Beans are a great source of proteins and they are also very affordable. Beans offer us some incredible health benefits ranging from non-meat protein to fiber. This article will discuss the nutritional benefits of beans as well as 4 great substitutes for beans.
Basics About Beans
Beans are seeds that come from a flowering plant in the leguminous plants family. The bean seeds grow in the pods of these plants which usually pop open when the seeds are mature.
Beans contain a lot of amino acids which are the chemicals responsible for the formation of proteins which are very important to the human body. It is also a rich source of fiber as well as vitamins which makes it a very important food in our diet.
There are different varieties of beans that are grown all over the world. Most beans have to be cooked before they are consumed as they can be very dangerous if consumed raw.
Health Benefits of Eating Beans
The following are some of the health benefits we get from consuming beans regularly:
1. Beans Are a Great Source of Protein
Beans contain high amounts of amino acids which is a compound that helps in the making of proteins. Proteins are very important to our bodies as they help to build body tissues and muscles.
Beans can be added to other cereals which contain incomplete proteins so as to make them complete. The only type of beans that contains all the 9 proteins necessary for our bodies is soybeans.
2. Beans Help Increase Cardiovascular Health
Studies have shown that people who incorporate beans regularly in their diet have a lower risk of dying from stroke, heart attacks or any other form of vascular-related health issues.
3. Beans Help to Reduce Cancer Risk
Studies have shown that beans often act as anti-inflammatory and antioxidants. These properties help them reduce our risk of getting cancer.
Black beans have been shown to be the best in this task as they contain the highest amounts of antioxidants. They have also been proven to kill cancer damaging cells of colorectal cancer thus slowing down their growth rate.
4. Beans Prevent the Liver From Getting Fatty
Having a fatty liver is a metabolic disorder. This disorder is brought about by the accumulation of fats in the liver. Adzuki beans are a type of beans that have been proven to reduce the quantity of fats in the liver to maintain the healthy status of the liver. They also help to prevent diabetes
Numerous studies have shown that beans are able to stabilize the amount of blood glucose in your body. This property gives beans the ability to prevent an individual from getting diabetes. The high quantity of fiber in beans can help them reduce the amount of glucose in our blood.
Soybeans have been proven to improve the functioning of the pancreas. This enables the pancreas to generate enough insulin which then regulates the amount of sugar in the blood and thus prevent us from getting diabetes.
5. Beans Help Us to Lose Weight
Studies have shown that beans are able to control our appetites. The high amounts of starch and fiber in beans helps to reduce the cravings people have for sweet and fatty foods.
Beans also make the consumers feel fuller for longer and this prevents them from overeating. This can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
6. Prevents Birth Defects
Beans contain a mineral called folate which is very important for pregnant women or women who are considering getting pregnant.
This mineral promotes the healthy growth of the baby while he/she is in the womb and helps them grow strong.
7. Help Control PMS
Studies have shown that women who consume beans on a regular basis tend to experience fewer mood swings as well as less painful cramps. This is due to the manganese content in them.
The beans that contain the highest amounts of manganese include yellow-green beans, yard-long beans, and flat beans.
8. Beans Help to Fight Depression
Beans are rich in folate which helps people cope better with depression. When one consumes high amounts of folate, they will be able to prevent an increase in the amount of homocysteine production in their bodies. This will help to boost the production of norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine in the body which help in sleep regulation.
These natural chemicals also help with boosting the quality and duration of sleep and thus greatly lower your risk of depression.
Nutritional Substitutes for Beans
The following are 4 great substitutes for beans that you can use instead of beans and contain similar properties:
These also come from the leguminous plant family. They usually come in two colors, yellow or green. Peas are rich in antioxidants and proteins which makes them a great replacement for beans.
This is a great substitute to use instead of beans, especially for vegetarians. This is because it contains all 9 proteins and thus can be used instead of meat in different dishes. It is also a rich source of calcium.
Fish is a healthy substitution of beans in your diet. Fish contains very low amounts of saturated fats while the protein content in it is very high.
Fish contain an extra benefit to consuming beans which is the fact that they contain omega-3. Omega-3 helps to improve your cardiovascular health as well as promote brain growth in children.
These are high in plant proteins and are great for a vegetarian diet. Lentils also contain a lot of fiber and minerals such as copper, manganese and vitamin B1 which makes it a great substitution for beans.
Lentils are also proven to be great at controlling blood sugar as well as helping the consumer regulate their appetite and thus are great for weight loss.
From the information above, it clear to see that beans have a lot of nutritional value that makes them mandatory in our diets. They provide us with several health benefits as well as helping us get better sleep.
There are different types of beans produced in the world and each type has its own unique health benefit. Beans are very tasty and they can be prepared in different ways which makes them a very fun ingredient to have in the kitchen.
Beans are very affordable and this makes them accessible to every person despite their economic standing thus ensuring that everyone gets the protein and fiber their bodies require.
The 4 great substitutes for beans we have given you caters for all type of people including vegetarians. They also help those people who are allergic to beans to get these necessary nutrients. It is important to eat a balanced diet at every meal. Proteins help to build your body and are especially important for growing children.
Beans are great as they contain a lot of carbohydrate as well as proteins and fiber. This means that you can consume them on their own with some vegetables without having to add another carbohydrate.