2018 has officially arrived and along with it a flurry of resolutions for the new year! As usual eating healthy and weight loss are at the top of the list for people. According to the CDC, more than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults are obese. Not a huge surprise when you look at the growing number of fast food restaurants (with little to no healthy food options) and the ever-expanding variety of processed foods at your grocery store. This is exactly why I created my 30-Day Detox, to help people eat real whole foods and shed stubborn pounds not only in a healthy way but FOR GOOD!
So to help you get on track and keep you full with minimum added fat, here is a great bean soup recipe. It will also warm you up if you’re one of my friends in the Northeast! You should definitely try this Greek Fasoulada Bean Soup if you are looking for additional source of vegetarian protein and other nutrients. Feel free to pick beans you like most.
The benefits of beans
Beans are part of the legumes family. There are many different types of beans out there, but we will now focus on the ones used in the Greek Fasoulada Bean Soup. They are good for the digestive system because they contain large amounts of fiber. The fiber-rich beans will keep you sated too, which means that they will regulate your appetite. In addition, they regulate the level of cholesterol in the bloodstream.
As previously mentioned, they are also good for those looking for low-fat (vegetarian) protein. The presence of the lysine amino acid makes beans ideal for boosting energy levels. Besides that, beans are rich in many other minerals and vitamins like potassium, niacin, folate, magnesium, calcium, and riboflavin. These nutrients help prevent heart disease and high blood pressure to say the least.
Why we love leeks
Leeks are adding flavor to the bean soup, but they are also providing many different nutrients like vitamin K, manganese, copper, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin C, and iron.
According to many experts, the greatest health benefit of leeks is the fact that they can protect the blood vessel linings and cardiovascular health in general – they contain kaempferol, a flavonoid that has proven to be helpful in keeping blood vessels safe.
Additionally, leeks contain B vitamin folate too. This vitamin supports the work of the cardiovascular system by balancing homocysteine levels. Another element present in leeks that is good for our heart and cardiovascular system is the group of polyphenols found in this veggie. They are especially good for the blood cells and blood vessels fighting oxidative damage.
Finally, we should highlight the fact that leeks contain allicin. This compound based on sulfur has strong antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties. Recent scientific studies have confirmed that allicin is a natural weapon against free radicals too. As you probably know these free radicals can trigger cancer. Leek is a proud but less known member of the allium family along with garlic, and that is where its cancer protective and detoxification supporting qualities lie. I am glad it is becoming more popular in the US. Growing up in Poland, we used it as a staple for every soup stock.
BUT, Leeks means dirt!! Leeks have dirt hidden in them most of the time. Cut the root off, cut the leek in half along side and then slice each half so then you can drop all these small slices into a bowl with a lot of water and keep whisking to allow any dirt to be released and go to the bottom. I like to soak them this way a little and then fish them out and rinse under running water. Only then you will prevent sand in your teeth!!!
Beans and leeks = FOLATE
We discussed folate a little bit already, but I just wanted to bring one more issue with folate I see. Folate is in foliage, not in animal protein: lettuce, beans, green leafy vegetables, etc. It is a B vitamin and quite a few people have genetic problem methylating folate from foods, which means converting the folate from our meal into a folate the body can use. This can increase homocysteine, a risk factor for cardiovasacular disease (completely independent of cholesterol status), and it can stall detoxification pathways, making it harder for you to clear toxins…which can translate into cancer, autoimmune disorders…etc..depending on how many toxins you need to remove and how impaired that is….So it is also prudent to have a good B complex with some folate in it. If you eat a lot of cereal and white bread, you will get exposure to folic acid supplement added to these products (by law)- but this is NOT the same form as folate from foods or methylated folate – not only does folic acid not protect you from cancer as folate would, but it can be detrimental, so watch how much of the cereals or bread you are consuming. Some of the other issues I see with that genetic impairment in folate is depression. So this is a big issue, and now there is a huge push for meat, bone broth, and eliminating the whole legume group, so it may be even harder to get the folate you need.
Well, our reality is a little complicated as you can see. Food is not what it seems! I spend a lot of time and give a lot of resources for these type of trouble shooting ideas in our 30DayDetox Program, so I hope you us to learn more!
Using filtered water for soup
Remember to use filtered water for your soups! Tap water or well water is no longer a safe option! If you want me to scare you, then let me tell you that the World Health Organization is alarmed at the level of pharmaceuticals in our drinking water – water treatment facilities were not designed to treat medications and so we drink residue of oral contraceptives, antibiotics, and more. NOT a good option for anyone.
The simplest water filter that you can put anywhere and even take with you in your car is a highly reputable Berkey, and excellent choice (I have 2 of them). I would advise getting the biggest size you can afford and add PF2 filters for arsenic and fluoride – very important.
If you want to install your filter on the faucet or run it through a separate spout, read more about that filter here. I also have this filter. We cannot install it in our current home and therefore we are resorting to Berkey, but it is an excellent and very affordable filter.
Enjoy this warm and filling Greek Fasoulada Bean Soup! Looking for more recipes with functional nutrition benefits? Follow me on Pinterest!
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If you want to transform your life, if you want health and wellness, if you want peace of mind, there isn’t a better investment than working with Kasia.~ Beth