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According to Doctor Perricone:

Bean and lentil

It is a very high-protein food such as:

  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Poultry
  • Fish

It is also a very is rich vitamin vegetables. The beneficial phytochemicals found in beans offer other preventive health attributes not reflected in the USDA’s Pyramid. The multi-faceted nutrition and prevention powers of beans—a category that encompasses common beans (e.g., kidney, black, navy, pinto), chickpeas (garbanzo beans), soybeans, dried peas, and lentils—make them an anti-aging dietary necessity.

Beans are low in fat (except for soybeans), calories, and sodium, but high in complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber, and they offer modest amounts of essential fatty acids—mostly omega-6s (only soybeans have significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids). They are also an excellent source of protein, needing only to be combined with grains such as barley or oats to provide all the amino acids necessary to make a complete protein for vegetarians who do not have other sources of protein for their meals.

Beans are extremely beneficial in an anti-diabetes diet because they rank low on the glycemic scale, which means that they do not cause the inflammatory, hunger-inducing spike in blood sugar levels associated with refined grains and baked goods. Beans offer ample fiber (one cup of cooked beans can provide as much as 15 grams of dietary fiber, more than half the recommended “daily value” of 25 grams and are released into the bloodstream slowly, providing energy and satiation for a sustained period. However, I recommend no more than 1/4 to 1/2 cup cooked beans per meal.

Healthy Benefits of Bean

Beans are heart-healthy for a number of reasons in addition to their fiber content:

They are a good source of potassium, which may help reduce your risk of high blood pressure and stroke. More than 80 percent of American adults do not consume the daily value for potassium (3,500 mg), and just 1/2 cup of cooked dry beans contains as much as 480 mg, with no more than 5 mg of sodium.
Dry beans are a good source of folic acid, which protects against heart disease by breaking down an amino acid called homocysteine. (One cup of cooked dry beans providing about 264 mcg of folate, or more than half the recommended daily intake of 400 mcg.) High levels of homocysteine in the blood, or inadequate amounts of dietary folate, can triple the risk of heart attack and stroke. Folate is also key in preventing birth defects, and may help reduce the risk of several types of cancer because it plays an important role in healthy cell division and is crucial to the repair of damaged cells.
In a large study of almost 10,000 men and women, those who ate beans four or more times a week cut their risk of coronary heart disease by about 20 percent, compared with those who ate beans less than once a week. It appears that this health benefit was independent of other health habits, since adjustments to account for other important cardiovascular disease risk factors produced minimal change in the risk estimates.
Other studies show that bean and lentils, reduce blood cholesterol levels by 10 percent or more: an effect that can result in a 20 percent decrease in the risk of coronary heart disease.
Beans and lentils have the same potent anti-inflammatory antioxidants—flavonoids and flavonals—found in tea, fruits, grapes, red wine and cocoa beans. In particular, the reddish flavonal pigments in bean and lentil seed coats exert antioxidant activity 50 times greater than vitamin E, protect against oxidative damage to cell membrane lipids, promote healthy collagen and cartilage, and restore the antioxidant powers of vitamins C and E after they’ve battled free radicals.
Beans are among the richest food sources of saponins, chemicals that help prevent undesirable genetic mutations.
As a personal trainer and nutrition consultant, I highly recommend these foods, and also to read Doctor Perricone’s books.
For more information, feel free to contact me. I work in Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens and West Palm Beach areas.

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