Bean Diet Types And Importance Of Bean Diet

By | May 29, 2009

Different Types Of Bean Diet And Edible Seeds

What is the importance of beans in our daily diet. What are its constituents and which ailments it is recommended for?

Beans are of several different types – the name actually covers the edible seeds of many different plants, and therefore it is difficult to make any general statements about all beans. One popular traditional dish in the US is known as 15 bean soup, and, as the name indicates, contains 15 different types of beans. Different people also use the word differently, and the word bean can be used to include broad beans, runner beans, kidney beans, lima beans, soybeans, lentils, and even black eyed peas and chickpeas. Most pulses are considered to be beans, and pulses alone are of many different types.

Nutritional Value Of Beans And Bean Diet Health Benefits

As you can see, there is a substantial difference in all these legumes, and therefore the nutritional values, methods of consumption, and benefits in treating various ailments vary greatly. In general however, beans are low in fat and high in carbohydrates and protein. Their protein content is particularly high when compared to other plant foods, and they are therefore an important part of most vegetarian diets. Certain beans also contain considerable amounts of vitamins and minerals, specifically vitamin B1, potassium, and calcium. However, an interesting point to note is that some beans also contain a dangerous toxin. This does not of course mean that beans are harmful – only that they need to be cooked properly. This applies only to certain beans, for example kidney beans, and in societies that consume these beans, this fact is quite well known.

Another well known problem with beans is that they can cause flatulence. Beans contain certain sugars that cannot be digested by the human digestive tract. Instead, bacteria in the digestive tract break down these sugars, producing gas as a by product. To counter this effect, beans are often soaked in water before cooking, or they are cooked with spices such as cumin or coriander, which helps digest the sugars.

As far as the health benefits relating to specific ailments go, research has shown that regular consumption of beans decreases the risk of heart disease and lowers cholesterol. Due to their fiber content, they are also good for digestion – although the flatulence problem should be kept in mind by those who have digestive problems. The soluble fiber in beans is also supposed to help people with diabetes, by keeping insulin levels under control. Finally, beans contain certain chemicals (such as protease inhibitors and phytoestrogens) that seem to prevent cancer, particularly breast cancer and prostate cancer.