Why Beans Are Good For Your Health?
Beans are an important source of fiber. This is important because most Americans don’t get the recommended 25 to 38 grams per day. Fiber helps you stay regular and seems to protect against heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and digestive disorders. Navy beans have about 19 grams of fiber per cup. Add some smoked turkey, kale, onions and carrots to make a hearty soup.
Rich in Protein
Beans are a great way to get low-fat, low-calorie protein, which has been mixed with fiber and carbohydrates. One cup of beans has about 15 grams. That’s two to three times more than rice or wheat. It’s especially good for a protein building block called lysine, which you may not get enough of if you’re a vegetarian. Use lentils, onions, carrots, tomatoes and paprika to make a delicious, protein-rich vegetarian stew.
Keeps you at a healthy weight.
If you get into the habit of eating beans, you’re more likely to have lower body weight, a slimmer waist and a lower body mass index (BMI). Studies have shown that obese men who eat a protein-rich diet, with beans as their primary source of protein, lose more weight. Try replacing meat with a nourishing, low-fat, spicy kidney bean chili as your main dish.
Promote Your Heart Health
If you make beans a regular part of your diet, you’ll be doing your stocks a favor. Studies have shown that it can lower your LDL “bad” cholesterol. For a really heart healthy food choice, try a simple salad consisting of beets, beans and greens.
Good Foods to Control Diabetes
Eating a variety of beans seems to not only help prevent diabetes, but also seems to help control high blood sugar, which is both a cause and a symptom of the disease. Steam some fresh green beans, sprinkle them with salt and a little olive oil for a delicious summertime snack.
An Excellent Source of Iron
Your body uses iron to make proteins in your blood (hemoglobin and myoglobin) that help move oxygen around your body. It is also a key nutrient for your hormones and connective tissues (such as tendons and ligaments). One cup of soy has nearly 9 mg. You can cook soybean pods, also called tempeh, in salted boiling water. Eat them warm straight from the pods.
Magnesium helps make protein and bones, and stabilizes blood sugar. Black beans are a particularly good source, containing 120 mg in a single cup. This is about one-third of the recommended daily amount. Try a tried and true combination of black beans and rice. Add a little shredded chicken and some lettuce and salad dressing and you have a delicious, healthy lunch.
Full of Potassium
Your body needs it for almost everything, including your heart, kidneys, muscles, and nerves. Beans have a fair amount of potassium, especially lima beans, which give you nearly 1,000 milligrams of potassium per cup. That’s about twice as much as you get from bananas.
Rich in Zinc
Your cells need it to fight germs, produce genetic material, and heal wounds. It helps children develop properly and helps your sense of smell and taste. One cup of chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, has about 2.4 milligrams. That’s about a quarter of what you need in a day. You can make it into a dip called hummus, either as a snack or as a meal.
Lots of Folic Acid
This B vitamin is especially important for women who are pregnant or trying to have a baby, as it helps prevent certain birth defects. It’s also good for heart health, cell division, and the nervous system. You’ll get about 300 micrograms – three-quarters of the recommended daily amount – in just one cup of pinto beans. It is the traditional base for the delicious refried beans used in many Mexican dishes.
Contains resistant starch
Resistant starch acts like fiber; it’s harder to digest. It moves to the large intestine, where the “healthy” bacteria in your gut feed on it. Resistant starch makes you feel fuller and lowers your blood sugar. If you let your beans cool and refrigerate, you will increase the resistant starch. Try a mixed bean salad as an easy summer side dish.
Canned beans will also work.
If you don’t have time to soak and cook your beans, don’t worry. All you need to do is heat them up and you’re good to go. Canned beans have many of the same nutrients, although homemade beans may have slightly more. Just be aware of the extra salt that some brands add. You can rinse some off with water after you open them.
What about gas?
There is one drawback to beans. If you suddenly add large amounts of beans to your diet, you may produce gas. This is usually not unhealthy, but it can be unpleasant. After the first week, you should have less gas as your body gets used to it. Drinking lots of water can help you. So can over-the-counter medications, such as Beano. preparation makes a difference. If you soak dried beans overnight and throw away the water, you’ll get less gas from the dried beans.