Health Benefits of Black Beans



Black beans (Akidi, according to the ibos) and other legumes are noted for their high protein content. Most people also know them for their gas production and heart burns, these are individual effects of consumption, there are overwhelming health benefits of black beans. Here are a few of them.

Digestive Tract Benefits
Unlike dietary sugar, which can move very quickly through the digestive tract and out of the digestive tract into the bloodstream, or dietary fat, which can move very slowly through the digestive tract and out of the digestive tract into the lymphatic system or bloodstream, both protein and fiber can moves through the digestive tract at a moderate pace. In terms of digestion, both protein and fiber help to keep digestive processes steady. Movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine, called “gastric emptying” and movement of food through the small intestine and the large intestine can occur at a more desirable pace when foods are rich in protein and fiber are ingested. This steadying of the digestive process helps lessen the burden on any one part of the digestive tract. This allows food to move along in a way that supports optimal chemical balances and populations of micro-organisms.

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The idea of digestive tract support from black beans may sound surprising. Many people think about black beans (and beans in general) as problem-causing foods in the digestive tract, perhaps largely because of gas production. But recent research has shown that black beans actually provide special support in the lower large intestine (colon) where gas if often produced. The indigestible fraction (IF) in black beans has recently been shown to be larger than the IF in most other legumes. It is the perfect mix of substances for allowing bacteria in the colon to produce butyric acid. Cells lining the inside of the colon can use this butyric acid to fuel their many activities and keep the lower digestive tract functioning properly. By delivering a greater amount of IF to the colon, black beans are able to help support this lower part of the digestive tract. The IF content of black beans may be the reason for its colon cancer preventive property speculated by most studies.
Benefits for Blood Sugar Regulation (Type 2 Diabetes):
The landmark “protein-plus-fiber” combination in black beans and other legumes is also a key to their outstanding support for blood sugar balance and blood sugar regulation especially for diabetics. As described earlier, protein and fiber can move through the digestive tract at a moderate pace. Unlike dietary sugar (which can move too quickly), or fat (which can move too slowly), both protein and fiber can move at a moderate pace. By steadying rate of movement through the digestive tract, protein and fiber help to steady the breakdown of food into component parts, including simple sugars. This better-regulated breakdown of food helps to prevent extremes with respect to simple sugar uptake from the digestive tract. Too much simple sugar uptake all at once can result in hyperglycemia. Too little simple sugar uptake can result in hypoglycemia.The 15 fiber grams and 15 protein grams in one cup of black beans help prevent both extremes – excessive simple sugar release from the digestive tract, and also insufficient simple sugar release.
With respect to prevention of type 2 diabetes, researchers have become especially interested in some of the alpha-amylase inhibitory effects of black beans. Naturally occurring compounds in this legume slow down the activity of alpha-amylase enzymes. Since these enzymes are important for breaking down starch into sugar, their slowing down can result in less sugar release from food starches. We suspect that the alpha-amylase inhibitors in black beans work together with proteins and fibers to help steady blood sugar levels and make this legume especially valuable for blood sugar regulation.
Cardiovascular Benefits (With Focus on Phytochemical Content)
Much of the original research on bean intake and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease focused on the outstanding soluble fiber content of beans. One cup of black beans provides over 4 grams of soluble fiber, and this is precisely the type of fiber that researchers have found especially helpful in lower blood cholesterol levels. Decreased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and myocardial infarct (MI, or heart attack) have both been associated with increased intake of soluble fiber from food. In particular, they have been associated with increased intake of soluble fiber from legumes. More recent research, however, has focused on the variety of phytonutrients (both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory) contained within black beans. While we tend to think about brightly colored fruits and vegetables as our best source of phytonutrients, black beans are actually good excellent sources of bioactive components. The seed coat of black beans is an outstanding source of three anthocyanin flavonoids: delphinidin, petunidin, and malvidin. These three anthocyanins are primarily responsible for the rich black color that we see on the bean surface. Kaempferol and quercetin are additional flavonoids provided by this legume. All of these flavonoids have well-demonstrated antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Also contained in black beans are hydroxycinnamic acids including ferulic, sinapic, and chlorogenic acid, as well as numerous triterpenoids. These phytonutrients also function as antioxidants and, in some cases, as anti-inflammatory compounds as well. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection is especially important for our cardiovascular system. When our blood vessels are exposed to chronic and excessive risk of oxidative stress (damage by overly reactive oxygen-containing molecules) or inflammation, they are at heightened risk for disease development. The prevention of chronic, excessive oxidative stress and inflammation is a key to decreased risk of most cardiovascular diseases. We expect to see increased attention to the phytonutrient content of black beans in future research on cardiovascular support from this special legume. Be sure to drain and rinse canned black beans to reduce sodium content.
When addressing the issue of cardiovascular support, it would be wrong to ignore the rich supply of conventional nutrients in black beans. One cup of black beans provides nearly two-thirds of the Daily Value (DV) for folate–arguably one of the most important B vitamins for decreasing risk of cardiovascular disease. Black beans also provide about 120 milligrams of magnesium per cup. That’s nearly one-third of the DV for a mineral that is more commonly associated with cardiovascular protection than any other single mineral. Antioxidant minerals like zinc and manganese are also plentiful in black beans. Finally, black beans provide about 180 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per cup in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) according to Worlds Healthiest Foods (
Cancer Preventive Property:
Given the impressive array of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients in black beans, we have not been surprised to see numerous studies connecting black bean intake with reduced risk of certain cancers, especially colon cancer. Chronic excessive oxidative stress and chronic excessive inflammatory are both risk factors for the development of many cancer types. By increasing the body’s supply of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, black beans may be able to help lower cancer risk.

Maintaining Healthy Bones:
The iron, phosphorous,calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans all contribute to building and maintaining bone structural integrity and strength. Calcium and phosphorus are important in bone structure, while iron and zinc play crucial roles in maintaining the strength and elasticity of bones and joints. Virtually all of the body’s calcium supply and 80% of its phosphorus stores are contained in bones, which makes it extremely important to get sufficient amounts of these nutrients from the diet.
Warding off heart disease:
The black bean’s fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin B6 and phytonutrient content, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health. The soluble fiber in black beans helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk ofheart diseaseby binding with the substance. Vitamin B6 and folate prevent the buildup of homocysteine. When excessive amounts of homocysteine accumulate in the body, it can damage blood vessels and lead to heart problems. The phytochemicals  (quercetin and saponins) found in black beans also aid in cardioprotection. Quercetin is a natural anti inflammatory that appears to reduce the risk ofatherosclerosisand protect against the damage caused by low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.Research also indicates that saponins help lower blood lipid and blood cholesterol levels, which prevents damage to the heart and blood vessels.
Detoxification of Sulfites and Sexual Dysfunction: 
Studies have shown that black beans are extremely high in molybdenum, a rare mineral not usually found in foods.Molybdenumis important for a number of reasons, primarily because it breaks down and detoxifies sulfites. Sulfites are acidic compounds found in wines, dried fruits, and some vegetables, and many people are very sensitive to their effects, which include headaches and disorientation. The molybdenum found in black beans counteracts these effects, neutralizing the negative effects so people can enjoy those foods again.Molybdenumalso helps in cell energy production and development of nervous system. Molybdenum has also been shown to reduce impotence and erectile dysfunction in older men when regularly consumed in the diet. This rare vitamin has regularly been linked to increased energy and interest in sexual activity in older men.
Pre-Natal Brain Health:
Another benefit of folate, which is found in such high levels within black beans, is its’ role in protecting infants in the womb. The folate levels in a woman’s body are integral to the normal andhealthy development of the fetus, particularly in the brain and spinal cord. By adding healthy amounts of black beans, and therefore folate, into the diet, one can prevent the development of spinal bifida and encourage healthy brain growth and intellectual development.
Health Risks

Phytic Acid: 
Beans have natural seed coats that protect their nutritious contents from predators and insects while growing in nature. One of the components of that seed coat isphytic acid, which protects the seed from premature germination. If the phytic acid is not removed from the bean before eating, it can bind to common minerals like calcium, magnesium, and copper, preventing them from being absorbed as nutrients in the body. These unabsorbed minerals can build up and cause many different conditions, from small irritations like digestive irritability to more serious issues like hormonal disruption and impaired brain function.One should make sure beans are soaked in water to remove much of the phytic avids and afterwards they are properly cooked to neutralize any remaining phytic acids.
Black beans contain a complex sugar called oligosaccharides,and the human body does not produce the enzyme that would naturally break that sugar down. Therefore, oligosaccharides ferment in the digestive system and begin to produce methane, which is released from the body in somewhat unpleasant ways. Again, soaking your beans in water and making sure that they are cooked can greatly reduce the amount of oligosaccharides in the beans, along with reducing all of the other organic parts of beans that are difficult to digest or process.
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