12 Health Benefits of Black Beans
Black beans adorn many a dish in Latin American cuisine. You can find it in soups, inside your favorite burritos, ensconced in your choice enchiladas, and mixed up with rice.
But did you know that black beans also have a lot of health benefits? Aim for 4-8 cups of cooked black beans (or, for that matter, other legumes) in a week, and you’ll get these advantages.
Health Benefits of Black Beans
1. Black beans aid in digestion – Black beans have an indigestible fraction that allow colon-based bacteria to produce acids that aid function in the lower digestive tract. This allows you to pass bowels easily and get rid of toxins.
Many people often think of black beans as gas causing, but recent research has shown that this is not true.
2. They can help prevent cancer – With their ability to expunge toxins, black beans can help prevent cancers that are linked to toxin build-up, such as colon cancer. Colon cancer is linked to an inability of the lower digestive tract to function efficiently in the long term, hence the link of black beans to cancer prevention.
More research is ongoing, especially in breast cancer, although there has still been no conclusive evidence of black beans’ advantages. Still, as research is ongoing, we can expect to find out more about black beans and how they can help.
3. They can give your immune system a boost – Black beans are a rich source of phytonutrients, which give them their rich, dark color. Black beans have anthocyanins, which can help give your immune system a boost by purging you of toxins. Black beans also have antioxidants that can help flush out toxins and get rid of existing free radicals that can damage your body.
4. They can prevent diabetes – Consumption of black beans is also linked to a much lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This might be due to several factors: black beans are rich in antioxidants and can help aged cells grow, and they are rich in fiber that can increase your body’s capacity to absorb nutrients.
Moreover, black beans regulate the level of sugars in the blood, allowing your body’s stores of insulin to work.
5. They can help prevent heart disease – Believe it or not, Brazil actually recognizes black beans as their own unique food group. This comes as no surprise: while cardiovascular diseases are running rampant throughout the world, we need, more than ever, foods that will help keep our hearts healthy. Black beans are linked to this advantage.
6. They can give an energy boost – minus the sugar crash – Black beans have a high level of proteins, which can give your body an energy boost that it will burn slowly. This is in contrast to sugar-based energy foods, which give you a fast-burning energy boost, leading to a sugar crash after.
7. They regulate the balance of sugar in your blood – Black beans actually work both ways: they can allow your body to release sugar as fuel, but in moderate amounts so that you get exactly what you need; they also allow your body to absorb sugar and store it, so that you have exactly what your body needs, no more, no less. This can regulate your endocrine and immune systems, so that your body does not get overloaded by sugar.
8. They lower your blood pressure – Not only will black beans help your heart, they’ll help your veins and arteries as well. Regular consumption of black beans is linked to much lower levels of cholesterol in the blood, lowering your risk of cholesterol accumulations in the walls of your blood vessels. This allows your blood vessels to pump blood efficiently, thereby regulating your blood pressure.
9. They can help maintain your nervous system. – Your nervous system needs folate in order to function properly. Black beans are high in folate.
10. They can help pregnant moms – Folate is also required to support healthy pregnancy, and to encourage brain and spinal cord growth in infants. Because black beans are high in folate, pregnant mothers are encouraged to eat them in moderation.
11. They might prevent impotence – Black beans are high in molybdenum, an element that has been linked to impotence prevention in elderly males. Although evidence has been scant and research is still ongoing, there is much promise that black beans can truly help out.
12. They can aid in breaking down sulfates – Some food additives, such as those in wines and salad dressings, contain sulfites. When people sensitive to sulfites consume them, these people can get headaches. Black beans have molybdenum which can break down these sulfites into easily digestible portions, allowing people to enjoy a wider variety of foods without feeling sick afterward.
You can add black beans to soup, or season them lightly and mix them with a rice dish. You can also add black beans to salads, and even marinate your favorite fish in a mix of black beans, sesame oil, and soy sauce – and then steam it for a flavorful entree.
These are just a few reasons why you should eat black beans, and how black beans can be an integral, delicious part of your diet.