The consumption of grains has represented a viable option for the world population , not only because it is an easily accessible food, but also because it represents a source of essential micronutrients and macronutrients for human nutrition, among which is the bean .  

In view of the importance of this grain, below we share the following article where we explain the benefits of beans and the advantages it represents for people’s health.

What benefits does beans have for health?

The bean is a leguminous plant, coming from the regions of South America and Central America, whose edible seeds receive the same name. 

Note: At least 150 species of this plant are known in the world that can be distinguished according to the color of the seed and can be found with a version of black, pinto, May flower, among others, depending on the growing region.

Due to its nutritional and chemical properties, below we mention the benefits of common beans:

1. Strengthens the immune system

The seeds of the beans contain within their chemical and nutritional elements, vitamins and minerals that help the work of the immune system.

To highlight: Beans contain B vitamins , iron , zinc and phenolic compounds that have been classified as antioxidants and that can strengthen the work of the immune system. (1)

2. Lowers the risk of heart disease

The presence in beans of vitamins and minerals with antioxidant properties and fiber as a phytochemical component (2) , prevents the body from many cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and arterial hypertension.

You should know: B complex vitamins, retinol and minerals such as iron, zinc and magnesium help protect the cardiovascular system . (3)

3. Reduces blood glucose levels

Another compound that beans contain is dietary fiber , which has among its benefits the regulation of the absorption of sugar from food through the small intestine.

Likewise, the antioxidants in beans fight against the presence of atherosclerotic plaques , since it is a food that does not contain cholesterol , an element that causes the increase in glucose in the blood. 

Note: Some scientific works describe that the bean helps in the prevention of diseases such as diabetes . (4)

4. Improves digestive functions

Other benefits of bean consumption is that it favors the production of enzymes that facilitate the digestion process. In this sense, the presence of oleic acid in beans favors the pancreatic function in the production of enzymes and increases the absorption of minerals.

To highlight: The insoluble fiber content retains water in the final portion of the large intestine, making the stools have a softer consistency, which facilitates its expulsion. (5)

5. Fight anemia

Many of the anemias suffered by human beings, especially in children, are due to a deficiency of micronutrients such as iron and folates.

In this sense, iron is an essential element for the production of red blood cells and hemoglobin. Similarly, vitamin B9 and cobalamin are involved in the prevention of anemia.

You should know: Eating beans in the daily diet helps prevent anemia such as iron deficiency anemia, due to its iron content. (6)

6. Increases energy and prevents muscle wasting

Beans contain group B vitamins, minerals such as zinc, magnesium and iron that favor the availability of energy for the body.

In addition, beans contain a good portion of vegetable protein and amino acids, elements that are essential for tissue repair and building muscle fibers. (7)

7. Promotes healthy skin and hair

The intake of beans in the daily diet favors the health of the skin and hair, due to its content of vitamins A and zinc. Additionally, its protein content favors tissue regeneration , strengthening their structure in the skin.

Note: Regarding hair, the presence of B vitamins such as vitamin B3, gives it shine and vitamin A gives it volume and resistance, in addition to being cofactors in the production of collagen . (8)

8. Prevents some types of cancer

Another of the benefits of beans is that they contain micronutrients and chemical compounds with antioxidant action. Antioxidant compounds prevent free radicals from causing oxidative damage to healthy cells and causing premature cell death. 

To highlight: It has been described that both the phenolic compounds, the vitamins, minerals and the insoluble fiber present in bean seeds prevent some types of cancer such as colon cancer. (9)

Bean nutritional properties

The health benefits provided by the consumption of beans come from its chemical and nutritional compounds that we mention below:

1. Vitamins and minerals

Bean consumption provides the following B complex vitamins : vitamin B1 , vitamin B2, vitamin B3 , vitamin B6 and vitamin B9. It also has the presence of vitamin A.

You should know: Among the minerals that beans provide are iron, zinc, phosphorus , potassium , sodium , magnesium and calcium .

2. Other compounds

Beans contain fiber, mainly insoluble, it also has proteins, carbohydrates, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, as well as some phenolic compounds that vary according to the species of the grain. (10)

How should we consume beans?

Beans are normally a food that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Its preparation is in the form of a stew with enough seasoning such as onion and garlic , to increase its nutritional value.

Note: In some countries, the consumption of beans is accompanied with corn tortillas or other cereals such as rice and some type of meat.

For cooking, it is recommended to soak them overnight before preparation, so that the seed absorbs the water and dissolves the starches that cause intestinal discomfort.

Key Findings

  • The bean is a leguminous plant, whose edible seeds bear the same name.
  • Beans strengthen the immune system and prevent cardiovascular diseases.
  • Beans decrease the presence of glucose in the blood and also favor the digestive system.
  • Beans help fight anemia and their chemical compounds help prevent some types of cancer.

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