Here are the top 10 reasons why beans should be incorporated into our diet:
10) Beans are an inexpensive source of vegetable protein. They’re cheap. Good source of protein. And they’re not meat-based.
9) They are an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber. Dietary fiber is so good for our insides. In a previous article, entitled “Why we need dietary fiber”, the many benefits of fiber are outlined.
8) They are a good source of vitamins and minerals. Beans are an excellent source of thiamin and folate. A good intake of folate is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in some individuals. Beans are also rich in magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese, and are a good source of potassium, riboflavin, vitamin b6, and contain some calcium and selenium.
7) They are naturally low in sodium.
6) Beans are naturally low in fat and contain no cholesterol.
5) Because the starch in beans is digested much slower and less completely than cereal starch, beans have a naturally low glycemic index. Low glycemic index foods are beneficial because they assist with stabilizing blood sugar levels in the body.
4) Legumes contain a number of compounds that have potential health benefits, including saponins, phytic acid, plant sterols, phenolic compounds, enzyme inhibitors, and lectins. Much interest has been generated in examining some of these compounds with respect to chronic disease prevention (see the article “Dry Beans and Human Health“).
2) By incorporating beans into our diet we can reduce our risk of premature death due to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and certain types of cancer.
1) And, while beans may cause some abdominal discomfort due to the slower and somewhat incomplete digestion of bean starch, they may also help protect against colon cancer for that same reason.
So, if beans are not a staple in your weekly meal plans, there are numerous reasons why they should be.