Beans, beans, the magical fruit the more you eat the more healthy you are?
This is true, and its unfortunate that beans get a bad rap for giving people gas problems because they are such a great super-food it would be a shame to cut them out of your diet because of a few accidental moments. “People who eat beans on a consistent basis experience less gas and bloating than people who consume them less often,” says Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, Health‘s contributing nutrition editor and author of Slim Down Now: Shed Pounds and Inches with Real Food, Real Fast.
There are so many types of beans to choose from which is a great thing, because we all know the old adage “variety is the spice of life”.
Lets take a look at 7 reasons to consume more beans.
Fiber has many benefits, and it just so happens beans are packed full of it. For starters fiber helps your body feel more full, meaning you wont need to eat as much, which would result in possibly shedding a few unwanted pounds. It is a standard rule of thumb to shoot for 25 grams of fiber a day, and many fall drastically short of this. A half cup of cooked navy beans contains 10 grams of fiber, and the important nutrients do not break down or wear off after you cook them.
Beans contain soluble and insoluble fiber and that means they work double to keep your digestion system running smoothly. Soluble fiber will make your tract slow down, giving that full feeling mentioned above, and insoluble will help prevent constipation. The flatulence that initially may effect some people, typically wears off after a few weeks of consistent eating of beans. It is always important to drink enough water, and this goes with eating beans, helping flush anything out would be ideal.
3. Blood sugar regulation
Because of all the fiber we talked about beans containing it helps carbs get absorbed at a slower rate, meaning when carbs eventually turn into sugar within the body, this will occur at a much slower rate helping your bodies sugar level not get out of whack at any given point. There are studies out there showing a link with patients who have type 2 diabetes and if they consume just one cup of beans daily, they were able to maintain a lower blood sugar level, then before they start that bean diet.
4. Lower cholesterol
Bad cholesterol can stick to the walls of your blood vessels, which will cause inflammation and plaque build up. The Canadian Medical Journal found that if you eat one serving of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils daily it can lower your bad cholesterol by 5%. Which goes hand in hand with your heart as well, reducing your chances of heart disease or failure.
Little know fact that Iron deficiency is among the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States. 18 milligrams of iron a day should be a solid bench mark, and many fall short of that. It is hard to absorb iron all the time, that why mixing with vitamin C can really help the effects of beans and lentils, as one cup of beans has roughly 4 milligrams of iron. Now obviously, beans are suppose to be a supplement to your other main portions, and this is supposed to be thought of as a powerhouse side dish.
6. Vitamin B
Beans are packed full of vitamin B, which helps you convert food into energy. B vitamins, are known to help your body in many ways, especially B6 helping lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and heart disease. Again adding beans to your diet along with fish, whole grains, and veggies will make you a champ when it comes to getting the proper nutrients your body needs to thrive.
7. Lower risk of Cancer
Beans are very rich in antioxidants which will protect against free radicals that could possibly damage your cells and lead to cancer. There are some very intense studies out there pointing out just how important of a role eating beans or legumes can have on the body, especially those struggling with cancer.
So there you have it, 7 awesome reasons to eat more beans, but keep in mind that beans are a supplement to a main dish, and a consistent healthy lifestyle.