6 Health benefits of Red Beans
Beans offer several health benefits, including:
1. Protein source
Protein is a vital nutrient that plays a key role in virtually everything the body does. Beans are high in amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Protein sources can be divided into two different categories: complete and incomplete. Animal products, soy, and quinoa are all complete proteins, which means they contain all nine amino acids.
Red beans make an excellent source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. They are also lower in calories and saturated fat than some other protein sources, such as dairy products.
2. Nutrient dense food
Red beans contain several vital nutrients, including folate. Folate can help prevent neural tube defects in a fetus during pregnancy. Dried beans contain nearly double the folate that canned beans contain, so it is better to cook them from their dried form. However, canned beans still contain more folate than many foods.
Not getting enough folate can cause several symptoms, including:
- heart palpitations
- loss of appetite
Red beans are rich in a type of antioxidant called polyphenols. Antioxidants fight the effects of free radicals, which are chemicals that affect a wide range of processes in the body, from physical aging to cancer and inflammation.
4. Better heart health
People who consume beans may be less likely to die of a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular health problem. A 2013 analysis of previous studies found a clear correlation between eating beans and a reduced risk of coronary heart disease.
Other research suggests that beans may lower cholesterol. High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease and heart attacks.
5. Reduced risk of cancer
Some studies have shown that beans act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. These effects could reduce the risk of cancer. Research published in 2015 analyzed whether beans might have antioxidant properties that fight intestinal cancer. Black beans were shown to have the highest antioxidant activity.
A 2016 study also found that chemicals in Northeast China black beans could slow the growth of colorectal cancer by damaging cancer cells.
6. Diabetes and glucose metabolism
Beans may help stabilize blood glucose levels or even prevent diabetes. Beans are high in fiber, which can help lower blood glucose. A 2015 study in mice found that a chemical found in soybean leaves could help the body maintain healthy glucose levels.
Red beans also support the healthy functioning of pancreatic cells. The pancreas produces insulin, which regulates blood sugar.