Author: Carolyn Washburn
Beans, beans the magical fruit, the more you eat, the more you may reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and birth defects. Yes, those beans are a magical food. They are found in both protein and vegetable food sections on the MyPlate food guide, and the health benefits certainly make them a “magical” food. Remember how Jack traded a cow for them? Beans are full of fiber and nutrition and are a very economical food. The three healthiest beans are the black bean, the kidney bean and the lima bean.
Just how good are those beans?
- Fight diseases – A report by nutrition experts at Michigan State University reviewed 25 years of bean research and concluded that beans are an often-overlooked food source that could be helping Americans fight a host of chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
- Lower risks – People who ate legumes such as dry beans at least four times a week had a 22 percent lower risk of heart disease than people who ate them less than once a week.
- Lower death rate – Out of 41 countries, those with the highest bean consumption had the lowest death rates from breast, prostate and colon cancers.
- Sustain Energy – Beans promote satiety and provide sustained energy, which helped individuals eat fewer calories and maintain a healthy weight.
- Maintain Healthy Blood Glucose Levels – The high fiber content in beans helped people with diabetes maintain healthy blood glucose levels. Beans are also rich in antioxidant phytochemicals, which reduce the damage caused by free radicals and may also reduce the risk of cancer.
So, live to be an old fart, and eat those beans! For bean recipes, visit the USU Extension/ Washington County Home Matters site .
Author bio: Carolyn Washburn is a family consumer sciences agent for Utah State University Extension. Her responsibilities include financial management education, food safety and nutrition, healthy family relations, emergency preparedness and working with youth. Her goal is to help individuals and families become self-sustaining and resilient by being financially prepared and healthy for any emergency. She serves on the National Disaster Education Network and has just completed the new food storage manual for USDA. Her most cherished award is America’s Promise, awarded by Colin Powell.