Black bean scientifically known as Phaseolus vulgaris (commonly called Black turtle bean, Dry bean), is a herbaceous and annual plant belonging to legume or bean family Fabaceae. It is originated in South and Central America and is cultivated widely in various parts of world for its edible beans.
The beans are harvested and consumed immature. The varieties of Phaseolus vulgaris varieties are developed in both bush and twinning forms. Bush forms reach 1 meter tall and grow in erect leafy clumps. Twining forms grow upto 4 meters long and needs the support of poles or trellising. Plants possess trifoliate compound leaves having oval to rhombic leaflets measuring 16 cm long and is pubescent. Flowers are yellow, violet, white or red which forms in loose and open unbranched clusters. Flowers are replaced by round to slightly flattened pods which measures about 15 cm long.
Black beans also known as turtle beans are classified as legumes. Black bean has hard shell like appearance. It is a shiny variety of common bean which is well common in Latin American cuisine though it could be found in Creole and Cajun cuisines of South Louisiana. Black bean is also used in Punjabi cuisine and is known as black beans. In US, it is used correspondently with vigna mungo. Though it have been cooked and cultivated for thousands of years in South America, it did not reach Atlantic till 1500’s in boats of European explorers.
Similar to other legumes such as peas, peanuts and lentils, Black beans are appreciated for its high content of protein and fiber. It contains various minerals and vitamins which is beneficial for human health. It is a great source of magnesium, thiamin, manganese, phosphorus, iron and folate.
Black beans are native to Central and South America dating back 7000 years where it became a staple food. In 15th century, it was discovered by Spanish explorers in Peru and were brought and introduced to Europe. Ultimately, it spread to Asia and Africa by Portuguese and Spanish traders and became popular for long term storage ability, ease of growth, texture, taste and nutrient. Presently, it is a staple diet in Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, Dominican Republic and Guatemala cuisines. Brazil and India are the top leading producers of dried black beans. Indonesia, Mexico and United States also produce these beans.
Health Benefits of Black bean
Black beans are healthy addition to diet. As it contains high content of protein, it is excellent for vegetarians and vegans. Black beans are loaded with fiber which supports digestion. It helps to reduce cholesterol and promote overall heart health. Due to its complex carb and protein, the body takes longer time period for digestion than simple carbs. This makes one feel fuller for longer time period.
1. Prevention of cardiovascular problems
Black beans protect heart health by lowering inflammation. It contains high content of phytonutrients such as flavonoids known as petunidin, delphinidin and malvidin. The studies have shown to control lipid fat metabolism and supports excretion of cholesterol.
Black beans have high content of soluble fiber which is a dietary fiber that is related to counteract heart disease by balancing unhealthy level of cholesterol. Studies have shown that diet rich in dietary fiber from legume and bean sources helps to protect cardiac arrest, heart disease and stroke. Fiber helps to lower inflammation as it eliminates toxins and waste from the body by clearing arteries from buildup of harmful plague. Studies have shown that one serving daily (3/4 cup of cooked beans) helps to lower risk of heart attack and balances bad cholesterol.
Moreover, Black beans are a great source of magnesium, folate which is vital for maintaining healthy cardiovascular system. Black beans have high content of fiber which prevents overconsumption as well as gaining excess weight around heart.
2. Source of antioxidants
Black beans have essential flavonoid and phytochemical compounds that acts as anti-inflammatories and antioxidants; which is helpful for protecting various forms of cancer especially colon cancer. Black beans having deep black color are richest source of antioxidants. Antioxidants help to counteract damage made by free radicals or oxidative stress.
When free radicals are excessively present in the body and standard western; or poor diet does not provide adequate antioxidants for counteracting free radical damage then disease is more likely to develop. Brightly colored vegetables and fruits have high content of antioxidants; which is also found in deeply colored black beans as well as other legumes.
Studies shows that high antioxidants found in Black beans assist in preventing DNA damage and gene mutation; which could lead to lower chances of cancerous cells development.
3. High content of fiber
Beans are a great source of fiber. Black beans have high content of dietary fiber which provides the feeling of satiety after consuming and assist in controlling blood sugar levels. Animal studies shows that consumption of Black beans assist in controlling appetite and result to significant reduction in unhealthy body fat. For maintaining good digestive health, adult should consume 30 grams of fiber every day. So consume one cup of black beans. The protein and fiber assist glucose from starch of beans to release slowly into bloodstream. Beans keep you full for longer time period.
4. Digestive health
Fiber content in Black beans promotes digestion by clearing digestive tract from buildup of toxins. It acts like a boon for digestive system which pushes waste through digestive tract so that the bacteria found in gut flora is balanced. It prevents unwanted health problems such as IBS and constipation.
Studies have shown that Black beans protect colon health and prevents colon cancer due to its ability to obstruct oxidative damage in digestive system. Fiber maintains pH level of the body, balance alkalinity and acidity. It has alkalizing effect which balances pH levels by eliminating high level of acidity.
Studies have shown that Black beans clear unwanted bacteria and toxins from the body which restores digestive activity and enhance overall health. Fiber assist in nutrient absorption and release acids to bloodstream, providing fuel, liver function, cleanse digestive tract and eliminating pathogens, harmful waste, extra sugar and unhealthy cholesterol. Consume adequate fiber from plant sources for stimulating digestion, balance electrolytes and maintain healthy metabolism.
5. Provide energy
Consume right type of carbohydrate in form of whole and refined vegetables, legumes, starches and sprouted grains for stabilizing blood sugar levels. Beans contain complex carbohydrate known as starch, which the body digest slowly and use it for energy without spiking level of blood sugars. It makes Black beans low on glycemic index.
6. Stabilize blood sugar levels
Black beans have starch which contains glucose, which is used by the body easily for various functions. Simple or fast carbs does opposite of complex carbs such as starch-raising blood sugar levels quickly as high sugar content is released at once to blood. Intake of wrong type of carbohydrate results to dips and spikes in energy levels which results to sudden sugar high after consumption of simple carbs which follows sugar crash.
It leads to low level of energy and puts chronic stress on the body. Black bean provides time released energy in form of starches which makes it a great source of carbohydrate for person with resistance to insulin or diabetic patients.
7. Great source of vitamins and minerals
Black beans are a great source of minerals and vitamins. It has high content of iron, magnesium, and high content of phosphorus, folate and Vitamin B. It is essential for vegans and vegetarians who may be lacking in these nutrients with the elimination of animal sources. Black beans have anti-inflammatory activity which prevents fibromyalgia, metabolic syndrome, leaky gut and others.
Foods rich in magnesium are essential for maintaining cellular health as well as 300 biochemical functions in the body.
8. Protein content
One cup of Black beans offers 14 grams of fat burning protein with essential nutrients and antioxidants that helps to slow down aging process. Body use protein in form of amino acids for various function. Consume adequate amount of protein daily to counteract symptoms associated with protein deficiency including fatigue, muscle weakness, eye problems such as cataracts, low energy, poor skin health, heart problems and imbalanced hormones. Protein is essential for building muscles and makes the body energetic, youthful and strong. Beans add high fiber protein and low fat to the diet.
9. Lose weight
Black bean has low amount of calories with adequate nutrients and fiber. Consume black beans to prevent overeating since fiber expands in digestive tract, soaks water by taking high volume. It lowers food cravings for sweets or snacks and processed junk foods between meals. It is beneficial for those who want to lose weight and watching their intake of calories.
10. Prevention of Birth defects
Pregnant women should consume diet high in folic acids which assist in preventing birth defects.
400 micrograms of folic acid before or early into pregnancy lowers the chances of neural tube defects in infants which could be lowered by 70%. Neural tube defects such as encephalocele, anencephaly and spina bifida could develop within first 28 days of pregnancy. Add black beans to the diet as it offers daily recommended intake having just one cup. But remember not to consume more than 1000 mcg of folic acid per day as it could lead to deficiency in Vitamin B12.
Source: https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com | Black bean
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