Eat Beans To Lower Your Cholesterol

Red beans, black beans, pink beans, green beans-there’s such a selection of beans scattered throughout markets today that it’s almost impossible not to find at least one fresh, frozen, canned or dried variety that will tickle your taste buds.

Yet who would think that anything so colorful and tasty would also be potent enough to reduce cholesterol levels, stabilize blood sugar, reduce appetite and help fight off cancer?

“I think of beans as a broad-based nutrient-rich food”, says Joanne Slavin, professor of nutrition at the University of Minnesota. “They just don’t get eaten enough. They’re a good source of protein, starch and particularly fiber, which can help lower cholesterol.”

In a study at the University of Kentucky, for example, researchers asked 24 men with high cholesterol levels to eat between four and five ounces of canned beans with tomato sauce a day over a three-week period. The result? The men’s cholesterol dropped anywhere from9 to 12 percent, depending on how many beans they ate. And the more they ate, the lower their cholesterol tended to go.

Beans also contain two potentially effective cancer fighters-phytate and protease inhibitors-that can either help prevent or arrest cancer at the cellular level.

What kind of beans are most therapeutic? Well, a series of studies at the University of Kentucky indicates that one bean’s pretty much as good as another. So pick your favorite, toss a handful into a salad, boil them with rice, simmer them in soup or bake them with a rich and savory tomato sauce. The result will be a taste-tempting treat that’s destined to reduce your chances of cancer-and give your cholesterol a good swift in the pants.

To reduce the gas-inducing properties of beans, try natural enzyme or soak your beans for at least three hours, discard the soaking water and then cook them thoroughly in fresh water. That allows the gas-producing ingredients to break down in a pot rather than in your gut.

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