Saturday, August 09, 2008

Recipe: The Copper Connection

Copper-rich beans are good for the brain, and tasty too.

Pinto beans don't just make a delicious seven-layer dip—they may be good for your brain, too. According to USDA research, store-bought pinto beans are a good source of dietary copper, with a cup providing almost 20 percent of your daily needs. The nutrient is known to be important for transporting oxygen in blood, and findings from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggest copper might also play a role in learning and memory. Scientists found that copper is partly responsible for controlling the strength of connections between neurons. These findings bolster previous research showing that copper deficiency can impair brain development and function, and may also be associated with the development of Alzheimer's disease.

More Heavy Metal
Other copper-rich foods:

Food: Oysters (raw)
Copper Amount: 1.85 mg/100g
% Daily Recommended Intake: 92%

Food: Sunflower Seeds (dried)
Copper Amount: 1.75 mg/100g
% Daily Recommended Intake: 88%

Food: Mushrooms (cooked)
Copper Amount: 0.5 mg/100g
% Daily Recommended Intake: 25%

Food: Potatoes (baked)
Copper Amount: 0.32 mg/100g
% Daily Recommended Intake: 16%

Food: Raisins
Copper Amount: 0.25 mg/100g
% Daily Recommended Intake: 13%

Vegetarian Pinto Bean Chili
6 Servings
Prep Time: 2.5 hours

1lb dried pinto beans
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 onion chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tsp. chili powder
4 oz green chilies, chopped
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
4 oz. cubed cheddar cheese (optional)

Wash beans. Soak them overnight under 3 inches of water. Drain beans and place in large pot. Add crushed tomatoes, onion, garlic, chili powder, chilies, herbs, salt, and pepper. Add enough water to cover beans. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer two hours or until beans are tender. Remove bay leaves and add cheese. Serve with rice.

Special Thanks to Psychology Today

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