Stock up on black beans, a superfood full of protein and dietary fiber (recipes included)
08/27/2021 / By Rose Lidell / Comments
Stock up on black beans, a superfood full of protein and dietary fiber (recipes included)

Black beans are a popular superfood because they’re nutritious and affordable. They’re also a good addition to your diet if you want to lose weight because they contain dietary fiber, which can help you feel full for longer.

The nutrition profile of black beans

Did you know that black beans are three times cheaper than chicken, beef or fish?

If you’re on a diet (and on a budget), you should buy more black beans because they’re naturally rich in fiber, folate, potassium and protein. You can also use black beans as the main ingredient in many recipes. Additionally, you can use black beans instead of less-nutritious refined grains.

Brighteon.TV

A one-cup serving of canned low-sodium black beans contains only 218 calories, 0.7 grams of fat, one gram of sugar, 14.5 grams of protein, 16.6 grams of fiber and 40 grams of carbohydrates.

The same serving of black beans also contains the following vitamins and minerals:

  • 146 micrograms of folate (36 percent of the DV (Daily Value))
  • 5 mg of iron (28 percent of the DV)
  • 84 mg of magnesium (27 percent of the DV)
  • 259 mg of phosphorus (37 percent of the DV)
  • 739 mg of potassium (16 percent of the DV)
  • 0.3 mg of riboflavin (27 percent of the DV)
  • 331 mg of sodium (22 percent of the DV)
  • 0.4 mg of thiamin (33 percent of the DV)
  • 1.3 mg of zinc (16 percent of the DV)

4 Health benefits of black beans

Black beans are a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which can help lower your risk of many chronic diseases. These kinds of fiber can also help you stay full for longer so you don’t snack on junk food between meals.

Here are some of the health benefits that you can enjoy if you eat black beans:

  1. The dietary fiber in black beans can help you stay regular, which means less constipation and bloating and a healthier digestive system. Black beans also provide fuel for the “good” bacteria in your colon.
  2. Black beans contain magnesium, which is needed for more than 300 enzymatic reactions in your body, including metabolism. Magnesium is also essential for your bone health.
  3. Black beans can help lower “bad” cholesterol levels. If you follow a balanced diet and consume enough dietary fiber (at least 25 to 35 grams per day), you can lowed your LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels and reduce your heart disease risk. Black beans also contain quercetin and saponins that have heart-protective benefits. Quercetin is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that can help lower your risk of atherosclerosis and protect against the damage caused by high LDL cholesterol levels.
  4. Black beans contain potassium, which can help improve your blood pressure.

More reasons to eat black beans

Here are more reasons to stock up on black beans:

Eating black beans can help you live longer

In “blue zones,” or places on Earth where people live the longest, experts have found that many people consume a lot of beans. Studies also show that eating black beans as part of a balanced diet can help lower your risk of  developing health problems like diabetes, heart disease and certain kinds of cancers.

Because of this, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating three cups of beans or legumes every week. This means you should consume half a cup of beans per day to meet your weekly goal.

Black beans are rich in protein

Black beans are rich in protein. A one-cup serving of black beans contains 15 grams of protein. Compared to other plant-based foods, beans are better sources of protein. If you’re on a budget, buying dry beans is more cost-effective compared to purchasing meats like beef, chicken or fish.

Black beans are good for people with diabetes

Black beans are also good for diabetics because, as a plant-based source of protein and fiber, this superfood can help slow their glycemic response to a meal. If you have diabetes, black beans can help prevent blood sugar spikes and help you maintain better glycemic control.

For non-diabetics, replacing starches and refined grains with the complex carbs in black beans can help you maintain more stable energy levels.

Black beans can help boost your digestive health 

Some people think that eating beans will make you gassy. However, you’ll only feel gassy after eating beans if you don’t normally eat that much fiber in one sitting, which can be too much for your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Regularly incorporate beans into your meals and snacks so you’ll experience less gas.

Beans contain resistant starch that fuels the good bacteria or probiotics in your gut and helps them flourish. If you don’t eat a lot of fiber, gradually add black beans to your diet and drink lots of water to avoid gas and discomfort.

How to add black beans to a healthy diet

Both canned and dry beans have the same nutrient profile. However, canned beans may contain more sodium. When stocking up on canned beans, always check the label. Buy products that are “salt-free,” “low sodium” or “no salt added.”

While preparing your meals, add less than 140 mg of sodium per serving. You can also rinse canned beans in a colander before using them to get rid of salt.

Stock up on dried beans if you want something more affordable and easier to buy in bulk. Dried beans take longer to prepare, but they’re also good for you. Use dried beans for soups, stews and slow-cooker recipes.

Try this tasty recipe for cheesy beans and rice if you want a filling lunch or dinner.

Easy cheesy beans and rice

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 cup salsa, store-bought or homemade
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 (15-ounce) Can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. Lightly oil an 8×8 or two-quart baking dish.
  3. In a large saucepan, pour two cups water and cook the rice according to package instructions.
  4. Stir in the salsa, lime juice and cilantro into the cooked rice.
  5. Spread the rice mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with beans and cheeses. Place the baking dish into the oven and bake for about five minutes or until bubbly and the cheeses have melted.
  6. Garnish with cilantro before serving.

Do yourself a favor: Eat less meat and more black beans to promote healthy weight loss and save on groceries. Eating nutritious black beans will also boost your digestive health and overall well-being.

Sources:

GoodHousekeeping.com

MedicalNewsToday.com

DamnDelicious.net

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