(NC) Beans are part of the superfood family known as pulses, which also includes chick peas, lentils and dry peas. It's commonly known that beans are good for you — but do you know how good? Here are five reasons to include more beans in your diet.
1. Beans may fight cancer. Research by Dr. Henry Thompson of the University of Colorado links bean consumption with an organism's ability to fight the spread of cancer in rats. The study showed the more beans the rats ate, the greater their protection against cancer. While all the beans used in the research had some affect, white kidney beans (also called cannellini beans), in particular, had amazing results and inhibited the spread of the cancer by as much as 70 per cent.
2. Beans help control weight. Beans contain soluble fibre that slows down digestion, making you feel fuller longer. The World Health Organization recommends people increase their pulse consumption to help prevent obesity.
3. Beans help control diabetes. Research shows that bean consumption can be beneficial in the management of blood sugar levels. Beans are a great food choice for diabetics as they have a low glycemic index, are high in fibre, low in fat, and include slowly digestible starches.
4. Beans help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Eating beans lowers blood glucose, insulin, blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and the likelihood of obesity — all factors that can lead to cardiovascular disease if too high.
5. For pregnant women, beans help build a better baby. Beans contain folate (folic acid), which protects against neural tube defects and birth defects of the spine and brain, including Spina Bifida.
While beans are a superfood, they shouldn't take the place of any prescription medicines you're currently taking. Find more information and great recipes online at ontariobeans.on.ca.
Attention editors: This article is for distribution in Ontario only.