Protein and fiber-rich, black beans are delicious legumes that are popularly featured in world cuisines. In fact, in kitchen cabinets and pantries across the nation, cans of black beans are waiting to not only infuse your dishes with nutrition, but they promise to make them tastier too! Once you discover all the amazing health benefits that these beans can offer, you’ll want to make them a staple in your diet. Don’t leave those beans sitting on the shelf. Add them to a myriad of dishes to take advantage of all their nutrients and health benefits.
With their rich concentration of soluble fiber, black beans can help lower your blood cholesterol. Bad cholesterol is associated can lead to increased risk of heart disease and stroke. There are many substances contained in black beans that can enhance heart health. In addition, these beans contain potassium, which can help reduce the sodium level in your blood. Sodium can detract from heart health by affecting the cholesterol in the blood. The magnesium and iron contained in black beans assist in the production of red blood cells, and that makes the work of your heart go a bit easier. If heart disease runs in your family or you just want to subscribe to a heart-healthy diet, be sure to include plenty to your diet.
Digestive Tract Regulation
The ancients certainly knew a lot about health. Hippocrates, known as the Father of Medicine, said that “all disease begins in the gut.” Certainly, the digestive tract does affect other processes throughout the body. Keeping your digestive tract healthy and regulated is important to enhance your overall health. With their high fiber content, black beans are one of the best foods you can eat to support a healthy digestive tract. If you’re suffering from a bout of constipation, be sure to include beans in your next meal. They will help flush waste from your body and help keep you regular.
Blood Sugar Control
Black beans are rich in dietary fiber, so it’s no surprise that many dieticians recommend them to their diabetic patients. Black beans can help regulate blood sugar, which makes them ideal for people struggling with glycemic control. The fiber contained in a black bean will help lower blood sugar and help keep it stable even if you’ve consumed foods that have a higher glycemic index. By stopping the glucose contained in those other foods from digesting too quickly, black beans and their soluble fiber keep that blood sugar level and insulin stable. Even dieters are finding this benefit to be immensely valuable to their weight control.
According to the medical community, black beans can help reduce the risk of cancer development with their flavonoids and phytochemical compounds. With their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, black beans slow the growth of dangerous cells and assist in preventing cancer cells from developing. Antioxidants, for example, are integral for removing or even repairing those damaged cells before that can affect other healthy cells or lead to the mutation of a gene. By peppering your diet with more beans, you can help reduce your risk of cancer development.
Good for Your Nervous System
Many of the foods we eat can affect our nervous system positively or negatively. Black beans can have a positive impact on our nervous system with their high folate content. Black beans also contain the amino acids, minerals, and vitamins that support the brain. The folate and vitamin B9 contained in these beans helps to regulate those amino acids, which is an essential support for optimum nervous system function. Medical research has shown that reduced levels of folate could cause homocysteine levels to rise. These levels are associated with increased risk for neurogenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Enhance Sexual Function and Fertility
Black beans contain the rare mineral known as molybdenum, which is not found in many other foods. This mineral appears to have the ability to reduce erectile dysfunction in older men. It also appears to boost energy. Some older men have reported that it also increases their interest in sex. So, are black beans an aphrodisiac? With their ability to boost interest in sex and reduce the incidence of impotence, they might be a worthy substitute for oysters on your Valentine’s Day date. From black bean soup to black bean burgers, these legumes can be eaten in a myriad of ways to enhance your health.
Support Pre-Natal Health
Getting enough folate into your body is essential for pregnant women, particularly early on in the pregnancy when the fetus requires it most for its developing brain and spinal cord. In fact, if you are trying to get pregnant, you should consult your doctor about starting vitamins that contain folate. Of course, by eating a diet rich in black beans, you can naturally ingest more folate, which can help reduce the risk of congenital disabilities. Additionally, the iron and other minerals contained in black beans can enhance your health, reduce the risk for anemia, and prevent an iron deficiency before and after the pregnancy.
Improved Bone Health
Bones become more brittle as we age, so maintaining their strength and health is important. Black beans contain many healthy minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, copper, manganese, and phosphorous. These minerals are vital for a strong bone structure. People concerned about developing osteoporosis should take care to incorporate more black beans into their diet. These beans are versatile, so they pair well with many foods that range from chili to casseroles. A staple in Mexican and Cuban cuisines, black beans are added to foods like rice, tacos, enchiladas, salads, and more.
If you’re concerned about weight loss, you’re likely looking for sources of good carbohydrates, rich sources of fiber, and foods that are low in fat but high in protein. Look no further than the humble black bean. The fiber contained in these legumes, which are rich in plant-based protein, will make people feel fuller longer. When people feel full, they tend not to snack between meals. Black beans have an added bonus of being a simple carbohydrate. Black bean carbs give you the energy you need but won’t put your waistline in jeopardy. If salads aren’t filling you up, add some cooked black beans to the mix for a more satisfying meal.
Black beans are very rich in plant-based proteins. Vegetarians in search of foods that are rich in protein would do well to make black beans a diet staple. Of course, everyone may benefit by eating more plant-based proteins and fewer protein-rich meats that are high in fats. The body needs protein for muscles, bones, to repair tissue, and much more. Plant-based protein such as that found in black beans can fulfill that vital need. Just a single cup of black beans can provide your body with nearly a third of its protein daily requirement. Enjoy them in salsa or your favorite enchilada recipe.