Black beans are actually a variety of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and belong to the popular legume family of plants. a) Black beans share many characteristics with their fellow bean family members. Including red (kidney) beans, white (navy) beans, yellow beans, pinto (mottled) beans, pink beans, and anasazi beans.
b) Black beans, also known as turtle beans because of their hard shell-like appearance, are classified as legumes. The beans are actually the edible seeds of the legume plant.
Like other legumes such as peanuts, peas and lentils, black beans are prized for their high protein and fiber content. They also contain several other key vitamins and minerals that are known to benefit human health.
Black beans and other beans such as pinto beans, navy beans. And kidney beans are all known scientifically as Phaselous vulgaris. (This scientific name refers to the genus and species of the plant; navy, kidney, pinto, etc. are different varieties of beans, all found within the species vulgaris). The word “common” is used to describe all of these different varieties, since the word vulgarisin Latin means “common.” The common bean originated in parts of Central and South America. Even though the common bean falls into a different scientific category than the soybean, research in comparative genetics has shown that these two types of beans (Phaselous vulgaris and Glycine max) share many interesting genetic aspects.
Black beans are a food that everyone can benefit from keeping in their kitchen cabinets. And it’s easy to benefit from black beans nutrition as they are an extremely affordable source of protein. Filling fiber, disease fighting antioxidants, and numerous vitamins and minerals.
Studies have linked eating black beans with helping to protect against inflammation, heart disease, weight gain, diabetes, certain cancers, and common nutrient deficiencies that we often see in people eating a typical western diet.
The health benefits of black beans, their versatility. And their high nutrient content make them an excellent choice for both plant-based eaters and omnivores alike.
Protein (Black Beans)
Black beans are high in protein, so they are an especially good choice for vegetarians and others with diets low in protein. Even people who eat meat can benefit from the protein in black beans. Unlike animal products, black beans contain only trace amounts of saturated fat and no cholesterol. Black beans and rice are ideal because when they are paired. They provide all of the essential amino acids that you need. These amino acids are used to repair and replace the amino acids in your organs as they are broken down over time.
Black beans are high in fiber, containing 15 grams in a cup of cooked beans. Black beans contain both insoluble fiber, which helps improve digestive-tract functioning and prevents constipation. And soluble fiber, which lowers cholesterol and blood-glucose levels.
The level of antioxidants in black beans is about the same as the levels found in apples, grapes and cranberries. Antioxidants neutralize cell-damaging free radicals and may help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.
1) Black beans protect heart health in numerous ways, one of the most important being that they reduce inflammation. 2) Black beans nutrition contains high levels of phytonutrients- especially flavonoids called delphinidin. Petunidin, and malvidin- which studies have shown work to control lipid (fat) metabolism and to positively aid in cholesterol excretion.
3) Black beans are also exceptionally high in soluble fiber, which is the type of dietary fiber that is associated with fighting heart disease by helping to balance unhealthy cholesterol levels. Studies have found that a diet high in dietary fiber, especially from bean and legume sources. Is protective against heart disease, cardiac arrest, and stroke.
Fiber helps to reduce inflammation as it removes waste and toxins from the body, keeping arteries clear from dangerous plague build-up. In fact studies show that having just one daily serving (about 3/4 cup cooked) of beans of any kind can help to decrease chances of a heart attack and to help balance “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Additionally, black beans provide a high source of folate and magnesium, two minerals which are important in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. The high fiber content in black beans can also prevent overeating and gaining harmful excess weight, especially around vital organs like the heart.
The important flavonoid and phytochemical compounds found in black beans act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Making them beneficial in protecting against various forms of cancer. This is especially true with colon cancer. Some sources report that black beans, with their deep black color, are the highest bean source of antioxidants.
The antioxidants found in black beans help to combat free radical damage, or oxidative stress. When free radicals become too present within the body- and a poor. Standard western diet does not contribute enough antioxidants to counteract the free radical damage- disease is much more likely to develop.
Studies have shown that the high antioxidant compound of black beans can help to prevent DNA damage and gene mutation, leading to a decreased risk for developing cancerous cells.
Digestive Tract Benefits
The idea of digestive tract support from black beans may sound surprising. Many people think about *black beans (and beans in general) as problem-causing foods in the digestive tract, perhaps largely because of gas production. But recent research has shown that *black beans actually provide special support in the lower large intestine (colon) where gas if often produced. The indigestible fraction (IF) in *black beans has recently been shown to be larger than the IF in either lentils or chickpeas. It is the perfect mix of substances for allowing bacteria in the colon to produce butyric acid.
Cells lining the inside of the colon can use this butyric acid to fuel their many activities. And keep the lower digestive tract functioning properly. By delivering a greater amount of IF to the colon. Black beans are able to help support this lower part of our digestive tract. Lowered colon cancer risk that is associated with black bean intake in some research studies may be related to the outstanding. IF content of this legume.
*Black beans can also benefit the functions of the nervous system by helping to provide the necessary amino acids and molybdenum. *Black beans have many vitamins and minerals. But there is a noticeably higher amount of vitamin B9, or folate. Folate, also known as folic acid. Plays a key part in the regulation of specific amino acids that the nervous system requires. Without dietary folate, studies have shown an increase in homocysteine levels, which can be a dangerous precursor to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Regularly adding *black beans to your diet can insure safe folate levels in your system. Helping to prevent some of these conditions.