5 Reasons to Eat More Beans

5 Reasons to Eat More Beans

Beans are an affordable source of protein that contain many important nutrients and health benefits. These legumes are high in fiber, disease fighting antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and more. If you’re not already adding versatile, healthy, and cheap beans to your diet regularly, here are 5 reasons to start doing so:

1. They help prevent heart disease 

Beans are able to protect against cardiovascular disease in many ways, one of the most important being that they reduce inflammation. Inflammation is often to blame for many modern diseases like heart attacks and cancer. Beans help to control fat metabolism and to aid in cholesterol health. They are also high in soluble fiber, which is the type of dietary fiber that is associated with helping to remove waste and toxins from the body, keeping arteries clear from dangerous plague build-up.

2. They can improve digestion 

It’s recommended that all adults get 25-30 grams of dietary fiber daily. Beans provide about 12 or more grams of fiber in one cup, almost half of our daily needs. Fiber helps to relieve constipation, keeps your bowels moving regularly, and even helps to prevent certain types of cancer. It also makes you feel full so you can stick to a healthy diet and curb snacking.

3. They contain antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals 

Certain substances found in black beans act as protective antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. This makes beans beneficial in protecting against various forms of cancer, common illnesses, brain and mood disorders, and more. Antioxidants found in beans help to combat “free radical” damage. When free radicals become too present within the body, disease is much more likely to occur. Unfortunately a poor, standard western diet does not usually provide enough antioxidants to counteract free radical damage from an unhealthy lifestyle. Beans also contain important trace minerals like folate, copper, iron, B vitamins, and more.

4. They provide a source of energy through starch, a complex carb 

All types of beans and legumes contain a form of complex carbohydrate called starch. Starch is used by the body for energy without spiking blood sugar levels. The body is able to slowly digest the carbs found in beans, which means beans are a food that is low on the glycemic index. Sugary snacks and processed foods, which are called “simple” carbs, usually do the opposite of complex carbs like starch; they raise blood sugar levels quickly so you experience a sudden “sugar high” but shortly after a total dip in energy. Consuming the wrong types of refined carbs leads to cravings for more sweets, low energy, overeating, weight gain and more.

5. They are dirt cheap and easy to use 

Beans are one of the cheapest sources of protein there is. A can of beans, even if it’s organic, usually costs below $2 for several servings. Canned beans make them easy to use by cutting down on long cooking times, although cooking dried beansfrom scratch takes minimal effort and saves you even more money.