Like everywhere in the US, the price of groceries is rising in Massachusetts. One way to salvage your grocery budget is to have a meatless Monday or even go meatless two days a week. Black beans are one of those options for those days. They are filled with nutrients and are a good source of fiber. Next to lentils, they have one of the highest fiber contents.
Why is fiber important to your diet?
Two types of fiber are necessary for a healthy body. One is soluble fiber, which combines with water to create a gel. It’s a probiotic that feeds beneficial bacteria. Insoluble fiber, the second type of fiber, insoluble fiber, doesn’t digest in small intestines but passes through to the colon. It can help slow the absorption of sugar and provide bulk for the stool. There’s a third category of fiber that’s not truly fiber but resistant starch that acts like fiber. It passes through the intestines and into the colon, where gut microbiota feeds on it, creating short-chain fatty acids—SCFA—as waste that reduces inflammation and improves gut health.
Black beans may help people with diabetes.
The color of black beans comes from a powerful antioxidant, anthocyanin, which protects the cells and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity. Black beans also have a low glycemic index to help maintain blood sugar levels. The fiber in black beans slows the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. Beans may be a superfood for people with diabetes. The resistant starch in beans improves gut health and increases insulin sensitivity.
Beans contain all types of fiber, including resistant starch, plus other nutrients.
There are many other reasons to consume black beans besides fiber. The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, and zinc in black beans are bone-building materials. Black beans can help lower blood pressure due to their natural calcium, magnesium, and potassium levels. The folate, B6, and potassium in black beans help decrease the risk of heart disease. Selenium and other nutrients help reduce the risk of cancer.
- The fiber in black beans can aid in weight loss by making you feel full and maintaining that feeling longer. Reducing insulin resistance also aids in weight loss.
- Studies show how SCFA can help people with diabetes. One study found it influenced the peptide GLP-1 that regulates insulin. The other showed it improved the health of beta cells of the pancreas that produce insulin.
- Contrary to popular belief, people under 50 need more fiber than older people do. Men under 50 need 38 grams daily, while those over 50 need only 30. For women under 50, 25 grams is necessary, but only 21 grams after age 50.
- The thick liquid from cooking beans is called aquafaba. It’s a mix of starch and protein and has thickening properties. It can replace eggs in cooking or whipped for mayonnaise or meringues.
For more information, contact us today at ProWeightLoss