Beans are among the most widespread and consumed legumes in the world. Although cannellini and borlotti beans are the ones that recur most often in the recipes of our tradition, there are over 500 varieties, different in shape, color, and size. To decree their timeless success, there is not only their versatility in the kitchen but also the desirable nutritional content: not surprisingly, they represent a key ingredient of the so-called “blue zones,” the areas of the planet where the most populations are concentrated. Long-lived. So let’s review the properties of beans, analyze their nutritional profile and find out why their consumption should never be lacking for our balance.
All The Properties And Nutritional Values Of Beans
Although the exact nutritional composition of beans depends on the variety consumed, these legumes have a moderate energy content: 100 g of the boiled product corresponds, on average, to 102 kcal. Over 60% of the energy share comes from carbohydrates which, with their 14 g, represent the main macronutrient. The quantity of vegetable proteins is also excellent (about 8 g), while the percentage of fats is negligible (0.7 g) and consists mainly of unsaturated lipids.
Naturally cholesterol-free, beans are rich in fiber and lecithin, a compound that favors the emulsion of fats. They also contain vitamins, especially of groups A, B, C, and E, and mineral salts, including iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc. The quantity of amino acids is also discrete, among which lysine stands out.
All The Benefits Of Beans For Our Body
The excellent nutritional profile of beans makes their food with a thousand virtues. Here are some of them:
They Are Antioxidants
The regular intake of beans helps fight the effects of free radicals and prevent aging. The merit is to be found in the richness of polyphenols, a family of organic molecules with a high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power.
They Are Useful In Controlling Cholesterol
Beans boast a notable supply of soluble fibers, essential in regulating blood cholesterol levels. In addition to the thread, these legumes also contain saponins and phytosterols, substances equally effective in controlling hypercholesterolemia.
Improve Heart Health
There are several reasons why beans are valuable allies of the cardiovascular system. First of all, they are low in fat and high in fiber, which helps to keep cholesterol and triglyceride levels under control. The folate content is also beneficial for the heart: it helps to reduce the levels of homocysteine, an amino acid which, if present in high quantities in the blood, can increase the risk of heart disease and major cardiovascular events.
They Help Stabilize Blood Glucose Levels
In addition to boasting a low glycemic index, beans contain a good amount of fiber and protein. These substances act synergistically, slowing down digestion and, consequently, the absorption of carbohydrates. In this way, it will be possible to avoid dangerous glycemic peaks after meals and the related symptoms, such as drowsiness, fatigue, and irritability.
They Help Maintain A Healthy Weight
The fiber and starch in beans promote a sense of satiety. Their consumption can therefore help prevent binge eating and hunger attacks, supplying the body with a constant supply of energy.
They Are Friends Of The Intestine
Beans contain both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Therefore they have a double effect on intestinal function. While soluble fibers contribute to the development of healthy bacterial flora and, in contact with water, form a sticky gel that slows digestion, insoluble fibers can increase the volume of fecal mass, promoting peristalsis and helping to prevent constipation.
Beans contain a good dose of minerals, including zinc. This substance contributes to the well-being of the visual system and, among other things, improves night vision and prevents diseases such as macular degeneration. These legumes are also rich in bioflavonoids, antioxidant compounds that reduce inflammation and repair cell damage, including those of the eye, caused by the action of free radicals.
They Contain Vitamin K
Beans contain a fair amount of vitamin K important for its role in blood coagulation but also involved in bone and cardiovascular metabolism, brain function, and energy metabolism.
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