Did you know that the tiny plant protein that is a bean delivers a massive health punch? Whether you are eating canned, dried or the frozen variety these legumes/pulses are one of the few foods that give us a powerful combination of protein and fiber at the same time. The other benefits associated with beans are that they are fat and cholesterol free, are incredibly convenient, are quick and easy to use as well as being incredibly good value.
So below are a few ways that the humble bean can enhance your health.
Balanced Blood Sugar
If you are one of the 29 million in America alone who have been diagnosed with diabetes, then eating beans is definitely a must for you. Pulses contain compounds that naturally inhibit enzymes responsible for starch digestion which makes them a smart choice for controlling blood sugar. In fact they are so potent that eating beans every day has been documented as lowering both fasting blood glucose and insulin.
Anti-cancer nutrients are abundant in beans. Phytochemicals and antioxidants guard cells from DNA damage that can lead to cancerous mutations and beans contain a high dosage of each. During digestion fiber travels throughout the gut to the colon, where it is fermented by bacteria. This process produces special cancer-fighting substances know as short-chain fatty acids. So would you believe that just one cup of beans provides 15 grams of roughage which is approximately half of your daily requirement?
A 2016 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that people who ate approximately three-quarters of a cup of cooked beans daily for six weeks shed close to three-quarters of a pound without making any other changes to their diet. This is probably due to their high fiber and high protein content which together encourages your gut to release hormones that send signals to your brain telling you that you are full. In fact, Danish researchers fed a group of men breakfast patties made from beans, pork or veal and, believe it or not, the bean eaters actually ate12 percent fewer calories later at lunch.
Health experts recommend eating at least three cups a week. If you are not sure how, then just take a walk down the aisle in your local supermarket that houses the beans. You will be astounded by the variety available, which should make adding these little gems to your diet easier to navigate.
Pulses contain an incredibly unique protein called 7S globulin which interferes with the body’s ability to manufacture cholesterol. They also contain soluble fiber which literally flushes the cholesterol out of your gut before it able to absorb it.