Good News for Bean Lovers: Beans Are a Health Food!
According to the USDA Research Report, Research done for the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that heart-healthy
nutrients found in many vegetables, fruits, and red wine are also found in the skin of beans. These compounds, called flavonoids, are antioxidants. In recent years, we have come to understand that antioxidants help to counter the effects of aging and prevent chronic diseases. Antioxidants protect against free radical damage to cells. Free radicals can damage or alter DNA, protein molecules, enzymes, and cells, which can lead to cancer, accelerated aging, and heart disease.
Dr. George Hosfield of Michigan State University, a plant breeder at the East Lansing school, is the lead researcher on this project. He says, “Beans are probably the best human plant food there is.” Beans, he explains, are low in fat and chock-full of protein and fiber. They also provide important vitamins and minerals, including iron, folic acid, zinc, and potassium.
Dr. Hosfield adds, “With the additional bonus of their antioxidant potential, you have almost the perfect food.” He also stated that his research may lead to breeding new varieties of bean plants with higher concentrations of the antioxidant flavonoids than occur in natural beans.
Nature’s Perfect Food
As bean lovers, we have always known that beans were extremely good for us. Now we have additional information to prove the point that beans are nature’s most nearly perfect food.
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