Black beans are a type of legume that originated in South America and are widely used in Latin American and Caribbean cuisine. They are also known as the common bean or black turtle bean. But did you know that black beans are not only delicious but also nutritious and beneficial for your health?
In this blog post, we will explore some of the benefits of black beans for your health, based on scientific evidence. We will also discuss how to prepare and enjoy black beans in a plant-based, SOS-free (salt, oil, sugar-free) way.
Black Beans Are Rich in Protein and Fiber
One of the main benefits of black beans is that they are rich in plant-based protein and fiber, two nutrients that many people lack in their diets. Protein and fiber are essential for various functions in your body, such as building and repairing tissues, regulating blood sugar levels, supporting digestion, and promoting satiety.
One cup of boiled, unsalted black beans provides 15 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber, which is 30% and 60% of the daily value (DV), respectively (1). Black beans have a high protein digestibility of 79%, which means that your body can use most of the protein they contain (2).
Black beans are also considered a complete protein source when combined with grains like brown rice or quinoa. This means they provide all nine essential amino acids--ones your body cannot make on its own (1).
Black Beans Are Loaded with Antioxidants
Another benefit of black beans is that they are loaded with antioxidants, which are compounds that can protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause oxidative stress and inflammation, which are linked to chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer (2).
Black beans contain various types of antioxidants, such as polyphenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins, and carotenoids (2). Among these, anthocyanins are especially abundant in black beans and give them their dark color. Anthocyanins have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, and neuroprotective effects.
One study found that black beans had the highest antioxidant activity among 12 common varieties of beans. Another study found that black bean extract reduced oxidative stress and inflammation in mice with induced colitis.
Black Beans Support Gut Health
A third benefit of black beans is that they support gut health by providing prebiotics and resistant starch. Prebiotics are types of fiber that feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut, while resistant starch is a type of carbohydrate that resists digestion and acts like fiber in your colon (2).
Both prebiotics and resistant starch can improve your gut microbiome composition and function, which can affect your immune system, metabolism, mood, and overall health. They can also lower your risk of developing intestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and colorectal cancer.
Black beans contain about 5 grams of resistant starch per cup (172 grams), which is more than most other legumes. They also contain soluble fiber and insoluble fiber, which can help prevent constipation and lower cholesterol levels (2).
How to Prepare and Enjoy Black Beans
Now that you know some of the benefits of black beans for your health, you may wonder how to prepare and enjoy them in a plant-based, SOS-free way. Here are some tips:
- Soak dry black beans overnight or for at least 8 hours before cooking them.This can reduce some of the antinutrients that may interfere with mineral absorption and cause gas or bloating (2).
- Rinse and drain the soaked black beans and cook them in fresh water until tender. You can use a pressure cooker or a pot on the stove. You can also add spices like cumin, garlic, onion, oregano, or bay leaves for extra flavor, as well as extra antioxidants.
- Avoid adding salt, oil, or sugar to your black beans. These ingredients can increase your intake of sodium, calories, and added sugars, which can have negative effects on your health.
- Try some of these delicious bean-based recipes: Black Bean Brownie Muffins, Chickpea Peanut Butter Muffins, Black Bean Puddin’ Pie.
These are just some of the plant-based recipes that you can make with black beans. You can also experiment with your own creations and share them with us in the comments below.
Black beans are a nutritious and delicious legume that can offer many benefits for your health. They are rich in protein, fiber, antioxidants, and prebiotics, which can help prevent chronic diseases, support gut health, and keep you satisfied.
You can enjoy black beans in a variety of ways, such as in burgers, chili, salads, soups, or casseroles. You can also prepare them in a plant-based, SOS-free way by avoiding salt, oil, and sugar, and using herbs, spices, and other natural ingredients to enhance their flavor.
We hope you enjoyed this blog post and learned something new about black beans. If you did, please share it with your friends and family who might also benefit from it. And don’t forget to try some of the recipes we suggested or create your own.
Please let us know what you learned in the comments below. :-)
Thank you for reading and happy eating!
This blog post was written with the help of Microsoft Bing search, https://www.bing.com/
1 Winham DM, Hutchins AM, Thompson SV. Glycemic Response to Black Beans and Chickpeas as Part of a Rice Meal: A Randomized Cross-Over Trial. Nutrients. 2017 Oct 4;9(10):1095. doi: 10.3390/nu9101095. PMID: 28976933; PMCID: PMC5691712.
2 Chávez-Mendoza C, Sánchez E. Bioactive Compounds from Mexican Varieties of the Common Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris): Implications for Health. Molecules. 2017 Aug 17;22(8):1360. doi: 10.3390/molecules22081360. PMID: 28817105; PMCID: PMC6152262.