Salad Menu - Benefit of Black Beans

benefits of black beans

The following are the nutrients and benefits that black beans contain:

Fiber

WebMD stated that according to the Institute of Medicine, women need 25 grams and men need 38 grams of fiber each days. Beans are one of the top sources of this nutrient. Bridget Coila mentioned that a cup of cooked beans contains 15 grams of fiber. She added that "Black beans contain both insoluble fiber, which helps improve digestive-tract functioning and prevents constipation, and soluble fiber, which lowers cholesterol and blood-glucose levels. "

Minerals

Black beans consumption is a very good investment for your bones for it is rich with minerals like calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese and copper which are essential contributors in maintaining and building a strong bone structure and strength.

Plant-based Protein Source

Black beans contains high plant-based protein that is able to replace animal protein. One cup of black beans could fulfill 30% of the protein requirements of our bodies. Coila stated "Black beans and rice are ideal because when they are paired, they provide all of the essential amino acids that you need. These amino acids are used to repair and replace the amino acids in your organs as they are broken down over time."

Antioxidants

A study published in the December 31, 2003 issue of the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry" found that black beans have more antioxidant activity than other types of beans. They have the same level of antioxidants found in apples, grapes and cranberries. Antioxidants are believed to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals and to lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.

Cardiovascular Health

As previously mentioned, black beans have high concentrations of soluble fiber which lowers blood cholesterol. This will reduce thickening of the artery walls which consequently can prevent heart attacks and strokes. They have small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which balance the negative effects of omega-6 fatty acids. They have slightly anti-hypertensive effects that could improve blood flow, lower blood pressure, and put less strain or oxidative stress on the cardiovascular system as a whole.

Megan Ware, RDN LD stated that quercetin, a natural anti inflammatory that appears to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and protect against the damage caused by low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and saponins which help lower blood lipid and blood cholesterol levels, are found also in black beans. Also, she added that the vitamin B6 and folate present in black beans prevent the buildup of a compound known as homocysteine, excessive accumulated amount of which could damage blood vessels.

Cancer Prevention

Eating beans reduce the risk of cancer due to their contribution of bioactive compounds including flavonoids, tannins, phenolic compounds and other antioxidants. Black beans have 8 different flavonoids found in their seed coat, three of which are anthocyanins. Flavonoids are color-producing phytonutrient pigments that function as antioxidants. Anthocyanins have the ability to to protect our body against myriad of human diseases through suppressing the growth of hormones, slowing the growth of dangerous cells, and speeding up apoptosis (cell death) within cancer cells .

Further, Selenium, a mineral not present in most fruits and vegetables can be fount in black beans. This mineral plays a role in liver enzyme function, helps detoxify some cancer-causing compounds in the body, prevents inflammation and decreases tumor growth rates. It is also high in folate that prevents formations of cancer cells from mutations in the DNA.

Molybdenum

Molybdenum is a rare vitamin breaks down and detoxify sulfites, acidic compounds which could cause headaches and disorientation to many people sensitive to their effects. This vitamin is also helpful in cell energy production and nervous system development. Moreover, it has been shown to reduce impotence and erectile dysfunction. This is a specialty of black beans.

For additional information, the breakdown of the nutrients found in black beans is presented in DrHealthBenefits.com.

Ways to incorporate black beans into your diet

Black beans or turtle beans are actually edible seeds of a legume plant. Like most of the legume plants, these beans provide numerous benefits at a low cost. The nutrients and minerals found in these beans are good for cardiovascular health, diabetes control and cancer prevention which is very important to be considered in diets at this generation. Other benefits include maintaining strong bones, healthy digestion, weight control, cell repair and prevention of erectile dysfunction.

If you are not sure how you should add black beans to your diet, start out with a simple salad like these: (click on the image to get the recipe)