Black Bean

Latin name: Phaseolu vulgaris
Other name: turtle bean

What is a Black Bean?
The black bean is a small black shiny bean and has a rich flavor, similar to mushrooms. Black beans and other beans such as pinto beans, navy beans and kidney beans are varieties of the same species, Phaselous vulgaris. These varieties are often called “common beans,” probably due to the fact that they all came from a common bean ancestor that originated in Peru. Common beans were subsequently spread throughout South and Central America, eventually making their way to Europe in the fifteenth century. Because these beans are a very inexpensive form of quality protein, they have become popular in many cuisines throughout the world, notably Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic.

What are the health benefits of Black Beans?
Considered warming, black beans are used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat lower back pain, knee pain, infertility, seminal emissions, blurry visions, ear problems, and also to promote diuresis.

Like many other legumes, black beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering dietary fiber; they also contain insoluble fiber, which research studies have shown helps prevent constipation, and also helps protect against digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis. Research has found that eating high-fiber foods also helps prevent heart disease. One cup of black beans will supply nearly 75% of your daily value for dietary fiber.

Also contributing to heart health are the significant amounts of folate and magnesium that are found in black beans. Black beans are rich in iron, which helps increase your energy level. Recent research has found that black beans are as rich as cranberries in the antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins that help protect against cancer.

If you’re wondering how to replace meat in your menus, black beans are a good choice. Black beans become a complete source of protein when combined with a whole grain, such as rice. With a whole grain counterpart, black beans provide protein that is comparable to that of meat or dairy foods, without the high calories or saturated fat. A cup of black beans will provide about 30% of the daily value for protein.

Where can I find Black Beans?
Black beans can be found in most grocery stores.

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This entry was posted in Foods, Natural Health Dictionary.