About Black Beans
The health benefits of black beans are numerous, making it a popular addition to many dishes, including the vegetarian diet. Black beans contain high amounts of protein, antioxidants, folate and fiber. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals. These nutrients can be obtained from both the canned and dried black beans available in the market.
Black beans have been used in many cultures all over the world and have become an integral part of many cuisines. It has even become a staple feature in Mexican dishes. Its smoky flavor makes a tasty and comforting soup. It should be noted though, that even if black beans bring numerous health benefits, it is dangerous when consumed excessively.
History of Black Beans
Black beans, along with other type of beans, were primarily cultivated in Peru. From there on, black beans have gone all the way to Central and South America. It arrived in Europe in the 1500s courtesy of the Spanish explorers who came home after traveling in the New World. These beans consequently scattered through the rest of Asia and Africa. In recent times, countries like China, Brazil, Indonesia, India and the US are producing massive amounts of dried black beans, amounting to around 18 million metric tons.
Health Benefits of Black Beans
Consuming black beans is beneficial as it does the following:
- Fights cardiovascular diseases
Black beans’ anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help in warding off cardiovascular diseases. It also contains high amount of soluble fiber which helps lower the levels of blood cholesterols. It also aids in weight reduction.
- Regulates the blood sugar level
The significant amount of protein and fiber found in black beans helps in stabilizing the blood sugar level by preventing excessive or inadequate absorption of simple sugar from the gastrointestinal tract. The protein and fiber in black beans also help in keeping the digestive system healthy.
- Prevents cancer
One of the remarkable health benefits of black beans is cancer prevention. Black beans contain high amounts of antioxidants and phytochemicals which help fight and prevent cancer.
- Supports healthy pregnancy
Black beans are rich in folate, an essential nutrient which helps in preventing neural tube defects to the developing fetus. Folate is also important in preventing heart disease in the fetus as well as in maintaining a healthy nervous system.
- Prevents molybdenum deficiency
Molybdenum is a trace mineral which is important in breaking down sulfites. People who exhibit sensitivity to sulfite may experience disorientation, headache, rapid heartbeat and even impotency among older men.
Side Effects of Eating Black Beans
The most prominent side effect of consuming black beans is the development of kidney stones and gout. It contains a substance called purines which will later on become uric acid once broken down. The excessive consumption of black beans will result in high levels of uric acid. Moreover, they can also result to malabsorption of nutrients which is attributed to the polyphenols found in black beans which attach themselves to iron and protein.
Nutritional Information of Black Beans
Here is the nutritional information of one cup of cooked black beans.
- Protein 15g
- Fiber 15g
- Carbohydrate 41g
- Calorie 227
- Total Fat 1g
- Cholesterol 0g
Black beans pictures