Bean Nutrition: What Are the Healthiest Beans?
ccording to research by Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, beans are one of the foods most associated with longevity.
For optimal health, Buettner recommends eating a cup of beans each day. Few people in industrialized nations today, however, consume anywhere near that amount.
Yet beans can be one of the best sources of clean, whole food, plant-based protein and fiber. For people who might need to boost their protein intake, such as athletes and seniors, eating beans at most meals can be a great boost nutritionally. Cooked soybeans, for example, contain almost 30 grams of protein per cup! And beans don’t have the harmful health effects that animal protein brings, because they don’t have the pro-inflammatory compounds found in meat like arachidonic acid, saturated fat, and carnitine.
Then there’s fiber, a nutrient that many don’t get enough of. Cooked split peas and lentils have approximately 16 grams of fiber per cup!
To put all of this into perspective, many nutrition experts believe that a 150-pound person requires about 54 grams of protein and 40 grams of fiber per day. Most people in developed nations today consume an excess of protein, yet get only about 16-24 grams of fiber per day.
In addition to being excellent sources of protein and fiber, some beans also contain nearly a full day’s worth of iron, and many other vitamins and minerals, too. Black beans, for example, are also good sources of B vitamins like thiamine and folate as well as a variety of micronutrients like magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and copper. Plus, all beans contain potent phytochemicals that are power disease fighters.
All beans seem to be good for your health. But which beans come out on top in terms of nutrition and antioxidant superpowers? According to NutritionFacts.org, black beans and lentils are two of the healthiest types of beans or legumes, beating out kidney beans, split peas, pinto beans, and chickpeas by twice or even 20 times as much antioxidant activity (in the case of chickpeas).
( Excerpt fro The Food Revolution Network)