why is this meal good for me?
Take back control of what you’re putting in those sweet, sweet bods of yours by preparing your own bombastic baked beans. Make this munch your own and add some more spice or some date syrup if you love a bit more of a barbeque vibe. They go great on sweet potato, tortilla chips or keep it simple like us and whack it on a slice of wholegrain (seeded if possible) bread.
As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, that red pepper is a potent source of vitamin C , but did you know that this vitamin helps to improve the absorption of plant-based iron , double win. What’s more, those beans provide a fat load of protein which has the capacity to keep you fuller for longer  and avoid those cheeky snacks. Now, the main bit of research we’re focusing on this week is vitamin A and how it plays a role in the development and regulation of our immune systems .
Research started on this vitamin in the early 20th century  and nowadays it is in the top 3 worldwide, most common deficiencies , so it’s vital you make sure you’re getting enough of the stuff. Vitamin A is crucial to keep your first line of defence, mucosal cells in the respiratory tract etc., strong structurally and functioning well . It also plays a vital role in the effective functioning of immune cells which are part of the initial wave of defensive force we have, (e.g., macrophages and neutrophils) . No, we’re not done yet, it’s also required for the production of antibody response to an antigen (foreign substance) . So in this current climate, it is necessary to ensure you’re munching enough, and the recipe bean vid contains 45% of your daily needs for the average person and is a great place to start. We’ll do a future post on the best specific plant-based food sources with even more recipe ideas so stay tuned.
how do i cook it?
Serves 3-4 Cook time: 10 mins
1 diced red onion
2 tins of bean in water
1 tbsp mixed herbs
1 red bell pepper
1 tin of passata
1tsp chilli flakes
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp smoked paprika
Wholegrain (seeded if possible) bread
To serve: Green onions
Fry off the diced onion for 5 mins until soft and then add the spices for a further minute.
Chuck in the peppers, beans and passata and fry for another 5-7 mins or until piping hot.
Top onto whole-grain bread or sweet potato.
Top with green onions or an oat-based creme fraiche and add Worcester sauce or date syrup for more of a barbeque style. At the end of the day if a little sauce is going to get you to eat this meal rather than grabbing some unhealthy processed food then it’s a step in the right direction.
where is the science from?
1] Hurrell, R. and Egli, I., 2010. Iron bioavailability and dietary reference values. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 91(5), pp.1461S-1467S.
2] Veldhorst, M., Smeets, A.J.P.G., Soenen, S., Hochstenbach-Waelen, A., Hursel, R., Diepvens, K., Lejeune, M., Luscombe-Marsh, N. and Westerterp-Plantenga, M., 2008. Protein-induced satiety: effects and mechanisms of different proteins. Physiology & behavior, 94(2), pp.300-307.
3] U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Centralexternal link disclaimer, 2019.
4] Ross, A.C., 2012. Vitamin A and retinoic acid in T cell–related immunity. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 96(5), pp.1166S-1172S.
5] Green HN, Mellanby E. Vitamin A as an anti-infective agent. BMJ 1928;2:691–6
 World Health Organization. Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. Part I. The role of food fortification in the control of micronutrient malnutrition. In Guidelines on Food Fortification with Micronutrients; Allen, L., de Benoist, B., Dary, O., Hurrell, R., Eds.; World Health Organization: Geneva, Switzerland, 2006.
 Micronutrient Information Center. Immunity in Depth. Available online: (accessed on 17 April 2020).