Black beans don’t seem to get as much respect as red, pinto or navy beans do, and this is unfortunate. Apart from being delicious, black beans are lower on the glycemic index (meaning they will not spike up your blood sugar levels) than most other beans and are rich in fiber and nutrients. And research is discovering that many of the active compounds in beans can have a positive impact on the body’s health.
What New Research is Finding
A major study out of Mexico’s National School of Biological Sciences on the health benefits of black beans has recently come out. In this study, two of the main proteins found in black beans fasolina and lectin were isolated and studied using computer simulations.
It was found that these proteins were very effective at removing a variety of toxins from the body, including very harmful substances like heavy metals. It was also shown that these proteins also demonstrated strong antioxidant and antihypertensive properties.
This study may go a long way to showing why black beans, in nutritional studies, consistently exhibit benefits for heart health, including lowered blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The scientists on this project believe that the collection of proteins, fiber and phenolic compounds to be found in these legumes have a synergistic effect and, together, can go a long way to promoting cardiovascular health. The researchers hope that this study will lead to further research and eventually towards the development of new cardiac treatments that will focus in on antioxidant activity.
It was also found that the black beans has a positive effect, not only on cholesterol, but on triglyceride and blood glucose levels, making them not only an effective nutritional treatment for cardiac patients, but for those who are coping with diabetes.
The Advantages of Black Beans
Black beans are a staple not only in Latin American cuisine but around the world. One of their biggest advantages is that they provide healthy, plant-based protein that is inexpensive compared to meat. Beans provide not only good protein, but fiber and a variety of nutrients including iron, folate, magnesium, and Vitamin B-1. They also, as stated above, are rich in antioxidants.
If you are wanting to add more black beans to your diet, consider making fast and simple dishes like black beans and rice, black bean soup, or black bean burritos. They can also be made into an excellent dip that pairs well with health snacks like blue corn tortilla chips. Whichever way you serve it, you will be getting an inexpensive and nutrient-rich superfood.
So the next time you are craving a bowl of black bean soup, dig in! You will not only be enjoying a good meal, but doing your heart a favor and support continued cardiac health.
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