Black beans contain large amounts of phenolic compounds and phytosterols which are responsible for their potent antioxidant effects. They are also rich in fibre and low in calories.
Black beans come under the category of legumes like chickpeas and lentils. They are consumed as an important part of the diet of the by populations. Over the years, black beans have successfully established themselves as an essential staple food rich in many vital nutrients and known to prevent a range of diseases.
So, why should one include black beans in their diet? Here are the answers.
According to the USDA, 100 g of raw black beans contains 341 kcal of energy and 11 g of water. It also contains:
Black beans contain large amounts of phenolic compounds and phytosterols which are responsible for their potent antioxidant effects. These compounds reduce the harmful effect of free radicals in the body and prevent diseases like diabetes, cancer and many inflammatory diseases. Some of the antioxidants in beans are saponins, kaempferol, anthocyanins and quercetin.
Studies say that legumes are highest in molybdenum, an essential element that is a cofactor for several enzymes. It helps activate various enzymes in the body which are responsible for the breakdown of xanthine, sulfite and hypoxanthine and detoxify many harmful compounds. The detoxifying ability of black beans helps cleanse the intestines and pass out many toxic compounds.
Black beans contain good amounts of proteins and complex carbohydrates that help provide us with an abundance of energy when consumed. This staple food is considered as one of the best alternatives for meat products, as when cooked, they give a meat-like texture and provide most of the amino acids similar to meat products but with less saturated fats and cholesterol.
The health benefits of black beans are more due to the high concentration of anthocyanins. Anthocyanin is a plant pigment with antioxidant properties. It gives black beans their black colour. This antioxidant in black beans plays a vital role in improving insulin response, lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk of cancer and many other diseases. It also helps prevent the signs of premature ageing.
Black beans provide enough calories to make for the recommended daily needs of the body. They are also more satisfying and take longer to digest, the reason why they prevent the sudden spike of glucose levels and help manage diabetes. The low-calorie black beans, upon consumption, helps in managing weight and many metabolic syndrome diseases.
Along with many other vital nutrients, black beans are packed with dietary fibre, both soluble and insoluble. The fibre in black beans may help achieve vital functions such as improving the gut microbiota, helping lose weight, preventing the risk of diabetes and many other gastrointestinal and metabolic diseases.
Some of the health benefits of black beans include:
It is advisable to soak black beans for several hours in water and then use them for cooking. This is because of the presence of oligosaccharides in beans which may cause certain gastric issues after consumption.
Soaking black beans in water helps reduce the content of oligosaccharides and allow nutrients to easily come out when cooked. Other cooking practices like sprouting or cooking beans in water with a more alkaline pH can also help reduce oligosaccharide content.
Include this healthy staple food to your daily diet by either adding them to soups, curries or any healthy filling recipes. Avoid its overconsumption.