Beans, Beans, the Magical Fruit..
by Hesh Goldstein
(NaturalNews) The more you eat, the lower your risk of certain cancers.
Beans have more servings of fiber than any other vegetable. One single serving will give you 20 percent of your daily-recommended fiber.
Researchers in Japan did a seven-year study. They studied more than 43,000 people between the ages of 40 and 79 that had high cancer rates and ate little fiber. The more fiber they got from beans, the lower the risk of colon cancer, especially in men, became. It was the bean fiber that impacted the colon cancer statistics more than any other source of fiber.
Other research indicates that the fiber in beans like garbanzo’s actually keep your body from absorbing carcinogens. When you take in fewer carcinogens, the less damage is done to your cells, tissues, and other organs. Less damage equates to lower cancer risk in the long run. It’s too bad that the same cannot be said for ingesting flesh foods.
Beans contain phytochemicals, which naturally fight cancer and free radicals, which ruin your cells and tissues through oxidation. The phytochemicals neutralize the free radicals before they do damage.
Greek researchers tested extracts from 11 different legumes (beans are legumes) and found that all of them neutralized free radicals. Not only that, but most of them also protected DNA from oxidative damage, which more or less explains the key to beans’ anti-cancer potential.
What about beans helping women thwart breast cancer? In a study of 90,000 young nurses, the ones who ate beans or lentils at least twice a week were less likely to develop breast cancer.
The experts assumed that the flavonols, again phytochemicals, block the free radicals, prevent oxidative damage to the cells, and encourage cancerous cells to die. All you have to do is to work at least two servings of beans and lentils into your weekly diet.
We all know there’s quite a fad about cutting carbs. If you are concerned, at all, about colon cancer, fagetaboutit.
The carbs in beans are a unique kind that the body cannot digest. As such, they wind up fermenting in your colon, thanks to the bacteria living in your gut. The fermentation produces a compound called butyrate that basically squashes inflammation and the abnormal cell growth that can lead to cancer. In addition, the indigestible carbs help give beans a low glycymic index, meaning a low risk of colon cancer. This is the super benefit of eating low glycymic index foods.
Theory leads to subjectivity. The researchers decided to put their theories to work. They took people that previously had colon polyps removed, changed their diets to include more cooked, dry beans, and after four years, those that ate the most beans were 65 percent less likely to see their polyps return.
All beans work, be it baked, pinto, kidney, navy, white, black, garbanzo, human (only kidding), or lima – all cut colon cancer risk. The more legumes that men eat the less likely they are to get prostate cancer. Three major studies found that eating lots of legumes, including beans, lentils, and split peas, dropped prostate cancer risk between 29 and 38 percent. If flesh foods are eliminated altogether, those percentages climb incredibly.
Another weapon against cancer is the folate found in B vitamins, which beans are a great source of. Eating high-folate foods reduces the risk of pancreatic and colon cancer. In addition, the folate helps to build and repair DNA. Too little leads to DNA damage and supplements will not provide the protection that folate-rich foods do.
But wait, there’s more. Bulking up with beans can help with type-2 diabetes in two ways:
1- As mentioned earlier, legumes have a lower glycemic index (GI). The GI measures how fast your blood sugar rises after eating a food. High GI foods make your blood sugar rise faster, whereas low-GI foods, like beans, cause a slower, more gradual rise. There are over 35 studies showing that diets filled with high-GI foods nearly double the risk of getting type-2 diabetes and make you 25 percent more likely to develop heart disease. High-GI foods create a spike in your blood sugar, causing your pancreas to release more insulin. So, eating high-GI foods creates a demand on your pancreas to produce more insulin. Eventually, the pancreas burns out and stops making insulin. This leads to diabetes.
2- Beans could be the single best food for weight loss. If you eat more beans despite eating more calories, you will weigh less than someone who does not eat beans and eats lower calories as well. Go figga?
If you are worried about developing type-2 diabetes, bear in mind that obesity is a major risk factor for type-2 diabetes. Not only do beans keep you slimmer, but you will get more fiber, more potassium, and you’ll eat less fat and added sugar. It’s a winning combination all across the nation.
But wait, there’s even more: high cholesterol, blood clots, insulin resistance, and oxidation all have a hand in heart problems. As an alternative to drugs and supplements, beans pit pennies against dollars.
If you took one third of a cup of black beans daily, you could cut your risk of a heart attack by 40 percent. If you ate that same one third of a cup four times a week, instead of one or none, you would be twenty two percent less likely to get heart disease.
Why would that be? Because the complex carbohydrates in beans lower the glycemic load in the meals. Then their unique combination of magnesium, copper, fiber, and alpha-linoleic acid will boost your insulin sensitivity, help prevent blood clots, and drop your risk of a heart attack. In addition, beans are an excellent source of protein, which helps to manage your weight.
If you have high cholesterol and want to take a walk on the wild side, eating half a cup of beans daily will improve your cholesterol numbers. And, if you are healthy, and you do likewise, you should experience at least a 10 percent drop in your cholesterol as well.
Remember the talk about phenols? These same phenols may also prevent hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) because the flavonoids in beans are natural antioxidants. As such, they work against the free radicals before they can attack cholesterol and oxidize it. That’s important because oxidized LDL cholesterol contributes to atherosclerosis. The best beans for this are black, red kidney, pinto and lentils.
Now for a treat: Brownies! Believe it or not, brownies can actually be healthy. Replace up to half the shortening with pureed cannelloni beans. That will cut away 40 percent of the fat, give you fewer calories, and taste just as good. A study was done that did this and it found that the beans did not noticeably change the yumminess, the texture, color, or tenderness of the brownies. And doing this will help you battle heart disease and type-2 diabetes while still enjoying a treat, plus save you money. Canned white beans cost 80 percent less than butter and slightly less than margarine, ounce for ounce and make a great substitute if no cannelloni’s are available. And if you want even less fat and cholesterol, use egg replacer, which also does not alter the taste