How Black Beans help your Heart

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Did you know that eating black beans regularly can help to keep your heart healthy?

Black beans have a high glycemic index, meaning that they are digested and absorbed slooowly.   This is mainly down to a high soluble fiber content of beans – the fiber actually binds with the bile acids in the stomach, and because fiber is not absorbed it helps the body to excrete it fast.  Bile acids are used to make cholesterol, so eating black beans helps your heart by lowering cholesterol, and as they also contain high levels of insoluble fiber too, they reduce risk of IBS and diverticulosis.

This goes a long way to explaining the higher correlation of diets low in legumes with higher rates of heart attack.  A study following over 10,000 US adults for nearly 20 years found that those who ate 21 grams of fiber per day had much lower risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease, with those eating the most water-soluble dietary fiber doing best of all.  The polyphenols in black beans are also powerful antioxidants, which help prevent cholesterol already in the bloodstream from free radical damage, leading ultimately to atherosclerosis.

It’s as though they were specifically designed to support heart health, these shiny little gems…  additionally, black beans also contribute significant amounts of magnesium and folate to the diet – folate directly lowers homocysteine levels, and reduces the risk of vascular disease and stroke.  The magnesium in  black beans supports vascular health as well, improving blood and nutrient flow, and is also critical for recovery from any cardiac incident.  So eating black beans regularly is an important priority for anyone concerned about keeping their heart healthy.

Perhaps you are not sure you like black beans, or how you should prepare and cook them?  Why not start with some pre-cooked canned beans, and try some super-fast no-cook black bean salsaif you make a generous portion, it will keep in the fridge for days, and maintaining your healthy heart will be as easy as possible.

Other articles of interest include topics: best lasagna recipe, butternut squash recipes, black bean recipes.

Who would have thought a simple bean could do so much? Heirloom bean expert Steve Sando provides descriptions of the many varieties now available from Scarlet ?Runners to the spotted Eye of the Tiger beans. Nearly 90 recipes in the book will entice readers to cook up bowls of heartwarming Risotto and Cranberry Beans with Pancetta or Caribbean Black Bean Soup. Close-up photos of the beans make them easy to identify. Packed with protein fiber and vitamins these little treasures are the perfect addition to any meal.

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