Healing Foods: Beans

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As for healing foods Beans are a powerful healing food and may also be considered a superfood or miracle food!

As for healing foods Beans are a powerful healing food and may also be considered a superfood or miracle food! In this instance of beans, as there are many, but here we are focusing on kidney beans, black, pinto, navy, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), soybeans dried peas and lentils. They are a fantastic source of antioxidants, with red beans, red kidney beans and pinto beans ranking in the top four of the USDA’s ranking of foods by antioxidant capacity as well as occupying two places in the USDA’s food guide pyramid. The first is in the high-protein foods category along with meat, egg, poultry and fish, while the second category is for vitamin rich vegetables. Not only are they low in fat and sodium, they also contain high amounts of complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber, while offering small amounts of omega 6 fatty acids. Soybeans do have more fat, but that is primarily in the form of healthy omega 3 fatty acids. They also contain a good amount of protein, and in combination with oats or barley supply all the necessary amino acids to make a complete protein for vegetarians who lack sources of proteins in their diets.

Healing Foods: Beans

bags of beans

Bags of Beans at store

*Beans are a great source of phytochemicals, which can help to protect from cancers by inhibiting cancer cell growth and reproduction, making them a great addition to any diet! A study done by the Harvard School of Public Health shows that women who consumed beans two or more times a week were 24% less likely to develop breast cancer. Further studies have also shown that they can be linked to the reduced chances of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, as well as breast and colon cancer.

variety of beans at market

Bags of beans in Shanghai Market

*Beans are also a great source of dietary fiber, protein, and iron, not to mention tryptophan, which is an amino acid that helps to regulate the appetite, help to sleep, and improve your mood. Most beans also contain large amounts of folate which helps with heart health. Most varieties also contain a relatively healthy dose of potassium, magnesium, vitamins B1 & B2 & K. Soybeans also contain a healthy amount of omega-3 fatty acids which are also great for your heart. They also rank low on the glycemic index, and do not cause the inflammatory, hunger inducing spike in blood sugar levels associated with refined grains and baked goods, making them an excellent addition to an anti-diabetes diet. They are also an excellent source for soluble fiber, as one cup of cooked beans can offer up to 15 grams of dietary fiber out of the 25 grams recommended daily, but that shouldn’t be taken all at once (see below!). The fiber is released slowly into the bloodstream and provides energy and satiation over a sustained period of time. This quality as well as the low glycemic index of beans also make them an excellent choice when trying to lose weight, as you can cut calories without the feeling that you are starving yourself.

large variety of beans and grains in bags at store

Wide variety of grains and beans in display bags at store

*Common Healing Foods Uses: In Chinese medical doctrines, various types of beans have been used to treat alcoholism, food poisoning, edema (particularly in the legs), high blood pressure, diarrhea, laryngitis, kidney stones, rheumatism, and dozens of other conditions. In a large study of almost 10,000 men and women, those who ate beans four or more times a week cut their risk of coronary heart disease by about 20 percent, compared with those who ate them less than once a week.

Couple in Market shopping for beans

Couple in open market shopping

*Recommended Dosage and Suggestions: Your goal should be two servings of beans a week at minimum, however that should be limited to 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cooked beans per meal. They can be cooked by themselves, or combine them with some herbs and vegetables and made into delicious soups. You can also puree them and served as a spread or dip, or you can add them to salads. Lentils and chickpeas can be ground into a low-glycemic, high protein flour as well!

We hope that Healing Foods: Beans helps both your health and your quality of life, and don’t forget they are also great if you are looking to shed a few pounds!

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