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BEANS Help You Live Longer!

on Nov 20, 2013 in Nutrition, Weight Loss, Wellness Blog

The Amazing Truth about Beans!

When studies compared the nutrition habits of people from Japan, Greece, Sweden, and Australia looking for foods connected with longevity they found only one food group in common, BEANS!

It seems that all types of beans are connected with longevity and it doesn’t even require eating large amounts of beans. Researchers found for every 2 Tbsps. of beans people ate their risk of death decreased by 8%.  When you consider how much money people spend on vitamins and minerals every day – isn’t it amazing that one of the most economical foods, the lowly bean, packs much more punch for your health than any supplement can deliver.

In our stampede for easy convenient foods it seems most of us have forgotten about the humble bean. But this is to our great disadvantage, as beans offer some of nature’s finest health benefits. When comparing health protectant properties of foods the most powerful super foods with the highest antioxidant properties are all beans. The number one power-food are black beans followed by lentils (red was the healthiest), and then kidney beans.

If that isn’t enough to make you whip up a pot of chili than consider these facts: eating just half a cup of beans a day for two months can result in a 20 point drop in serum cholesterol; beans reduce blood pressure and inflammation; the unique fibers found in beans curb appetite and help with weight loss; beans may be protective against certain cancers; and beans are a great source of protein, zinc, folic acid, and fiber (1 cup = 16 grams.) Most of us forget that coffee is a bean and yes it too has health benefits. Coffee in particular appears to be protective against diabetes, liver cancer, and brain cancer.

The best way to purchase beans is dry and then cook them.  The plastic lining used in most canned beans often contains a chemical called BPA which has been linked to cancer, so either cook them from scratch or try Eden canned brands which do not use this chemical.  Trader Joe’s has several quick-cook options. Look for their pre-cooked lentil salads, soups, humus dips, and frozen vegetable/bean dishes.

Beans are easy to store and can sit on your shelf waiting to be cooked without going bad. They are inexpensive, tasty, satisfying, and they are the only food correlated with long life. If you afraid of beans causing you too much gas, don’t be. Several studies have found that regular consumption of beans doesn’t produce any more gas than any other regular diet. If you aren’t used to eating beans, than start by having only small portions to allow your intestinal track to adapt. Then slowly increase daily servings.

 Now go out and have a bowl of lentils, chili, or three-bean salad and Thrive!