I Used to Be a Breakfast-Skipping, Takeout Queen—Here’s How I’m Adopting Healthier Habits in 2024

And how you can too.

If you were to ask a group of registered dietitians for one of the easiest plant-based ways to up the protein levels of just about any recipe, more than likely they’ll all point you in the same direction: straight to the bean aisle at the grocery store.

So, why are these small but mighty legumes the center of so much attention? Well, the humble bean is brimming with nutrition from all angles… plus they’re versatile and affordable (one 15-ounce can retails for about about a buck fifty), especially given how much they have to offer.

Ahead we’re delving into the promising health benefits of beans and how they can serve as an integral foundation for an overall well-balanced diet. Plus, three deliciously cozy black bean soup recipes that cradle your taste buds with every bite.

What are the health benefits of beans?

Beans cover all the bases when it comes to important pillars of nutrition. For starters, one cup of black beans contains a whopping 15 grams of protein (nearly half of a 30 grams-per-meal goal from just one ingredient). The same-size serving also contains 15 grams of fiber, one of the most important nutrients for healthy aging: The gut digests food and absorbs nutrients, and impacts everything from your mood and energy levels to your immune system and skin. (And yes, beans cause a little gas here and there, but most experts agree it’s generally nothing to worry about.)

If that’s not convincing enough, Blue Zones’ founder Dan Buettner says that eating more beans is one of the easiest ways to boost longevity through food, which he noticed when studying the eating habits of some of the longest-living people in the world. That said, it’s important that this doesn’t just apply to black beans: Various types of beans including fava beans, black beans, soy beans, and lentils are also cornerstones of many centenarian diets. No matter which you choose, know that it will be packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, and potassium.

How to make black bean soup packed with protein and fiber

20 minute black bean soup
Photo: The Recipe Critic

1. 20-Minute Black Bean Soup

20 minutes to spare? This quick and easy black bean soup recipe by <

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