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Powerful Food Pairings That Fight for Your Health

These disease-fighting combos are greater than the sum of their nutritional parts.

Combo 7 - Red Beans and Brown Rice

Fights: Cancer, diabetes, heart disease

Packed with protein, fiber, vitamin B12, magnesium, and potassium, red kidney beans really are a magical “fruit.” Eating beans can help prevent colorectal cancers and heart disease, as well as reduce blood cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar levels. Brown rice, on the other hand, is a whole grain (meaning that both the germ and the bran parts of the grain have been preserved) and is high in magnesium and fiber.

Rice and beans are usually inexpensive and readily available, and, when eaten together, form a complete protein. A protein is “complete” if it contains an adequate proportion of all nine of the essential amino acids (those that can’t be made by our bodies and therefore must be ingested). A cup of red beans with half a cup of brown rice provides 327 calories, 1g of fat, 42.5g of carbohydrates, 18g of fiber, and 18.5g of muscle-building protein.

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