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What’s New and Beneficial about Black Beans?

Recent research has given us a new look at this legume, especially at how it can give special support to our digestive tract, and in particular, our colon. The indigestible fraction (IF) of black beans is larger than in lentils or chickpeas. This outstanding IF can lower our risk for colon cancer, according to researchers.

There is widespread support for soaking black beans in water, but the question is, do we keep the water or toss it? A recent study found that there is an advantage to tossing the water. Getting rid of the bean-soaked water means getting rid of some of the phytates and tannins that can lower nutrient availability. It also removes some of the flatulence-related substances. It retains some of the resistant starch, however, while losing a portion of the total carbohydrate content. In general, it’s best to toss the water.

There are many more benefits from eating black beans. Most of us think of bright colored vegetables and fruits as good sources of phytonutrients. Researchers have found that black beans are an excellent source of these nutrients. They also contain kaempferol and quercetin flavonoids, along with hydroxycinnamic acids and numerous triterpenoids. The seed coat part of the bean is a very good source of three anthocyanin flavonoids, which are the cause of the rich black color we see on the beans outer surface.

Brazil and India grow more black beans than anyone on the planet, and Brazil has even put the bean on its food pyramid. The Brazilian Food Guide recommends that beans are to be eaten once every day. That guideline is very close to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which is about 3 cups of cooked beans a week, or a ½ cup serving six days a week as a minimum. Recent research has found that bean intake can lower type 2 diabetes and many types of cardiovascular disease, along with several types of cancers. These factors are why both American and Brazilian governments recommend black bean intake.

Read the full article here: What’s New and Beneficial about Black Beans?