Beans are a part of the legume, pea, or bean family. There are hundreds of bean varieties. While they may have subtle differences in flavour, they provide similar health benefits. They are an excellent source of protein, copper, phosphorus, manganese, and magnesium. They are a good source of potassium, iron, thiamin, folic acid, riboflavin, and vitamin B6.
High in amino acids and protein
Protein plays a key role in maintaining and repairing the body. Beans are rich in amino acids which are the building blocks of protein. This is why beans are an excellent alternative to animal products for vegans and vegetarians.
Rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants in beans fight free radicals which damage cells resulting in various diseases. The presence of antioxidants in the body protects it from disease.
Folate, a compound found in beans is essential in the making of healthy red blood cells. Folate also lowers homocysteine levels which when high damage the heart and blood vessels. Potassium, calcium, and magnesium in beans minimize the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.
Beans also lower bad “LDL” cholesterol which when high increases the risk of developing heart disease and stroke. The high fibre in them helps absorb cholesterol in the digestive tract before the body can absorb it. So that the more you eat, the lower your cholesterol.
People who regularly consume beans are less likely to die of heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases.
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Reduced risk of cancer
Phytonutrients in beans reduce the risk of cancers such as breast, colon, and prostate cancer. One study found that they could slow the growth of colorectal cancer by preventing cancer cells from multiplying.
They also help reduce the risk of heart disease and reduce the symptoms of menopause. One study found that women who consumed them experienced fewer mood swings and cramps. This makes it a great way to control PMS.
They have a low glycemic index which means the body slowly absorbs energy from them which prevents sugar spikes after meals. Beans help manage blood sugar and insulin levels effectively making them diabetes-friendly.
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Preventing fatty liver
Fatty liver happens when fats accumulate in the liver. It can develop alongside obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. The treatment of fatty liver includes weight loss and controlling blood sugars. Replacing high-fat animal protein with beans as a source of protein is a step towards better liver health.
The fibre in beans keeps one fuller for longer. This prevents overeating and may aid in and lead to weight loss. This makes it a natural way to regulate appetite.
Improving gut health and digestion
Research shows that beans enhance gut health. They do this by improving intestinal barrier function and increasing the number of beneficial bacteria. Healthy gut bacteria support the immune system and promote weight loss. Their high fibre content adds bulk to stool, reducing problems like constipation and keeping the digestive system running smoothly.
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Prevents birth defects
Folate a compound found in beans is a mineral that is essential for pregnant women. It helps prevent neural defects in a fetus during pregnancy.
Here are the best beans and legumes to eat
- Chickpeas aka garbanzo beans
- Kidney Beans.
- Black Beans.
- Pinto Beans.
- Navy Beans
Let’s hear it for beans!!
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