Did you know that there are an estimated 40,000 varieties of beans produced all over the world?
Another awesome thing about beans is that they only cost pennies per ounce.
Beans are an especially good food to eat while dieting and helping you lose weight.
No matter what type of bean you are preparing and eating you can be sure that it is highly nutritious and packed with protein as well as other nutrients.
Health Benefits Of Beans
What do beans contain that make them so healthy?
For starters no matter what kind of bean you are eating they are an excellent source of protein.
They also are rich in fiber, iron, phosphorus, folate, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Beans even have small traces of copper, zinc, manganese, and vitamins B1, B6, E, and K. Now we’ll show how several of these can improve your health.
If you are vegetarian, vegan, or happen to be a bodybuilder listen closely. Protein can be consumed in other ways besides animal sources. Beans contain a ton of protein due to the number of amino acids that are present.
By making beans more a part of your diet, along with food products like nuts, seeds, cheese, and other dairy products, they work together to make a complete protein meal.
Just to get an idea on average how much protein is in them, consider this. Half a cup of beans will provide the same amount of protein as one ounce of meat. That’s huge!
What on Earth do you need folate for? Well, it’s actually an important part of our overall health and ensures that healthy red blood cells are being made.
This nutrient is also important to have in order to prevent neural tube defects in a fetus while a mother is pregnant.
Beans Are Low In Fat
There are also fewer calories and saturated fat in beans than there are with other protein foods, such as meat and dairy products, especially if you choose beans like lima beans, black beans, lentils, and kidney beans.
They are Extremely Filling
Beans contain fiber and other starches that help fill us up faster and can leave you feeling full longer. If you’re looking to lose weight this is an excellent way to go about it.
You’ll be eating less yet feeling fuller and over time you’ll notice a weight loss.
If you are constantly overeating, beans might help you eat less. If you are dieting and struggle with overeating, make sure that you stick with the daily recommended amount of beans or you’ll defeat the effort.
A Healthy Heart
It’s believed that people who consume beans on a more regular basis may be helping prevent heart attacks and other cardiovascular issues.
Help Regulate Blood Sugars
Another good thing that beans do for your body is helping lower your blood sugar, due to the high amounts of fiber that they hold. People that are on high fiber diets reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, and there’s even evidence of improvement in lowering blood sugars among patients that have this condition.
Our family has one Type 1 Diabetic and two Type 2 Diabetics and I can tell you first hand that eating more beans does help lower blood sugars tremendously.
Helps Prevent Cancer
Beans also contain what are called phytochemicals, or antioxidants, which can actually help reduce the likelihood of you getting cancer. At the very least, they can slow the growth of cancer cells.
They can fight against cancers such as breast cancer, colorectal, gastric, kidney and prostate cancer. In case you’re wondering, black beans are known to have the largest traces of antioxidants.
It’s no secret that beans can cause gas, and sometimes even uncomfortably so. But did you know that eating beans can actually help you with regularity?
If you’re struggling with constipation, doctors will encourage you to eat foods such as beans. When you eat beans few and far in between, your stomach will continue to have gassy symptoms, but if you eat them more regularly, you’ll notice that those symptoms should be reduced and eventually go away.
You may have heard that cooking the beans diminishes the number of proteins that they have, and your source would have been correct. But you can rest assured that there’s still plenty of nutrients left over.
Besides, you don’t want to be eating raw beans anyway, especially kidney and cannellini beans. But if you enjoy eating green beans raw, they’re perfectly safe.
Canned beans still contain about the same amount of nutrients as dried beans, but if you’re wanting to steer clear of the sodium, make sure you buy cans that mention lower sodium.
Do you already have a kitchen pantry fully stocked with beans containing sodium? Not to worry. You can drain the can and then rinse the beans with water to help reduce the amount of sodium present.
Even though beans are highly nutritious and may only cause minor gas issues with most people, eating them on a regular basis isn’t good for everyone. Doing so may cause intestinal problems, so you need to use caution and consult your doctor if you experience any uncomfortable conditions.
Some researchers will tell you that the lectin that is found in beans is actually harmful. But don’t fear. The best way around this is by soaking your beans, followed by draining and rinsing them.
Cooking them also helps reduce the levels of lectin. You can even cook them in a pressure cooker to give yourself more peace of mind. Oh, the health benefits of beans are wonderful.
Are you surprised by just how nutritious beans are? I was and I was even more amazed just how yummy they are when I first started cooking with beans. They also make an excellent source of protein as well as other nutrients when storing foods like in an emergency food store. Let me know how you prepare your beans- what yummy recipes do you have up your sleeve for beans?
Take care until next time,