Brazilian Natural Medicine

Adding vegetables and greens to the bean preparation can make the meal tastier and more nutritious — Português (Brasil)

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Brazilian cuisine is diverse and consists of typical foods from each region, but certain foods cannot be missing from the composition of a healthy dish – from children to the elderly. Natural or minimally processed foods should be consumed daily. A group well known by Brazilians is the group of beans.

The national menu includes many varieties: black, white, mulatinho, carioca, fradinho, fava beans and cowpea are some of them. The alternation between different types and also other legumes that share nutritional properties, amplifies the “stock” of nutrients and brings new flavors to the food.

According to the “Food Guide for the Brazilian Population”, beans can be cooked in larger quantities and stored in the freezer for use throughout the week. As with any preparation, the use of oil and salt should be moderate. It is also important to avoid the use of industrialized seasonings, salted meats and sausages (such as sausage, sun-dried meat and bacon) in the preparation of beans.

To balance the preparation and give it a special flavor, you can use parsley, garlic, onion, basil, black pepper, cumin, bay leaf, mint, jambu, oregano, coriander, rosemary, peppers, tomato, among other natural seasonings, according to taste. Adding vegetables and greens to beans can also make the meal tastier and more nutritious.

Beans, like all other legumes, are sources of protein, fiber, B vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc and calcium. The high fiber content and moderate amount of calories per gram give these foods high satiety.

According to Mariana Melendez, nutritionist at the bariatric surgery outpatient clinic at the Asa Norte Regional Hospital (HRAN), in Brasília/DF, beans and pulses “help provide protein to the body and help regulate the intestines.”

health benefits

The combination of rice and beans, appreciated and consumed by a large part of the population, is very affordable and has an excellent nutrient profile. Contrary to what common sense points out, this pair is part of dietary patterns associated with a lower occurrence of obesity and non-communicable chronic diseases.

Strategies to increase consumption of beans

  • To reduce the cooking time and facilitate digestion, you can soak the beans before cooking (from 6 to 12 hours);

  • If possible, use the pressure cooker to reduce the cooking time;

  • Lentils and peas can work as replacement options that do not require soaking or the use of a pressure cooker, making preparation easier.

Healthy eating

During the month of October, due to World Food Day, the Ministry of Health makes available a series of videos on eating habits at each stage of life, through its YouTube channel.


To learn about recipes and ways of preparing fresh or minimally processed foods, which value Brazilian food culture, access the publication “In the kitchen with fruits and vegetables”.

According to the Ministry of Health, valuing and encouraging the consumption of fruits and vegetables represents an important strategy for health promotion and adequate and healthy food, contributing to the improvement of the food and nutritional standard and to the reduction of Chronic Diseases. Non-Communicable (DCNT).

Fran Martins
Ministry of Health

Official content – Fact Check – Verified

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