So What’s The Scoop On Black Beans?
Are Black Beans A Complete Protein Source?
Black beans aren’t a complete protein source but if you weigh 180 lbs (81 kilos) then just one cup will provide 64% of your daily recommended intake of protein
The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound.
Complete vs Incomplete Protein Sources
Your body needs twenty two different types of amino acids to function properly.
Adults can synthesize thirteen of those within the body, known as non-essential amino acids, but the other nine must be obtained from foods also known as essential amino acids.
Complete Protein Sources
Complete proteins are those that contain all essential amino acids in sufficient quantity and they are typically animal-based proteins.
Dairy products, milk, cheese, yogurt and whey
But there are some plant sources that are considered complete.
Hemp and chia seed
Incomplete Protein Sources
Incomplete proteins are those that don’t contain all nine essential amino acids, or don’t have them in sufficient quantity to meet the body’s needs, and must be supplemented with other proteins.
Incomplete protein sources include.
Nuts & seeds
But being incomplete simply means that they need to be combined with another food in order to provide the right balance of essential aminos.
Proteins that, in combination, make a complete amino acid profile are known as complementary proteins.
Complementary proteins include.
Hummus and whole-grain pitas
Spinach salad with almonds
Whole-grain noodles with peanut sauce
Complementary proteins don’t necessarily need to be eaten together, but your body can’t store amino acids for later use so they should be eaten close to the time that you eat an incomplete protein.
What Are The Health Benefits of Black Beans?
Black beans are abundant in soluble fiber, which is specifically the type of fiber that has been found very helpful in lowering blood cholesterol levels.
They also contain a wide variety of both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which combat cardiovascular disease.
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection is particularly important for the cardiovascular system.
When blood vessels are exposed to excessive oxidative stress or inflammation, the risk of disease development is considerably higher.
The prevention of oxidative stress and inflammation lowers the risk of acquiring most cardiovascular diseases.
Nervous System Health
Folate, or vitamin B6, is particularly abundant in black beans and the nervous system relies on folate to produce the amino acids it needs to function.
For pregnant women a deficiency in folate can cause the improper development of the fetus’s brain and spinal cord.
And the high iron content of black beans is also particularly beneficial to pregnant women.
Digestive Tract And Colon
Recent research has shown that black beans provide special support for digestive tract health, and particularly the colon.
The indigestible fraction (IF) in black beans has recently been shown to be larger than the IF in either lentils or chickpeas.
It has been shown to be the perfect mix of substances for allowing bacteria in the colon to produce butyric acid.
Cells lining the inside of the colon can use this butyric acid to fuel their many activities and keep the lower digestive tract functioning properly.
By delivering a greater amount of IF to the colon, black beans are able to help support this lower part of our digestive tract.
Black beans contain at least eight different flavonoids with enormous antioxidant potential and recent studies suggested considerable effectiveness against colon adenoma, a non-cancerous tumor that can progress into colon cancer.
Blood Sugar Regulation
The steady movement of protein and fiber through the digestive system allows for a measured breakdown of food into its component parts.
This even breakdown of food helps to curtail extremes regarding simple sugar uptake from the digestive tract.
An excess of simple sugar uptake all at once can produce an unwanted blood sugar spike.
A lack of simple sugar uptake may produce a rapid blood sugar drop. Either extreme can upset blood sugar balance. The quantity of fiber and protein in black beans helps avoid both extremes.
Black beans are an extremely rich source of the trace mineral molybdenum.
And molybdenum serves the useful purpose of breaking down and detoxifying sulfites found in foods like salads and wines.
Many people are sensitive to sulfites, which can cause a rapid heartbeat, headache or disorientation when consumed.
Studies suggest that molybdenum deficiencies can result in impotence in older men.
It’s better to discard the water
Discarding the water the beans were soaked in means getting rid of some of the phytates and tannins that can lower nutrient availability.
It also means reducing flatulence-related substances like raffinose, up to 33% is removed along with the soaking water, and stachyose, up to 20% removed.
On the disadvantage side of things 15% of total phenols are lost, and that amount of loss is should not be of grave concern.
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