Health Benefit From Beans
Beans as prevention in heart disease
Studies have shown that people who eat more beans have a lower risk of heart disease, and the phytochemicals found in beans might be partially to thank, since they protect against it.
They contain a wide range of cancer-fighting plant chemicals, specifically, isoflavones and phytosterols which are associated with reduced cancer risk.
They provide the body with soluble fiber, which plays an important role in controlling blood cholesterol levels. Studies find that 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. Beans also contain saponins and phytosterols, which help lower cholesterol.
Help you lose weight
A serving will help you feel full more quickly, because the rich fiber content fills your stomach and causes a slower rise in blood sugar. That should stave off hunger longer and give you a steady supply of energy.
Help manage diabetes
They are anti diabetes super food! The balance of complex carbohydrates and protein provides a slow, steady source of glucose instead of the sudden surge that can occur after eating simple carbohydrates.
Can cause migraines
Some legumes can trigger migraines or an allergic reaction in some people. If this happens, talk to a doctor and eliminate the culprit from your diet.
Can raise blood pressure
If you take a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor to treat depression, avoid fava beans because they can interact with your medication and raise blood pressure.
Can interfere with vitamin absorption
Some beans, like soybeans, contain substances that interfere with the absorption of betacarotene and vitamins B12 and D. The heat from cooking inactivates most of these substances, making vitamin absorption more likely. But it’s still smart to compensate for potential vitamin loss by consuming plenty of fresh fruits and yellow or dark green veggies (to up your betacarotene) and lean meat (for vitamin B12).
Can trigger gout
If you suffer from gout, talk to your doctor about your bean consumption. People with gout are often advised to forgo dried peas, beans, lentils, and other legumes because of their high purine content. In susceptible people, purines increase levels of uric acid and can precipitate a gout attack.
Can make you gassy
While not technically a health risk, beans can cause an embarrassing flatulence problem, particularly dried beans, lentils, and peas. Help reduce gas production by changing the water several times during the soaking and cooking process, and always rinse canned beans. Adding herbs like lemon balm, fennel, and caraway, or combining cooked legumes with an acidic food, might also help prevent flatulence.
Bean Soup With Chili And Pesto
- Preparing time: 30 min
- 400 calories
- tablespoon plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, diced
- 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, including liquid
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 3-4 tablespoons pine nuts, chopped
- 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- crusty bread (optional)
- Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrots and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes and their liquid, 2 cups water, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil.
- Add the chickpeas and cannelloni and kidney beans and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.
- Combine the garlic, pine nuts, parsley, remaining ¼ cup oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper in a small bowl.
- Divide the chili among individual bowls and top with the pesto. Serve with the bread, if desired.