Beans are commonly known to be the chief source of protein, but not too many know other health benefits this legume provides. Studies have proven beans to be rich in soluble fibers capable of controlling blood cholesterol level. However, beans contain amino acids which are the chemicals that combine to form protein and help build muscle. But recent studies have also shown that they are rich in a type of antioxidant called polyphenols.
Antioxidants are notable for fighting the effects of free radicals, which are chemicals that affect a wide range of processes in the body.
Beans can lower cholesterol
And according to the findings of recent studies, about 10 grams of soluble fiber a day, the amount in 1/2 to 1 1/2 cups of navy beans, reduces LDL cholesterol by about 10 percent. Also, beans contain saponins and phytosterols, which help lower cholesterol.
Beans promote healthy heart
Medically, it has been affirmed that people who consume beans may be less likely to die of a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular health problems. This follows the 2013 analysis of previous studies that found a clear correlation between eating beans and a reduced risk of coronary heart disease.
However, as mentioned earlier, beans help to lower cholesterol; and since high cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease and heart attacks, it goes to say that beans help to promote heart health.
Beans lower risk of diabetes
According to a study published in January 2008 in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” eating beans and other legumes may lower the risk for type two diabetes. This might be as a result of the fiber and antioxidants contained in the beans. Also, it can be due to the low glycemic index of the beans compared to other carbohydrates.
Meanwhile, it is important to note that glycemic index measures the effect of carbohydrate-containing foods on blood sugar, with foods low on the index causing blood sugar levels to raise the least.
Beans reduce cancer risk
Beans are packed with a lot of antioxidants, hence, scientists recommend that adults consume three cups of beans per week to promote health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, like cancer. In addition, recent studies have also shown that beans act as anti-inflammatories whose effect could reduce the risk of cancer.
Beans control appetite
This is rather a known fact for every beans consumer. Eating beans help prevent food craving. And this is due to the fiber and healthy starches in beans.