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ST. LOUIS – Alexandra Caspero MA, RD, CLT, RYT is owner of Delish Knowledge and author of Fresh Italian Cooking for the New Generation. Her award-winning blog, Delish Knowledge, focuses on making whole-food eating deliciously simple.

Caspero explains to us why plant-based foods help to lower BMI. Plant-based foods, such as beans, are loaded with nutrients and have been shown to lower risks for heart disease, obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Protein and fiber help you feel fuller longer, which helps you avoid overeating and snacking between meals. One serving of beans contains 6-9g of fiber and 6-7g protein. This combination of protein and fiber is key to preventing overeating.

Black Bean and Corn Salad

  • 2 (15 ounce) cans S&W black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups corn kernels (thawed from frozen)
  • 2 cups diced red bell peppers
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime zest
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 2 Hass avocados, chopped

Combine all ingredients except for avocados in a large bowl and mix well. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or up to overnight. Right before serving, gently fold in avocados.

Serve at room temperature as is, or add to crisp lettuce for lettuce wraps, or with corn chips for an appetizer or with a cooked grain for a delicious plant-based meal.

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