Rich, earthy black beans are delicious are filled with health benefits. This superfood has an abundance of nutrients (protein, vitamins, minerals, disease-fighting antioxidants and lots of healthy fiber). They are one of the most commonly consumed beans in the United States and are popular in Latin American countries.
Health Benefits Of Black Beans
Good Source of Protein
Black beans are a great source of plant-based protein; they are great for people who avoid eating animal products. 1 cup of black beans provides 15.2 grams protein (30%) of fat-burning protein. Protein is required by nearly every body function. They are often eaten with a grain which works together to make up a full protein making them a very good source of protein for vegetarians.
Note: Black beans have high oxalate content which occurs naturally in many foods. With some medical conditions, it is recommended that they restricted to avoid an over-accumulation in the body. Learn more about the oxalic acid controversy.
Antioxidants Help Protect Against Cancer
The flavonoids and phytochemicals in black beans act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories which protect against various forms of cancers, especially true with colon cancer. One study concluded that eating black beans lowered colon cancer. Studies have shown that the high antioxidant compound of black beans can help to prevent DNA damage and gene mutation, leading to a decreased risk of developing cancerous cells.
Help Lose Weight and Keep it Off!
Eating one serving of beans per day was found to help with weight loss. The clinical trials over six weeks with 940 participants at St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto found significant weight loss for those eating 3/4 cup of beans each day compared to those who did not eat beans daily. Beans have high fiber protein that helps you feel full and keeps your energy up.
Cooked navy and black bean diets have been shown to improve colon health and reduce inflammation. They have also been found to help clear unwanted bacteria and toxins restoring good digestion thus improving overall health.
Glycemic index improved for diabetics
A study found a decrease in fasting glucose and insulin after 16 weeks of including beans and whole grains in the diet. Consumption of whole grain and legume powder was found to reduce insulin demand in patients with coronary artery disease according to research.
In a survey, 68% of the Canadian dietitians said that they recommend eating beans to individuals with diabetes.
Improve Heart Health
Black beans protect heart health by reducing inflammation; they contain high levels of phytonutrients which studies have shown to reduce cholesterol. Black beans are high in soluble fiber, which helps balance unhealthy cholesterol levels. A diet high in fiber from beans helps protect against heart disease according to research.
Black beans are a good source of folate and magnesium which are important for a healthy heart. They also have soluble and insoluble fiber, which can help lower “bad” cholesterol helping with heart health. It has been suggested that one serving per day (about 1/2 cup cooked) of beans of any kind can help reduce the risk of heart attack and balance “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Black Bean Trivia
- Michigan produces the most black beans in the U.S.
- They are also called black turtle beans.
- Black beans are the most popular beans in Cuba and Costa Rica.
Black Bean Nutrition
The black color of the beans comes from phytochemicals and flavonoids that keep us healthy.
1 cup serving of cooked black beans only has 227 calories and no fat.
They provide (in daily recommended values):
15.2 grams protein (30%), 64% folate, 40% copper, 38% manganese, 35% vitamin B1 Thiamine, 30% magnesium, 24% phosphorus and 20% iron. Also, they contain soluble and insoluble fiber. See full Nutrition Black Bean Data.
Black beans are one of the over 500 varieties of kidney beans and are native to the Americas.
They have been around for at least 7,000 years and were a staple food in the diets in Central and South America. The pre-Columbian people grew beans as a main source of protein as animals were not an important source of food, particularly in Mesoamerica.
“In Aztec times most Mexicans …… main meal taken in the early afternoon, when it was too hot to do anything else…… consisted of tortillas, a dish of beans and a sauce made from tomatoes or peppers.” ~ Food in History, Reay Tannahill
In the 15th century Spanish explorers brought black beans to Europe, and then they spread to Africa and Asia. It wasn’t until the 1880s that the American bean production really went into a big production.
Tips for eating beans:
It is time to enjoy this PowerFood. Here are a few tips.
With dried beans, it is best to first sort through them and remove small stones, or damaged beans. Then place the beans in a strainer, rinsing them thoroughly under cool running water.
Here are some delicious recipes for you:
Delicious Black Bean Stew -This stew is easy to make and filled with nutritious ingredients.
Adzuki Vegetable Bean Stew-This is a simple recipe with one of the easiest to digest beans; adzuki beans.
White Bean Vegetable Stew – This stew is high in potassium for those of you who need a boost in that area.
Learn more about some of the healthiest vegetarian foods you will always want to have in your pantry or growing on your deck.
READ: Superfoods – Over 100 of the Healthiest Foods You Should Have in Your Diet and learn more about the variety of Superfoods we think you should have in your diet.