Black beans are one of the healthiest foods that you can get without resorting to lots of fruits and vegetables. They are packed with macro and micronutrients and are extremely easy to add to your diet. Even if you opted for the canned black beans, you would find they offer far more benefits than many other legumes out there.
Studies have shown that black beans help to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. The studies also show positive effects on your weight by adding more to your diet, while also helping your digestive system and immunity against diseases and illnesses.
However, how exactly are black beans so good for you? Let’s look at the full nutritional makeup and benefits in the beans to see why you need to start adding them to your diet.
The Nutritional Makeup of Black Beans
In one serving of black beans, you will get at least a fifth of your recommended daily values of a variety of micronutrients. At the same time, you get a right amount of protein and fiber, while the calories remain low.
The macronutrients look like this:
- Calories: 227
- Protein and fiber: 15g each
- Fat: 0g
As for the micronutrients, here’s a look at the percentage of your daily recommended amounts.
- Folate: 64%
- Copper: 40%
- Manganese: 38%
- Vitamin B1: 35%
- Magnesium: 30%
- Phosphorus: 24%
- Iron: 20%
These are just the primary micronutrients. There are many others thrown in. You will get a good amount of vitamin C, vitamin E, and other essential antioxidants.
That is all great, but how exactly does this equate to a healthy body? Just why do you need all the nutrients on a daily basis? Let’s look at just how the various macro and micronutrients will help you.
Protein Helps with Muscle Building and Heart Health
Let’s start with the protein amounts. You will get 15g of protein in a serving of black beans. This macronutrient is essential for healthy muscles, tissues, and heart health. You will also find weight loss easier, as your body will burn the fat rather than the muscle mass. When you build the muscles, your metabolism speeds up, so you will end up burning more calories daily.
If you are a vegan or vegetarian, you can find it challenging to get plenty of protein in your diet. Few plant sources offer you enough. Legumes are good, but you need to choose the right type. Black beans offer you good levels of plant-based proteins that will help to slow down the aging process.
The protein is through amino acids. Unlike other beans and legumes, black beans have the majority of amino acids that your body needs. However, you will still need to look at quinoa and soy for all the amino acids you will need.
While building muscles, the protein will help to add more energy to your body. You will feel stronger and more focused throughout the day. Muscle weakness can lead to illness and decay over time. You can also find you are more likely to suffer from eye issues since the muscles are not strong enough to work effectively.
Hormone imbalances are also an issue with a low-protein diet. Hormonal problems can lead to mood swings, immune system problems, and poor skin health. If you just want one reason to add black beans to your diet, this is the one that you want to consider.
Promote Healthy Digestion with Fiber
Remember that I said black beans are good for healthy digestion? Well, this is due to the fiber count. 15g of fiber is extremely good in one serving of one food. Considering you are likely to add plenty of other fruits or vegetables to your meals with black beans, you will find that you get plenty more for a meal.
When your body does not get enough fiber, the digestive system cannot push out all the waste. The stools become hard, and you find yourself constipated. You can also struggle with some digestive disorders, such as IBS or Crohn’s disease. This is your body’s way of telling you that something needs to change in your diet immediately.
The amount of fiber in black beans will help to soften the stools. You will get a mixture of both soluble and insoluble fiber. The former aids in softening stools while the latter will help to push more waste through your system. You are not just treating the symptoms, but you are getting rid of the reason for the poor digestive health.
At the same time, fiber will help to improve the health of the lining of your digestive system. Your body can only absorb all the nutrients in food if your digestion is working efficiently. When there’s a buildup of toxins or waste, your lining is affected and does not take in as much as it could. Proper levels of fiber will rectify that.
It is not just the fiber that will help to overcome some digestive problems. The micronutrients in your food will also help. Iron deficiencies have been linked to IBS and leaky gut syndrome. If you can absorb more iron into your diet from your meals, you can reverse some of the conditions.
On top of that, the fiber will help to slow down the digestive process. How is that good? Well, there are a few benefits.
Slowing down the digestive process will help to make you feel fuller faster and for longer than before. You will not need to eat as much throughout the day, supporting your weight loss efforts. After all, if you do not eat as much, then you are not going to consume as many calories. By getting that feeling of satisfaction with your meals, you also will not feel like you are on a diet or that you are depriving yourself of anything.
The second reason is for your blood sugar health. More fiber can help to reduce the risk of developing diabetes. You can also make it easier to manage your diabetes if you already have it. People who get more fiber have shown positive results in reversing their condition.
Yes, you will still get some carbs from the black beans. Carbs are not the demons that they have been made out to be. You get carbs with plenty of fiber mixed in, meaning they give you good energy throughout the day but without all the side effects of glucose metabolism.
Support Nerve Function and Neurotransmissions
The micronutrients help to ensure the finer parts of your body are working properly. You may remember that folate and vitamin B1 were mentioned on the micronutrients in black beans. These are essential for proper nerve function and neurotransmission.
The two works together to help keep all the nerve functions intact. They also help with the development of new nerves, repair work of damaged ones, and the development of the whole nervous system during fetus development.
When the nerves are working, and transmissions are good, the whole body gets the right messages at the right time. You can reduce the amount of pain you feel, especially from chronic illnesses. Black beans have been linked to the reduction in fibromyalgia and metabolic syndrome, among many other autoimmune conditions.
Improve Your Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar Control
We have already looked at how the digestive system will help with diabetes and how protein improves the heart health, but the micronutrients are also important. We tend to be deficient in some micronutrients more than others. Magnesium is one of those micronutrients, but you will not be if you add more black beans to your diet.
Those who have magnesium deficiencies can end up with high blood pressure, poor blood sugar control, poor nerve function, lower energy levels, and much more. The magnesium helps with the functioning of the biochemical reactions within the body. The nerves and muscles can spasm and react uncontrollably if the deficiency is very bad.
Sleep problems are also a concern for those with low levels of magnesium. You are more likely to struggle to get to sleep and stay asleep once you are. This can lead to high-stress levels, which will cause the blood pressure to rise. You end up worry about getting enough sleep, and you can struggle to function throughout the day. The body has not had the chance to recover and repair overnight.
By getting more magnesium, you will find that the blood pressure reduces, making it easier to get to sleep. This is a good cycle, as they both work hand in hand.
However, you cannot just eat black beans to get more magnesium in your diet. You will need to change other aspects. Carbonated drinks, sugary foods, and caffeinated drinks can make it harder for the body to absorb enough magnesium.
Improved Immune System and Energy Levels
Do you ever feel like you are the head is swimming? It is like there’s a fog in your head, making you feel drained and unsatisfied. You cannot concentrate, and your memory functions are poor. On top of that, you seem to get every single common cold going.
This could be a sign of poor iron levels. We have already mentioned that iron can make IBS or leaky gut worse, but that is not all. Iron helps to improve the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream. It is the iron that allows your muscles create myoglobin and hemoglobin, two proteins that hold the oxygen. The proteins are passed through the bloodstream and get to all the organs to keep them active and healthy.
While iron levels can be improved relatively quickly with medication, it is best to get the mineral in its natural form. Black beans will give you a fifth of your daily recommended allowance, helping you to improve your energy levels and feel more human again.
When your body has more energy and the organs get oxygen, the immune system can work effectively. You will be able to fight off more common colds and keep other illnesses at bay.
Moreover, then there are the antioxidants to consider. They go a long way in keeping your immune system healthy and working properly. They will get into the cells and protect them from oxidative stress damage. You can keep free radicals at bay and prevent the development of cancers, dementia, and other conditions. The signs of aging will not occur as quickly as they would without the antioxidants in your system.
You can also improve your mental health. More energy and more mental clarity will make you feel more positive about your life. You can feel like you have the energy to get things done daily, which makes you want to do more throughout the day.
Of course, the fact that you have more protein and fiber will also help with the mental and physical fatigue. You will not feel as many sugar cravings since your body has enough energy to get to the next meal. Your body will not pester you for snacks to keep the feeling of hunger at bay. It is easier to stick to your diet, and you will be proud of yourself.
Anything that either has bright or deep colors are best for antioxidant and mineral amounts. The antioxidants make the colors. Black beans are the darkest beans you can find, which is why they are the best of all legumes for antioxidants and other nutrients.
It is Easy to Add Black Beans to Your Diet
While you are looking for ways to add black beans to your diet, consider both savory and sweet meals. You may be surprised to hear that these legumes are perfect for replacing some flours and sugars to create delicious cakes. Nobody will know the difference, especially when you add cocoa powder and fruits to the mixture.
Black beans are the easiest legumes to add to your diet. You can throw them into soups and stews and add them with kidney beans to your chilies. Do not forget to add them to salads and pasta pots, whether you want something cold or hot. They also make delicious sandwich fillings.
Now is the time to add black beans to your diet. Your health will thank you for them.