NUTRITION&FOOD Published March2, 2015 By Staff Writer

Black Beans May Lower Blood Pressure Among Other Health Benefits

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Legumes
(Photo : Sean Gallup / Getty Images News)

Now, bring out the chili-con-carne as black beans are gaining popularity for its various health benefits. Medical News Today features black beans as a new way to prevent high blood pressure, protect the body from cancer and lose weight among other health benefits it possess.

Black beans are also called 'turtle beans' and can be found all year round. Just like other legumes such as peanuts and peas, black beans contain high levels of protein and dietary fiber. Aside from that, they contain vitamins and minerals that are all good for the body.

Black beans contain 19.5 grams of protein, 58 grams of carbohydrates and 14 grams of dietary fiber. They also contain vitamins and minerals namely iron, thiamin, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

Aside from that, they contain phytonutrients like saponins, anthocyanins, kaempferol and quercetin that have antioxidant properties.

According to website, 'The World's Healthiest Foods', black beans aid in digestion. It has larger indigestible fraction (IF) than the IF in either lentils or chickpeas. Butyric acid is needed to be able to have good digestion. Cell linings inside the colon can use this acid to fuel their activities in order to have a properly working digestive tract. More IF to the colon can lead to better digestive functioning. This may reduce the risk for colon cancer.

Furthermore, the antioxidant content of black beans can help lower cancer risk. Antioxidants destroy free radicals which are considered carcinogens because of oxidation of cells that can be turned into cancerous cells.

Black beans can lower the blood pressure. They are naturally low in sodium and at the same time contain potassium, calcium and magnesium which are all essential in lowering the blood pressure. Aside from that, due to the antioxidant content of black beans, they prevent the oxidized cells to form plaques that can narrow the blood vessels hence preventing high blood pressure.

Attaining healthy bones can be through eating black beans. They contain minerals such as iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and zinc that support bone structure and strength maintenance. It can be also eaten to manage diabetes. Recent studies have shown that people with diabetes type 1 who consume high fiber foods will have lower blood glucose. Since black beans have high content of fiber, it may lead to better blood sugar levels.

Also, it can help in promoting a healthy heart. Due to its content of fiber, potassium, folate and phytonutrients, it can help maintain a healthy heart. Vitamin B6 and folate help in preventing the build-up homocysteine which when accumulated in the body, can damage blood vessels leading to various cardiovascular diseases including hypertension and heart problems.

Furthermore, it contains phytonutrients namely quercetin and saponins which are natural anti-inflammatory compounds. They reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and they protect the blood vessels from damage caused by low density lipoprotein or the bad cholesterol.

Lastly, it can aid in weight loss and promote satiety. Due to its high dietary fiber content, it becomes a bulking agent for the digestive system. People who eat black beans feel fuller longer. It may also reduce the appetite making it a good natural way to limit calorie intake.

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