The versatility of black beans makes them a delightful addition to every kitchen pantry. And if you’ve got a can of these beans lying in the back of your shelf, whip it out to add them to chili, quesadillas, soups, dips, cookies, cakes, and even brownies. But that’s not all that black beans are good for. They also pack in the nutrition. Here are all the health benefits black beans provide.
1. Are A Good Source Of Protein
Protein is necessary to build and repair tissues as well as make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is also the building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Keeping up with it is, hence, necessary. A cup of black beans provides a whopping 15.24 g of the macronutrient.1 This makes it a good protein source for vegetarians and vegans. That said, it is important to note that black beans don’t contain all the 9 amino acids that are required to make them a complete protein like meat and eggs.2
id="2">2. Promotes Gut Health
If you struggle with digestive disorders, consuming black beans regularly might help. A cup of its serving contains 40.78 g of fiber, which makes up for 73.56% of your recommended daily intake.3 Most of this fiber is soluble fiber, which attracts water and is broken down into a gelatinous, viscous byproduct that the large intestine turns into gasses and acids that encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in the lower gut. The resistant starch in black beans also feeds the good bacteria in the gut. Consuming beans regularly can keep your gut healthy and your digestion regular.4
3. Aids Weight Loss
Pectin slows down digestion and gives your body more time to digest nutrients.
id="4">4. Manages Blood Sugar Levels
Complex carbs, like black beans, prevent overeating, reduce cravings for sweets, boost energy, and balance insulin levels.
If you’ve been trying to manage your blood sugar levels, include black beans in your diet. They have a low glycemic index of 24, which means they don’t cause blood sugar spikes after a meal. The starch found in black beans contains glucose, a complex carb which, unlike simple carbs, releases sugar slowly in the blood and prevent sugar spikes. In fact, one study found that including black beans in a typical Western-style meal regulated the release of insulin. This benefit of beans makes them an ideal option for carbohydrate source for anyone who has a form of resistance to insulin (the blood sugar-lowering hormone), such as those who are prediabetic or have diabetes.9 10
id="5">5. Protects Heart Health
Consuming black beans regularly might keep your heart healthy. Studies have found that its flavonoid, particularly delphinidin, petunidin, and malvidin, content controls lipid (fat) metabolism and effectively rids the body of “bad” LDL cholesterol. In addition to this, black beans are high in soluble fiber, which is associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease since it helps balance unhealthy cholesterol levels. Studies have found that a diet high in dietary fiber, especially from beans, protects against mortality due to heart disease, cardiac arrest, and stroke. In addition to this, evidence suggests that having just one daily serving, of about 3/4 cup cooked, of beans of any kind can decrease the chances of a heart attack and balance “bad” LDL cholesterol.
id="6">6. Prevents Pregnancy-Related Complications
Evidence suggests that, among older adults, a diet that includes plant proteins (legumes) improves cognitive health and protection against neurological impairments.15
Folate is an important nutrient for pregnant women. It is considered critical for preventing congenital disabilities. In fact, keeping up with the required folate intake has been shown to cut the chances of early delivery by 50% or more if consumed for at least a year before pregnancy. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that women consume 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day during their childbearing years and a cup of black beans provides, as mentioned earlier, 60% of the required folate needs for a day.16 17 18
May Prevent Cancer
Some sources report that black beans, with their deep black color, are the highest bean source of antioxidants.
Consuming black beans regularly may keep cancer at bay. The flavonoid and phytochemical (antioxidant) content in them lowers inflammation and fights free radical damage. In addition to this, research has found that black beans contain high levels of anthocyanins, antioxidant compounds also found have in foods like berries. And studies show that this compound, along with others, has protective effects against colon cancer.19 20
Besides this, studies have found that the antioxidant compounds in black beans can help prevent DNA damage and gene mutation, both of which lead to a decreased risk of developing cancerous cells.21
|↑1||Basic Report: 16015, Beans, black, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt. The United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑2||Alberts, Bruce, Alexander Johnson, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, and Peter Walter. “Protein function.” In Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th edition. Garland Science, 2002.|
|↑3||Basic Report: 16015, Beans, black, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt. The United States Department Of Agriculture.|
|↑4||Holscher, Hannah D. “Dietary fiber and prebiotics and the gastrointestinal microbiota.” Gut Microbes 8, no. 2 (2017): 172-184.|
|↑5||Kim, Shana J., Russell J. De Souza, Vivian L. Choo, Vanessa Ha, Adrian I. Cozma, Laura Chiavaroli, Arash Mirrahimi et al. “Effects of dietary pulse consumption on body weight: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 103, no. 5 (2016): 1213-1223.|
|↑6||Alizadeh, Mohammad, Rasool Gharaaghaji, and Bahram Pourghassem Gargari. “The effects of legumes on metabolic features, insulin resistance and hepatic function tests in women with central obesity: a randomized controlled trial.” International journal of preventive medicine 5, no. 6 (2014): 710.|
|↑7||Dhingra, Devinder, Mona Michael, Hradesh Rajput, and R. T. Patil. “Dietary fibre in foods: a review.” Journal of food science and technology 49, no. 3 (2012): 255-266.|
|↑8||McCrory, Megan A., Bruce R. Hamaker, Jennifer C. Lovejoy, and Petra E. Eichelsdoerfer. “Pulse consumption, satiety, and weight management.” Advances in Nutrition 1, no. 1 (2010): 17-30.|
|↑9||Reverri, Elizabeth, Jody Randolph, Francene Steinberg, C. Kappagoda, Indika Edirisinghe, and Britt Burton-Freeman. “Black beans, fiber, and antioxidant capacity pilot study: examination of whole foods vs. functional components on postprandial metabolic, oxidative stress, and inflammation in adults with metabolic syndrome.” Nutrients 7, no. 8 (2015): 6139-6154.|
|↑10||Kwon, Y-I., E. Apostolidis, Y-C. Kim, and K. Shetty. “Health benefits of traditional corn, beans, and pumpkin: in vitro studies for hyperglycemia and hypertension management.” Journal of Medicinal Food 10, no. 2 (2007): 266-275.|
|↑11||Chavez-Santoscoy, Rocio A., Janet A. Gutierrez-Uribe, Omar Granados, Ivan Torre-Villalvazo, Sergio O. Serna-Saldivar, Nimbe Torres, Berenice Palacios-González, and Armando R. Tovar. “Flavonoids and saponins extracted from black bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) seed coats modulate lipid metabolism and biliary cholesterol secretion in C57BL/6 mice.” British journal of nutrition 112, no. 6 (2014): 886-899.|
|↑12||Satija, Ambika, and Frank B. Hu. “Cardiovascular benefits of dietary fiber.” Current atherosclerosis reports 14, no. 6 (2012): 505-514.|
|↑13||Papandreou, Christopher, Nerea Becerra-Tomás, Mònica Bulló, Miguel Ángel Martínez-González, Dolores Corella, Ramon Estruch, Emilio Ros et al. “Legume consumption and risk of all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality in the predimed study.” Clinical Nutrition 38, no. 1 (2019): 348-356.|
|↑14||Rosa, C. O., N. M. Costa, P. F. Leal, and T. T. Oliveira. “The cholesterol-lowering effect of black beans (Phaseolus vulgaris, L.) without hulls in hypercholesterolemic rats.” Archivos latinoamericanos de nutricion 48, no. 4 (1998): 299-305.|
|↑15||Mazza, Elisa, Antonietta Fava, Yvelise Ferro, Marta Moraca, Stefania Rotundo, Carmela Colica, Francesco Provenzano et al. “Impact of legumes and plant proteins consumption on cognitive performances in the elderly.” Journal of translational medicine 15, no. 1 (2017): 109.|
|↑16||Seremak-Mrozikiewicz, Agnieszka. “The significance of folate metabolism in complications of pregnant women.” Ginekologia polska 84, no. 5 (2013).|
|↑17||Moussa, Hind N., Susan Hosseini Nasab, Ziad A. Haidar, Sean C. Blackwell, and Baha M. Sibai. “Folic acid supplementation: what is new? Fetal, obstetric, long-term benefits and risks.” Future science OA 2, no. 2 (2016).|
|↑18||Greenberg, James A., Stacey J. Bell, Yong Guan, and Yan-hong Yu. “Folic acid supplementation and pregnancy: more than just neural tube defect prevention.” Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynecology 4, no. 2 (2011): 52.|
|↑19||Bennink, M. R. “Consumption of black beans and navy beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) reduced azoxymethane-induced colon cancer in rats.” Nutrition and cancer 44, no. 1 (2002): 60-65.|
|↑20||Blog, RD Lounge, and Nutrition by Age. “By Densie Webb, PhD, RD Today’s Dietitian Vol. 16 No. 3 P. 20.”|
|↑21||Azevedo, L. A. J. C., J. C. Gomes, P. C. Stringheta, Á. MMC Gontijo, Carlos Roberto Padovani, Lúcia Regina Ribeiro, and Daisy Maria Favero Salvadori. “Black bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) as a protective agent against DNA damage in mice.” Food and Chemical Toxicology 41, no. 12 (2003): 1671-1676.|