Health Benefits of Eating Beans

Health Benefits of Eating Beans
Did you know that the nutrition guidelines put out by the US Department of Agriculture recommend everyone eat at least three cups of beans a week?

Three cups? Are you getting that much?

If you’re like most Americans, you’re probably not eating nearly that amount!

The Problem with Eating Beans

Gas. That’s it. Three little words that have us running for the hills and avoiding beans like the plague. However, what most of us don’t know is that if we eat beans on a regular basis, our bodies will adapt and learn to process and digest these powerhouse foods with less bloating, less discomfort and less gas.

6 Reasons to Eat More Beans

1. Beans are high in fiber. - Dietary guidelines recommend women get about 25 grams of fiber a day, men about 40 grams. Because most Americans are not eating enough high fiber foods – fruits, vegetables whole grains and legumes (beans) – they’re getting far less fiber than they need. To reach your goal, a half cup of cooked beans adds about 10 grams of fiber per serving.

2. Beans are high in iron. - Iron deficiency, the leading cause of anemia (less than normal red blood cell count) is one of the most prevalent nutritional deficiencies in the US. Many women, for example, get far below the 18 mgs of iron they need to stay healthy. At about 3 or 4 mgs per serving, a half cup of beans will help boost your iron intake.

3. Beans are a rich source of B vitamins. - B vitamins are essential for good health. They boost energy, support good cholesterol and reduce inflammation. They’ve also been linked to a reduced death rate from heart failure in men and heart disease and stroke in women. Along with fish, whole grains and vegetables, beans help you get the B vitamins you need to keep your body strong and healthy.

4. Beans help to control weight gain. - High in fiber and protein, beans will fill you up and help curb cravings. A half cup of beans provides about 8 grams of low-fat protein, which helps manage weight loss.

5. Beans are good for digestion. - Rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, beans help improve digestion in two ways. Soluble fiber slows down digestion and keeps you feeling full. Insoluble fiber provides bulk and helps to prevent constipation.

And studies have shown that gas from beans usually passes, so to speak. Once you get used to beans as a regular part of your diet, the problem often goes away. Just be sure to drink lots of water to help keep all that fiber moving along.

6. Beans are good for your cholesterol, blood sugar and heart. - The soluble fiber in beans binds to cholesterol, preventing it being absorbed in the blood. A daily serving of beans has been shown to decrease bad LDL cholesterol by 5% and decrease risk of heart disease by up to 6%. The fiber and protein found in beans also combine to help carbs be more slowly absorbed, which supports steady blood sugar levels. And beans are a rich source of heart healthy potassium and magnesium minerals.

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Articles you might also enjoy:
High Fiber Foods List for a High Fiber Diet
Foods that Constipate & Relieve Constipation
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Food Digestion & Digestive System Diagram

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Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy.

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