Nutritional Benefits Of Beans

Nutritional benefits of beans: beans have been proven to be a mojor player in the fight against cancer. Beyond that, they are high in protein,beneficial to those with diabetes, and help lower cholesterol.

Beans...according to schoolyard rumor, they are good for your heart, but they do much more than that. They provide a major source of soluble fiber, which, when passing through the digestive tract grabs and traps bile that contains cholesterol, removing it from the body before it's absorbed. According to Patti Bazel Weil R.D.,diabetes nutrition educator at the University of Kentucky in Lexington and author of "Magic Beans", eating a cup of cooked beans a day can lower your total cholesterol by up to 10% in 6 weeks. Though that may not seem like much, it actually decreases your risk of heart disease by 20%. A study conducted at the University of Kentucky has shown that only three weeks of increased bean intake (3/4 cup of navy and pinto beans) lowered the men's cholesterol by an average of 19%. This reduces the risk of heart attack by almost 40%. Also because of the high fiber in beans, they can curb your appetite for fattier more dangerous foods.

Those suffering from diabetes are also benefitted by eating beans. The soluble fiber in beans helps to create more insulin receptor sites. These sites are like tiny docks for the insulin molecules to connect to, allowing the insulin to get to the cells that need it, instead of floating freely through the bloodstream, which can cause problems. Because of the higher risk of heart disease in diabetes sufferers, beans serve an extra benefit by keeping their cholesterol low, thus reducing their risk.

In addition to these benefits, the compound found in beans-isoflavins lagnins phytic acid sapopin and protease inhibitors- have been shown to keep normal cells from turning cancerous and inhibit their growth. The soybean contains phytoestrogens, a weaker version of the estrogen produced in our bodies naturally. Phytoestrogens are believed to reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer, by blocking overactivity of estrogen and testosterone which can spur cancerous tumor growth. Overall studies have shown Hispanic women have half the risk of breast cancer as white women. This disparity is believed to be due to the high content of beans in their diet.

Beans also fill many dietary requirements, including 32%DV of folate, 9%DV of potassium, and are very high in protein and fiber but low in fat. Dried or canned beans will give you the same benefit, but canned beans are high in sodium so be sure to drain and rinse well.

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