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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Therapeutic Value of Different Foods >>  Beans and Legumes >>  Black Beans

Black Beans

Black beans are named so due to their dark shiny color and they are often referred as turtle beans due to its dark shell like hard appearance. Like most of the other beans and legumes, black beans are available in both dried and canned form throughout the year. Along with dietary fiber, black beans are an excellent source of molybdenum and folate. Black bean is also a good source of proteins, thiamin, manganese, magnesium, iron and phosphorous. One cup serving of black beans (cooked) provides 2/3 of the dietary value for folate and suffices 1/3 of the proteins requirement of a day.
Black beans when combined with whole grains and cereals provide negligible fat and high quality proteins.

The fiber from black beans has a cholesterol lowering effect like most of the other legumes. Besides lowering cholesterol, fiber from black beans also help to control blood sugar levels in people with irregular glucose metabolism like in diabetes, hypoglycemia or insulin resistance. Also black beans have a low glycemic index which means after eating a cup of black beans, the blood sugar does not rise as high as compared to sugar or white bread. The insoluble fiber in black beans helps to relieve constipation by increasing the stool bulk and may also prevent gastrointestinal disorders like diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome.

Molybdenum is an important component of sulfite oxidase, an enzyme required for detoxification of sulfites. Sulfites when consumed in higher amounts (commonly added in prepared foods and salad bars) can cause headache, rapid heartbeat or disorientation. This reaction to sulfites is only possible when the body stores of molybdenum are low. Black beans are rich in this trace mineral and a cup of cooked black beans would provide 172 % of the daily value for molybdenum.

Black beans are found to have equivalent amounts of the antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins commonly found in fruits like grapes and cranberries. The level of these antioxidants was found to be directly proportional to the darker shade of the beans seed coat. Black beans not only protect against cancer but it also helps to promote optimal health of an individual, lowers the risk of heart attack.

Folate along with magnesium helps to keep the levels of homocysteine in check, as an increase value is associated with a risk factor for heart disease. Magnesium is also a natural calcium channel blocker and helps improve blood flow throughout the body.

The iron from black beans helps to replenish the low stores in the body and is especially important for menstruating women who are at high risk of anemia.
Submitted on January 16, 2014