Beans are widely consumed in Brazil. Whether black, used in the traditional feijoada, carioca, most consumed in the country, or red, it is somehow part of the life of Brazilians.
In general, it is learned from an early age that consuming beans is good to stay strong. But do you really know the nutrients and benefits of this grain?
Keep reading and learn more about their varieties and the benefits of each one!
What types of beans?
There are several varieties of beans available in the markets. From the most consumed as the famous carioquinha, to those not so present in everyday life, but still used in different dishes, such as Azuki.
Each has its own characteristics and nutrients, and making a varied consumption of food can bring health benefits.
Among the existing types are:
White beans are a variety that has an elongated shape and, as the name says, white color.
It is widely used in dishes such as soups and salads and, when cooked, generally presents a creamier broth than other types of beans.
It is beneficial for health and can help with weight reduction, as it contains substances that help reduce the absorption of carbohydrates by the body.
Because of this reduction, it can also help control diabetes or reduce blood glucose levels.
The effect can reduce insulin spikes due to elevated glycemic levels. When they do occur, it is common for a person to feel hungry more quickly, even after having recently eaten.
One of the most consumed varieties in Brazil, carioca beans, is also known as carioquinha.
Like most legumes, it has a high amount of fiber, which helps in the proper functioning of the intestine.
This is because the fibers help to maintain the intestinal microbiota, in addition to increasing the fecal bolus, avoiding cases of constipation.
In addition, carioquinha is rich in protein , about 4.8g per 100g, making it a good option to supplement the diet of people who do not consume meat.
Widely used to prepare feijoada, black is the richest in iron among the types of beans, being beneficial for those who have anemia problems due to lack of iron in the body.
In addition, its dark coloring is caused by the presence of flavonoids, antioxidant pigments that help fight the action of free radicals – molecules capable of damaging healthy cells.
In this way, it helps to reduce the risks of developing cancer and other degenerative diseases.
Because it has a large amount of fiber, black beans also help control cholesterol, as this component helps to reduce the absorption of fat by the body, causing it to be digested and eliminated through the feces.
Used in several recipes, red beans are a good source of fiber.
Thus, it helps to provide a greater feeling of satiety and, consequently, can assist in weight loss.
This is because the fibers present in the grain increase the digestion time of the food, which, in general, causes less food intake.
In addition, like black beans, it has antioxidants that fight free radicals, which reduces the risk of degenerative diseases and fights premature aging.
Also called string beans, black-eyed beans are one of the most used in the northeast.
A source of vitamin A and zinc, its consumption helps to protect eyesight, reducing the risk of degenerative diseases in the eye area and night blindness.
In addition, black-eyed beans help strengthen bones and teeth, as they are a source of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, minerals that act in the proper functioning of bones.
Of Asian origin, azuki beans are a reddish variety and small in size that have a lot of nutrients.
Among its characteristics, is the fact that it ferment less than the other types of the grain. Thus, it is the most easily digestible variety and causes, in general, less flatulence when consumed.
It is also a diuretic food and therefore helps to prevent problems such as kidney stones.
In addition, Azuki has the mineral Molybdenum in its composition, a substance that acts as a detoxifier in the body, cleaning and eliminating toxins from the body.
What are the nutrients in beans?
The beans, whether black, carioca or red, have several nutrients. Rich in minerals such as iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc, it can help prevent anemia problems and promote bone health, for example. In addition, it is a source of vitamin B, which helps in maintaining memory and combating stress .
It is worth mentioning that there is not a big difference in nutrients from one type of bean to the other, the values being similar. Thus, for those who like to vary the taste of meals and ways of preparation, there are no significant losses of vitamins and minerals.
Minerals are substances responsible for the proper functioning of the body’s metabolism. In carioca beans (cooked), the main minerals present are:
Present in greater quantities, potassium acts to control blood pressure, helping to prevent high blood pressure . Calcium and phosphorus, on the other hand, help to strengthen bones and teeth, in addition to blood clotting.
Iron works to prevent problems such as anemia and magnesium, in muscle contraction.
Together, these minerals help in maintaining the health of the body.
Vitamins are compounds that act in different areas of the body, helping in the quality of physical and mental health, and providing the general good functioning of the body.
The main vitamins present in beans are:
- B1 – Maintaining the body’s balance and fighting stress;
- B3 – Cholesterol control and blood cell maintenance;
- B9 (Folic Acid) – Maintenance of memory and good development of the fetus in case of pregnancy.
What are the benefits and harms of beans?
Beans provide several health benefits for those who consume them. The nutrients present in its composition help in the correct functioning of the organism. Despite this, if consumed in excess, the food can bring some discomforts such as flatulence. Check out the main benefits and harms of food:
Among the benefits of including beans in the diet are:
- Good bowel function;
- Combating premature aging;
- It acts in the control of cholesterol;
- Controls blood glucose levels;
- Promotes a feeling of satiety;
- Assists in weight loss;
- Strengthens teeth and bones;
- Helps regulate intestinal transit;
- It is a source of proteins;
- Prevents anemia;
- Reduces the risk of degenerative diseases;
- Helps in the proper development of the fetus in case of pregnancy.
It is worth remembering that, in order to obtain the benefits without adversity, it is important to consume in moderation, since its excessive intake can cause problems such as indigestion.
Beans, in some cases, can bring some harm to some people.
Among them are:
- Flatulence (gases);
- Abdominal pain;
These symptoms occur, in general, due to problems in the digestion process. When not being digested completely, the remains of beans serve as food for bacteria in the intestine, which, when fermenting these leftovers, produce excess gases , which cause flatulence.
How to make beans to avoid gas (flatulence)?
The consumption of beans can cause flatulence in some people.
For those who suffer from the problem, but do not want to stop consuming the grain, there is a tip to reduce the symptom.
Soak them in water overnight before cooking. After the period, just dispense the water and cook normally, in clean water.
This helps to reduce indigestion, since substances such as oligosaccharides – sugars -, which are more difficult to digest and help to cause gases, pass into the water, decreasing its quantity in beans.
Which bean contains the most iron?
Despite the fact that all types of beans contain a large amount of iron in their composition, the black beans are ahead in this regard. With about 1.5mg of iron per 100g, black beans are the best choice for those who want to increase the mineral in the body.
Iron is responsible for the formation of hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells and responsible for the transport of oxygen throughout the body. Thus, it is extremely important for the circulation of the organism.
In addition, it assists in the proper functioning of the immune system, which protects the body from illness.
It is also a reliever of PMS symptoms (Pre Menstrual Tension) and participates in the production of substances such as collagen, which help to make the skin look healthy.
White beans lose weight?
It depends . White beans are beneficial for health and can help weight loss. But in general, white bean flour is the most used for this purpose.
This is because it is rich in a substance called Faseolamine – protein – which makes it difficult for the body to absorb carbohydrates.
This is because the protein inhibits the action of the enzyme responsible for transforming the starch – carbohydrate – into sugar (amylase). In this way, the compound is not digested, but sent directly to the intestine and eliminated through feces.
Thus, the absorption of starch, which would later be transformed into sugar, is reduced, helping to reduce weight.
However, it is worth remembering that the isolated consumption of food or flour will not cause significant changes in the balance. It is necessary to combine the intake of beans with a balanced diet and physical exercise.
What happens if I don’t eat beans? How to replace?
The main problem related to not consuming beans is the lack of iron in the body. But, if it is replaced by other options that have the same nutritional value, its absence will not cause major problems.
Some alternatives for the grain are:
These grains, which are part of the legume family, have nutrients similar to beans, and can supply part of the organism’s needs.
Whether in beans or any other food in the legume group, a tip to enhance the absorption of iron by the body is to consume them together with sources of vitamin C, such as orange juice, for example, because the vitamin is an absorption optimizer of the mineral.
Beans are an almost indispensable food in the daily lives of some people.
Consuming the grain, in addition to its flavor, can provide health benefits such as fighting anemia and even helping to lose a few pounds on the scale.
Did you already know the different types of benefits that food provides?
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