Your cells carry out millions of chemical reactions each day to maintain your health, and many of these reactions rely on nutrients from your diet. However, since most foods don't provide every nutrient your body needs, combining foods allows you to consume a range of nutrients. Eating beans and grains in combination offers some health benefits over eating the foods alone due to the two foods' amino acid contents.

Essential and Nonessential Amino Acids

Your body uses combinations of 20 types of amino acids to make protein, but not all these amino acids need come from your diet. Only 10 amino acids, termed essential amino acids, must come from the foods you eat -- the remaining 10 nonessential amino acids can be synthesised within your cells. As a result, you should plan your diet to include all 10 essential amino acids to allow for proper protein synthesis.

Complementary Proteins

The major benefit of combining beans and grains comes from their amino acid contents. Both beans and grains are examples of incomplete protein -- they contain some, but not all, of the essential amino acids. They also represent complementary proteins, which means that when you consume beans and grains together, their complementary amino acid contents provide your body with all the essential amino acids. For example, many grains are deficient in the essential amino acid lysine, a nutrient found in beans. Conversely, many beans contain only small amounts of methionine, an amino acid found in larger supply in grains.

Other Health Benefits

In addition to the benefit of combining grains and beans to form complementary protein, dishes made up of the two foods offer other nutritional benefits. For example, beans and whole grains both provide dietary fibre, a nutrient that helps you feel full after your meal, promotes digestive regularity and helps control your blood sugar. Adding beans to your diet also boosts your intake of iron compared to a meal that contains grains alone. Just a half-cup of cooked black beans adds over 3.5 milligrams of iron to your meal -- almost half of the recommended daily intake for women over age 50 and men, and 19 percent of the daily recommended intake for women under age 50, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.

Tonights dinner needed to be quick as it has been a really busy day.

Luckily for me I had just received "The Food Doctor" bio-organic cereal, pulses, & beans easy grains. So this really was a quick, amazingly satisfying, healthy munch! I made this lovely salad which you could serve with lots of things.....


One pack of the food doctor cereal, pulses & beans easy grains (serves 2)

1 courgette made into noodles with either a spiralizer, julienne peeler or standard grater (hold the courgette and run its whole body down the grater to get long strips)

A large handful of cherry tomatoes halved

1 large carrot grated

For the dressing:

2 tsps of mango powder (I bought mine from the whole food supermarket) 2 tsps of olive oil 2 tsps of lemon juice Salt + pepper to season A tbsp of water

Mix all the vegetable's with the food doctor packet. In a jar add the dressing ingredients. Place lid back on jar and shake well to mix.

Pour over salad + Season.


We served with hummus and pitta.