Ok, so we all know that beans are good for you. In my last post, I listed the most common types of beans available. But what exactly are the beans benefits that makes them so great?

Common beans are healthy for so many reasons. They contain high amounts of fiber, antioxidants, folic acid, vitamin B6 and magnesium; all of which are good for the heart. Folic acid and vitamin B6 in particular help lower the levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that helps you metabolise food.

In addition, beans provide high amounts of vitamins such as Thiamin, Folate, Riboflavin, and Niacin, as well as essential minerals such as Calcium, Zinc, Iron, and Magnesium. Beans are naturally fat-free, and thus have low cholesterol and sodium levels.

Why Do I Need Fiber?

Apart from keeping you regular, fiber helps you feel full longer. This means you won’t have so many cravings and may help you to avoid snacking between meals. Fiber also lowers blood cholesterol levels.

Beans and Diabetes
The high-fiber content in beans make them an especially good food choice for diabetics since they may also help prevent the increase of blood sugar after every meal.You may have heard about glycemic index. It is the rate at which a food raises your blood sugar. The fiber gives the beans a lower glycemic index, providing sustained energy while slowly being released into the bloodstream.
Beans and Breast Cancer
All types of beans are generally known as good foods in fighting against cancer. In an analysis conducted in 1991-1995, about 90,000 women found a significant decrease in the frequency of breast cancer for those who had a higher intake of any type of beans.
This is true because beans do contain high amounts of antioxidants. Eating at least 2 or more times per week was found to reduce the risk of breast cancer by 24%.
If that laundry list hasn’t convinced you, here are some additional beans benefits:

1. Help control PMS

2. Reduce the risk of certain cancers

3. Improve joint health

4. Protects the heart against certain cardiovascular diseases

5. Improve bone density

6. Help you absorb more iron

Half a cup of beans contains 15 to 20 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of fiber. Adding beans to your diet –even once a week– is a simple, easy step you can take to improving your overall health.

In my next post, I’ll answer your burning question: how to prevent gas when eating beans. Inquiring minds want to know.