Not only are black beans a rich source of plant-based protein, their consumption also brings a variety of health benefits, such as anti-diabetic and antioxidant effects. The beans can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
In a review, a team including experts from Mississippi State University analyzed the nutrient composition, phytochemical profile and health-promoting properties of black beans based on previous studies. The results have been published in the English-language journal “Food Frontiers”.
Full of healthy ingredients
Black beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) have a variety of healthy ingredients, including proteins, carbohydrates, fiber and minerals. Black beans are also a good source of phytochemicals such as saponins, anthocyanins, flavonols and phenolic acids, the team reports.
Protection against damage caused by free radicals
According to the researchers, there is ample solid evidence that black bean consumption has beneficial effects on various aspects of health. For example, healthy legumes have a proven antioxidant effect and effectively protect against damage caused by free radicals, the researchers explain.
In addition, the healthy fiber and proteins it contains can have a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels and black beans are known to have anti-diabetic effects, the team adds.
Protection against cardiovascular diseases
Another important health benefit of consuming black beans is that they can protect against cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of premature death worldwide.
The main risk factors for the development of cardiovascular diseases include high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol), high blood pressure and high levels of triglycerides and total cholesterol, the researchers report. Regular consumption of black beans can help effectively reduce some of these levels.
A plant-based diet that includes beans and legumes not only supports overall health due to its nutrient profile and bioactive compounds present, it can also have beneficial effects on the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, experts add. (as)