Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy National Bean Day!

I just found out that today is National Bean Day. I should have a snazzy bean infused post ready to rock. The truth is, it's an insanely obscure holiday and right after the holiday spirit snatchers of Christmas and New Years, I will simply remind you why beans are a superior nutrition powerhouse!
Assorted Beans and Legumes
Beans are easily the most nutrient-dense carbohydrate source. 
- These foods help prevent diabetes and weight gain (promotes weight loss) because beans and legumes are digested slowly, having a stabilizing effect on blood sugar. This in turn promotes satiety and helps to prevent food cravings. 
- Beans contain soluble fiber, which has proven to lower cholesterol levels. 
- Their unique resistant starch and high fiber content means they aren't broken down by digestive enzymes. Your gut flora loves this type of fuel and uses it to promote growth of other healthy bacteria colonies while fermenting the fuel into compounds that help prevent against colon cancer.
- Speaking of colon cancer, eating beans or legumes only twice weekly has shown to decrease colon cancer risk by a whopping 50%. 

If you need some options, start with my split pea soup or sloppy (lentil) joes.

Still not convinced? These are just a few studies backing up bean nutrition for improved health:
1. Bazzano LA, Thompson AM, Tees MT, et al. Non-soy legume consumption lowers cholesterol levels: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases : NMCD 2011;21:94-103. 
2. O'Keefe SJ, Ou J, Aufreiter S, et al. Products of the colonic microbiota mediate the effects of diet on colon cancer risk. J Nutr 2009;139:2044-2048. 

3. Singh PN, Fraser GE. Dietary risk factors for colon cancer in a low-risk population. Am J Epidemiol 1998;148:761-774. 
4. Aune D, De Stefani E, Ronco A, et al. Legume intake and the risk of cancer: a multisite case-control study in Uruguay.Cancer Causes Control 2009;20:1605-1615. 

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