taste
2 limes cut into wedges
- Lightly sprinkle both sides of each piece of fish with remaining spice mixture.
- In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil. Add fish and cook over medium heat until salmon is thoroughly cooked (about 8 minutes), turning once halfway through. Season with pepper to taste.
- Top fish portions with bean salsa and serve with fresh lime wedges on the side.
Nutrition information per serving (using salmon): Calories 370; Fat 11 g; Protein 37 g; Carbs 31 g; Cholesterol 80 m; Fiber 7.8 g.