Black beans (like most other legumes) are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber as well as protein. In addition to lowering cholesterol, black beans’ high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia.
Black beans also make an excellent substitute for red meat in many recipes and are perfect for increasing the nutritional needs of vegans.
These smoky flavored beans are a good source of protein, and when combined with a whole grain such as whole wheat pasta or brown rice, provide protein comparable to that of meat or dairy foods without the high calories or saturated fat.
Less well known is the fact that black beans are also rich in antioxidant compounds. In fact, they have as much antioxidant value as grapes and cranberries, fruits long considered to be antioxidant superstars. When researchers analyzed different types of beans, they found that the darker the bean’s seed coat, the higher its level of antioxidant activity. Gram for gram, black beans were found to have the most antioxidant activity, followed in descending order by red, brown, yellow, and white beans.
Overall, the level of antioxidants found in black beans in this study is approximately 10 times that found in an equivalent amount of oranges, and comparable to that found in an equivalent amount of grapes or cranberries.
Ready to increase your nutrition?
Find these black beans in FRESH Healthy Cafe’s zesty South Western Fiesta Wrap or amp up your own healthy Fresh Protein Bowl creation.
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