A hot bowl of black beans is not only comforting, but offers real health benefits. Discover how these tasty legumes help to nurture your body.
If you’ve visited your favorite Mexican restaurant lately, you may have already experienced the many taste and health benefits of black beans. These tasty legumes are frequently added to popular Mexican dishes such as burritos, tostadas, and quesadillas; or served as a delicious soup of side dish. Their slightly smoky taste and mealy texture make them a satisfying and filling comfort food. As you enjoyed the pleasant taste of this Mexican comfort food, you may not have been aware of the numerous health benefits this legume has to offer. Here’s why you can feel good when you put black beans to the dinner table.
They’re high in antioxidants
Few realize the true antioxidant potential of the modest black bean. Black beans get their dark color from anthocyanins, the same powerful flavonoids found in such nutritional superstars as red cabbage, blueberries, cranberries, and red beets. Black beans have the highest levels of antioxidants of all of the common beans tested, as much as the antioxidant-rich cranberry.
They’re High in Fiber
One cup of black beans provides over half of the recommended daily requirement for fiber. They’re particularly rich in soluble fiber, the kind that helps to lower LDL cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar levels. Most Americans don’t get enough fiber; and what better way to do it than with a steaming bowl of freshly cooked black beans or black bean soup?
They’re Rich in Molybdenum
Black beans are one of the best sources around for the trace mineral molybdenum. Molybdenum serves the useful purpose of breaking down the sulfites found in foods which some people are sensitive to. Some small studies also suggest that molybdenum deficiencies can result in impotence in older men. This is one mineral that’s underappreciated in importance.
They May Help with Weight Loss
Black beans are not only low in fat, but they’re also quite filling due to their high fiber content. This makes them a satisfying way to reduce hunger cravings which can lead to unhealthy splurges; and at only eighty-five calories for a half-cup, they’re not likely to pack on the pounds. They’re also a good source of protein to satisfy hunger and help maintain energy levels.
They’re High in Folate
Folate, or vitamin B6, is particularly important for pregnant women. A deficiency in folate can lead to improper development of the fetus’s brain and spinal cord. A folate rich diet is also thought to help protect against heart disease.
Black beans are also a good source of the minerals magnesium which helps to maintain a healthy blood pressure and iron to help maintain healthy red blood cells. If you’re looking out for the health of you and your family, don’t forget to add some black beans to the grocery cart.