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5 undeniable reasons you should be eating more beans

Beans: They truly are the magical fruit. Get them at places like Hola Arepa in this incredible bean tostada.

Beans: They truly are the magical fruit. Get them at places like Hola Arepa in this incredible bean tostada. Isaac Hale

Time to strengthen the resolve on that New Year's resolution, people. And I've got just the thing. 

As it turns out, beans really are the magical fruit. The cornerstone of many world cuisines, beans are abundant, cheap, versatile, and protein-rich. They're filling and low-cal and delicious.

Our protein-crazed culture often feels like a feeble excuse to go overboard on meaty meals. But beans paired with another plant-based protein can be as complete a protein as beef, and better for you, too. (Certainly better for the environment and the animals.) 

Beans are magical for many more reasons, and here I present merely five: 

You should be eating more beans because soaking them overnight is the easiest thing in the world.

Lots of people say they don’t like dealing with dried beans because they have to soak them overnight and that’s just too much planning. That is absolute crazy talk. If you can draw water from a tap into a pot, you can make beans.

Open bag of beans. Pour into pot. Put water into pot a few inches above the bean line. Go to bed. When you wake up to make coffee, make fire under the beans and boil. Reduce to simmer another 1-2 hours until the beans are tender. Now you have food for the week, and most of the effort happened when you were asleep, dreaming of what else but delicous beans? 

You should be eating more beans because white bean spread! 

Now that hummus is popular enough to be sold in the gas stations, it’s time for the rise of white bean spread.

I’ll boldly say that it’s better than hummus, because white beans are silkier, and potentially more versatile than chickpeas. White beans blended with olive oil, garlic, and rosemary or another fresh herb of your choice lends an elegant edge to the oh-so-spreadable bean.

Serve this next to crusty bread instead of butter, put it on sandwiches, dip veggies in it instead of cream-based dips. Nobody will be the wiser and you'll be the coolest bean lady on the block. 

You should be eating more beans because they’re crazy cheap you’ll instantly have a ton of food around.

A one-pound bag of beans costs about three dollars, and less than that if you shop at Latin or Asian markets. Cooked, that bag yields about six cups of beans or more, which is a lot of beans when you consider a serving is half a cup. You'll have beans just about every day for every meal for a week. For three bucks. 

You should be eating more beans because they stop making you fart after you eat them for a while.

If beans make you toot, do not fear, all you gotta do is eat more beans! The fragrant effects wear off after about a week or so of eating more beans. Think of solving the problem with a bit of the hair of the dog that bit you, so to speak. It’s really the only trick. Leave the Bean-o on the shelf.

You should be eating more beans because there are thousands of varieties.

Beans are arguably the most versatile food in the world. Soup, salsa, salad, side dishes, entrees, spreads, in place of noodles, sprinkled on toast, plugged into casseroles! You gotta get those dried beans off the shelf and back into your diet.

Your New Year's resolution depends on it. 

Like Johnny Cash sang in "The Legend of John Henry’s Hammer": "And what's a substitute for bread and beans? I ain't seen it!"