Beans, Beans: the Wonderfully Healthful Addition to Your Diet
Rich in fiber, protein, folate, potassium, magnesium and with minuscule amounts of fat, cholesterol and sodium, beans are a veritable superfood. Their easy storability, relatively low cost, and satisfying taste further the cause of these humble legumes. But did you know that beyond merely being good sources of these nutrients, beans have been shown to possibly have positive effects on LDL cholesterol & bodyweight, as well as heart disease & diabetes risk? On the Niblack Foods blog today, we’ll be busting out the legume lingo and babbling about beans and their benefits!
Are Beans Good for Your Health?
The answer is a resounding “yes”! For most people, beans of all common, culinary varieties are well-documented nutritional powerhouses that act upon a variety of ailments. Famed for their digestive impact, beans also offer a variety of other positive effects on the body.
Naturally, the best way to reduce low-density lipoprotein (A.K.A. “LDL cholesterol”) has always been through reduction of LDL intake and cardiovascular exercise. However, a 2014 study that was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that “dietary pulse (pulses are a category that includes peas, lentils, and beans) intake significantly reduces LDL cholesterol levels”. Researcher Vanessa Ha elaborated: “When we compared beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas, we found no difference in the cholesterol-lowering effects of different types of legumes”. Great news for mushy pea fans everywhere (looking at you, British friends!): you won’t be left out of the cholesterol-reduction party! Just make sure that intake is regular, and legumes could give you the extra push you need to lower your cholesterol.
The more colorful your beans, the better. That’s the scuttlebutt when it comes to antioxidant content, anyways. A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry noted that colored beans tend to possess more antioxidants because color correlates with higher total phenolic content of the bean. Antioxidants are important because they inhibit oxidation – a chemical reaction that can damage an organism’s cells. So load up on some kidney beans, red beans, and some beautifully inky black turtle beans to pack a phenolic punch!
Cardiovascular disease is the world’s leading causes of death, sadly, but did you know that according to a review published in Advances in Nutrition, individuals who consumed the most legumes had reduced incidence rates of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and hypertension by as much as 10 percent? Because they’re naturally high in fiber, protein & complex carbohydrates, they help clear out cholesterol, keep you sated, and contain fair amounts of minerals like magnesium & potassium that are known to be excellent for heart health. They’re the stuff of a hearty meal – if you know what I mean!
Digestive & Gastrointestinal Benefits
As alluded to above, beans are known to be an excellent food for improving satiety and providing you with heart-healthy fiber, but we also now know that beans provide an excellent way to strengthen your overall gut health by improving intestinal barrier function and increasing the number of beneficial bacteria, which may help prevent gut-associated diseases. Also, the more you soak them, the less you toot. Yes, really. Soaking dried beans can reduce the sugars in beans that cause them to give some people digestive discomfort; there’s even a quick-soaking method for when you’re in a time-crunch.
Bean Thinking About Your Health? Stock Up on This Healthy Staple!
With a wide variety of beans, both familiar & uncommon, you can stock up these little powerhouses of health at Niblack Foods! Whether you need garbanzos for a creamy, filling, homespun hummus, pinto beans for taco night, or a tasty roasted edamame appetizer or snack, Niblack Foods has what you need. We also have some more rare, harder-to-find varieties available, such as the beautifully mottled Cranberry/Romano bean, the nutty & mild Adzuki bean (excellent for all manner of East-Asian filled pastries!), or the cowhide-esque (think of a bean-shaped little cow, that’s exactly what these charming little legumes look like!) Anasazi bean, which has 75% less of the gas-causing carbohydrates as pinto beans do! We have several pages’ worth of bean varieties, more than what’s mentioned here, so take a look and find you what you need right here.
As always, you can visit us in person at 900 Jefferson Road, #6 in Rochester, New York, or feel free to browse our extensive catalog of grains, baking supplies, spices, nuts, fruits & more at niblackfoods.com! Cheers, and good health to you in the new year, readers!