Ernie Gray, CDBAB Chairman, provided the following excerpts from the Miracle of Nature’s Healing Foods, an investing publication by J.E. O’Brien (Globe Communications Corp. 1189 Globe Mini Mag 231) available from Globe Communications Corp., 5401 N.W. Broken Sound Blvd., Boca Raton, FL 33487.
Beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas are warehouses of plant protein wrapped in beneficial fiber and free of the fats, harmful chemicals and industrial additives that accompany protein found in meats. In addition, legumes also contain a set of chemicals called protease inhibitors which actually neutralize the cancer causing free radicals called hydroxyl radicals, according to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania.
One cup of dried beans a day can reduce total cholesterol 19% and “bad” LDL cholesterol by about the same, according to investigators at the University of Kentucky. Eating beans regularly also lowers blood pressure, exports report.
The same amount of beans has the almost magical ability to control insulin and blood sugar levels so well that Type I diabetics (the kind who need daily shots of insulin) can reduce the amount of insulin by 38% or more. For Type II diabetics, the adult onset sufferers who do not produce enough insulin, legumes can virtually eliminate the need for insulin shots and often other diabetes drugs as well. What’s necessary is replacing meat with beans or peas as the source of protein in your diet, according to University of Kentucky authority Dr. James Anderson. The high content of gummy and pectin fiber produces the regulating effect.
A side-benefit of the large supply of these kinds of fiber is that they stifle hunger, keeping you from eating too many high-calorie foods, and promote the excretion of sodium, which is good for your blood pressure. Beans also make your digestive system work the way nature intended it to by regulating the function of the colon, preventing and curing constipation and preventing hemorrhoids and other bowel problems. Beans are rich in anti-cancer substances called lignans. Friendly bacteria in the colon, lignans convert into hormone-like substances which scientists say may fight off breast and colon cancers.
On the practical side, please note that canned baked beans work as well as the dried beans you painstakingly prepare yourself. A 7.5 ounce can supplies a therapeutic dose, says Dr. Anderson, and can lower blood cholesterol by 12% or more in a few weeks. A one-half cup of cooked beans contains the following:
Black Beans – 132 calories, less than 1 g fat and 10 g fiber.
Kidney Beans – 127 calories, less than 1 g fat and 9.5 g fiber.
Pinto Beans – 131 calories, less than 1 g fat and 10 g fiber.
White Beans – 143 calories, less than 1 g fat and 8 g fiber.