Beans are some of the healthiest foods you can include in your diet. Found in the Fabaceae plant family, beans are a rich source of fiber and nutrients such as protein and vitamin B.
In fact; you cannot talk about power foods without mentioning beans. Eating beans have been established as the perfect way to rev up your diet.
People who are getting off a meat-based diet are advised to incorporate beans as a rich source of protein. But just what are the best beans to eat? In this write-up, we shall examine different types of beans and zero down to their unique benefits.
Beans are beneficial in a number of ways including causing a decrease in blood sugar levels, blood cholesterol, and increasing healthy bacteria in the gut. The following are the best beans to eat any day by anyone:
Vegetarians are better advised to eat lentils in stews and soups as a replacement for meat-based diets. Like other types of beans, lentils have a lot of health benefits.
They are rich in proteins, fiber, folate, manganese, thiamine, and copper. All that in addition to supplying you with the calories you need to keep moving.
One of the biggest benefits of lentils is that they help reduce blood sugar levels. This was established through a study that showed that including lentils in a meal leads to the consumption of fewer calories, thus leading to low blood sugar levels.
Also, a high intake of these type of beans was found to have the ability to lower the risk of diabetes in individuals.
But lentils also have some benefits to the health of your gut. In some studies, lentils were found to have the ability to improve gut health by slowing down the rate at which you empty the bowels.
This helps digestion and reduces the likelihood of the sudden increase in blood sugar levels.
When eaten in the form of lentil sprouts, they help improve heart health by reducing the bad and increasing the good cholesterol.
The other name for chickpeas is garbanzo beans. It is one of the best sources of plant protein and fiber. But these are not the only reasons to eat chickpeas.
Like other beans and legumes, chickpeas have been shown to have a number of health benefits. A number of studies have proven these plant-based proteins to aid in weight loss and reduce the risk of getting heart disease.
Beans have also been established to reduce the risk of cancer by a great deal, especially when they act as a replacement for red meat.
Chickpeas are nutrient-dense, and just one cup of these beans will supply you with enough protein, fiber, folate, manganese, copper, and iron.
The calorie count is not as high as that in carbohydrates, which makes chickpeas the best beans to eat for weight loss.
Diabetics are advised to eat more chickpeas since these beans help reduce blood sugar as well as increase insulin sensitivity. They are, therefore, a good replacement for a high carbohydrate diet.
In a study done on this, chickpeas were found to lower blood sugar levels better than high-carb foods.
Studies that were done on the effect of chickpeas on blood cholesterol established that it reduces both the overall and bad cholesterol, known heart disease risk factors.
Due to its high fiber content, chickpeas are the best beans to eat for improving bowel function and well as reducing the bad bacteria in the gut. Thus they are very useful when it comes to improving digestive health.
3. Black Turtle Bean
One of the reasons to eat black beans is their high fiber and protein content. Apart from that, they contain nutrients such as folate, magnesium, manganese, iron, and thiamine.
People looking for diet solutions to high sugar levels should eat more of the black beans. That’s due to the fact that they are slow to digest and can, therefore, prevent weight gain and type 2 diabetes.
Compared to high carbohydrate foods, beans have a low glycemic index which means they lead to a gradual increase in blood sugar levels after a meal.
According to the results of several research studies, combining black beans and rice in a meal reduce the rice in sugar levels than when the meal consists of rice alone. The rate at which blood sugar rises after eating black beans is also much lower than after a meal of bread.
4. Kidney Beans
People all over the world love eating their kidney beans with rice. It is not just for the purpose of getting a full stomach, given the fact that kidney beans have a number of health benefits.
They are a rich source of protein, fiber, folate, manganese, thiamine, copper, and iron.
Because of their high fiber content, kidney beans are useful when it comes to slowing down the rate at which sugar is absorbed into the blood. That helps reduce blood sugar levels.
In one study, it was established that when diabetics eat rice with kidney beans they are able to prevent a sudden increase in blood sugar levels compared to those who ate rice alone.
Kidney beans have also been found to prevent weight gain and metabolic syndrome, two of the other diabetes risk factors.
As a legume, peas are closely related to beans and, therefore, have similar health benefits. Thus peas are a good source of protein, calories, fiber, folate, vitamin K, manganese, and thiamine.
Pea protein and fiber are now considered as a supplement that comes with numerous health benefits. A study was done on a number of overweight individuals.
Each one of them ate pea flour in daily measures of 50 grams. Apart from significantly reducing belly fat, the individuals also had a significant reduction in insulin resistance.
The high fiber content in peas is also useful when it comes to the production of healthy gut bacteria such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli.
Thus eating peas can help improve your digestive health especially when it comes to improving bowel movement frequency in the elderly individuals.
Whether consumed as tofu or as a whole, soybeans are some of the best beans to eat. They are loaded with fiber, protein, manganese, iron, phosphorus, riboflavin, vitamin K, and folate.
That’s in addition to high amounts of the antioxidants known as isoflavones.
Scientific evidence suggests that the isoflavones in soybeans are effective when it comes to reducing the risk of cancer.
In one review, it high amounts of soybeans in the diet were found to reduce the risk of cancer of the stomach and intestines by up to 15 percent, especially among women. Although on a small scale, soybeans have also been found to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
As a type of phytoestrogens, isoflavones have estrogen-like effects in the body, which is suitable for post-menopausal women. Thus eating soybeans has also been established to reduce the rate at which women lose bone density.
The protein and phytoestrogens in soybeans can reduce the risk of heart disease. They help reduce blood cholesterol and blood pressure, thus helping improve your heart health.
7. Navy Beans
Navy (haricot) beans contain high amounts of fiber, protein, folate, manganese, magnesium, thiamine, and iron.
They can help when it comes to reducing metabolic syndrome symptoms, thanks to the high fiber content.
A study was done on children with abnormal levels of blood cholesterol. Half of them were fed on a daily smoothie or muffin with up to 17.5 grams ground navy bean. This group had amazingly high levels of good blood cholesterol.
Adults can also similarly benefit from navy beans. In a study done among obese and overweight adults, it was established that eating navy beans up to 910 grams per week is effective in reducing blood pressure, blood sugar, and waist circumference.
8. Pinto Beans
A standard feature in Mexican diets, pinto beans can be eaten whole, fried or mashed. These are the best beans to eat if you want lots of protein, fiber, folate, copper, manganese, and thiamine.
Pinto beans are beneficial to your heart health by reducing blood cholesterol levels. In a study involving 16 individuals, it was established that a daily intake of ½ a cup of pinto beans could reduce both the total and bad cholesterol.
It is also possible to improve gut health by eating pinto beans. Apart from reducing the bad cholesterol, pinto beans help increase the production of good bacteria in the gut, thus helping improve digestive health.
These were the results of another study done on the health benefits of pinto beans.
Pinto beans are slow to digest and have a low glycemic index. Thus they help slow down the absorption of sugar into the blood.
As you can see, the best beans to eat are good for your heart and gut. Eating them regularly can help you lose weight as well as manage the symptoms of diabetes. Some have high levels of antioxidants, which means they can even prevent cancer.
Your choice of beans to include in your diet largely depends on personal taste. So go ahead and feast on beans like never before.