After-40 Nutrition: The Surprising Health Benefits of Beans

By Samantha Heller, MS, RD Author of Get Smart: Samantha Heller’s Nutrition Prescription for Boosting Brain Power & Optimizing Total Body HealthClinical Nutrition Coordinator at the Center for Cancer Care, Griffin Hospital

Posted on | By Samantha Heller, MS, RD | Comments ()

Beans are a super healthy, super versatile and super affordable food. Beans are high in antioxidants, fiber, protein, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc. Eating beans regularly may decrease the risk of diabetes, heart disease, colorectal cancer, and helps with weight management. Beans are hearty, helping you feel full so you will tend to eat less.

As we get older, we need fewer calories and beans are a great way to boost the nutrition power of your meal without boosting the calories. A half-cup of beans has only about 100 calories.

What Beans Can Do for You

All legumes such as kidney, black, white and red beans, chick peas and lentils confer health benefits.

  • Including beans in your diet several times a week may decrease the risk of colorectal adenomas (polyps), which may in turn lower the risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Eating beans regularly may lower the risk of coronary heart disease.
  • The Shanghai Women’s Health Study looked at the legume consumption of over 64,000 women and their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Researchers found that consumption of legumes, particularly soybeans, was inversely associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes. The more legumes these women ate, the lower their risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
Samantha Heller, MS, RD

Article written by Samantha Heller, MS, RD
Author of Get Smart: Samantha Heller’s Nutrition Prescription for Boosting Brain Power & Optimizing Total Body HealthClinical Nutrition Coordinator at the Center for Cancer Care, Griffin Hospital