I beans are fully part of the classic Mediterranean diet: legumes in general bring many nutrients important for our health, they are not particularly caloric and on the contrary, they help to keep the sense of hunger.
There are so many varieties of beans existing in the world, some of which are grown extensively in Italy too – borlotti and cannellini beans are a typical example. It is therefore easy to understand why they have always been present on our tables. On the other hand, this food possesses very interesting nutritional properties: compared to about 100 calories – a value that can vary according to the type of legume – a portion of cooked beans of 100 grams provides a significant amount of proteins and fiber.
As the experts from the Humanitas group, the presence of particular nutritional elements is related to correct functioning of our body and some important benefits. The fibre, for example, are essential for the digestive process and stimulate intestinal functions. In addition, they are an excellent ally to fight hunger and to lose weight: one research conducted by the Medical University of South Carolina proved as a high fiber diet you increase the sense of satiety and help you lose weight.
Beans are very useful for heart health, particularly thanks to their lecithin content. This substance acts against LDL cholesterol, preventing its deposit in the blood and arteries and thus carrying out an important preventive action against heart disease. One study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition reveals a correlation between the consumption of beans and a reduction in blood pressure, another key factor for reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems.
Being low glycemic index foods, beans counteract the onset of type 2 diabetes and help keep the disease under control. A diet rich in these legumes allows you to reduce sugar and triglyceride levels in the blood, as demonstrated by one review of 41 studies published a few years ago in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Finally, the beans own fair amounts of minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus and potassium, thus contributing to the general well-being of our body. However, we must be careful not to overdo the doses: they can in fact cause intestinal disorders such as meteorism and swelling, especially if you suffer from diseases such as colitis. As a precaution, always ask your doctor for advice and do not hesitate to discuss your doubts.