Beans have been part of the human diet for thousands of years. They were some of the first crops early civilizations cultivated. But did you know beans are a super food? Here are some of the health benefits you get when you incorporate these humble crop to your diet.
Related: An introduction to Beans
Beans are a super food because:
- They are protein packed. Half cup provides 6 to 7 grams of protein with only 100 to 120 calories.
- Half cup serving has 25 grams of carbohydrates per serving. The carbohydrates in cooked beans are mainly starch a complex carbohydrate. And less than 1% of simple sugars, mostly Sucrose.
- One serving provides about 25-30% of the Daily Value of dietary fiber. About 75% of the fiber is insoluble which may reduce the risk of colon cancer. The remaining 25% of the fiber is soluble fiber which may reduce blood cholesterol.
- They provide polyunsaturated fat and no cholesterol. Pinto bean lipid is 84% polyunsaturated fatty acids. Most of this fatty acid is linoleic acid.
- A single serving contains large amounts of iron, phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, potassium, copper, calcium, and zinc.
- They provide a complimentary protein profile. When beans and grains are served together in dishes like beans and rice, or nixtamalized tortillas and refried beans.
- They produce a moderate increase in blood glucose and insulin levels. Which may be helpful in the metabolic control of diabetes.
- They enhance the effectiveness of weight-reducing diets. The slower release of glucose and the increased satiety from beans may also help in losing weight.
Other reasons beans are a super food
- They will keep you satisfied longer because of their high fiber content.
- They are convenient to store, carry and cook.
- Beans are an inexpensive source of protein. Especially when compared to beef.
Related: How to store and cook dried beans.