We often hear about unhealthy foods to avoid, like fast food, processed goods, and soft drinks. But what about some of the healthy foods to include in your diet on a daily basis?
For example, some of the healthiest foods you can include in your diet are beans. They are a dietary staple in many of the world’s healthiest regions and are consumed on a daily basis by the healthiest people. They have been found to help people manage their weight, fight inflammation, and lower the risk of certain diseases.
Continue reading to learn more about the health benefits of eating beans, and for more healthy eating tips, check out Diet Secrets of the Longest Living People in the World.
Why you should eat beans
Dan Buettner developed the Blue Zone Diet after studying the regions around the world where people live the longest, healthiest lives. These regions have extremely low disease rates and the highest concentrations of centenarians, or people who live to be 100. There are many dietary similarities among the regions that researchers have discovered, including the regular consumption of beans and legumes.
Beans are high in protein, antioxidants, fiber, and folate. One recent report published in Nutrients found that following a plant-based diet that includes beans on a regular basis can help your cardiovascular health, lower inflammation, help manage body weight, and help improve your gut microbiome.
According to another report from the American Diabetes Association, including more beans into your diet, as well as plenty of fruits and vegetables, can help lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Potential side effects
There are no real dangers of eating beans, but there are some potential side effects you may want to be aware of. For one, you’ll want to be careful with choosing canned beans instead of dried because canned beans often come with extra sodium. Instead, try soaking dried beans in water and then cooking them over a stove so you can add your own salt and spices.
Beans have also been known to cause mild gas and bloating in some people, which can be highly uncomfortable. Experts recommend easing into your consumption of beans if you’re not used to eating them and slowly integrating them into your diet instead of jumping right in.
The take away
Beans are one of the healthiest foods you can eat for your heart, your weight management, gut microbiome, and your overall health. If you’re not used to eating them, slowly start integrating them into your diet to give your gut some time to adjust. If you need some inspiration for how to prepare them, here are some helpful recipes.