Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.

    EDWARDS1411   444,818
Greater than 350,000 SparkPoints

24 Foods That Can Save Your Heart - #2 - Black Beans

Thursday, January 31, 2013

February is Heart Month both in the US and Canada, and unfortunately, most of us know someone who has had heart disease or stroke. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States; one in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke, equal to 2,200 deaths per day. And in Canada, heart disease and stroke take one life every 7 minutes and 90% of Canadians have at least one risk factor. Scary stats indeed and so it seems timely to look at some foods that can indeed help fight heart disease.
tells us about -

Black Beans

Mild, tender black beans are packed with heart-healthy nutrients including folate, antioxidants, magnesium, and fiber -- which helps control both cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Tip: Canned black beans are quick additions to soups and salads. Rinse to remove extra sodium.
tells us

Much of the original research on bean intake and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease focused on the outstanding soluble fiber content of beans. One cup of black beans provides over 4 grams of soluble fiber, and this is precisely the type of fiber that researchers have found especially helpful in lower blood cholesterol levels. Decreased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and myocardial infarct (MI, or heart attack) have both been associated with increased intake of soluble fiber from food. In particular, they have been associated with increased intake of soluble fiber from legumes. So it is anything but surprising to see black beans included in the list of legumes that provide us with cardiovascular benefits.

More recent research, however, has gone beyond this soluble fiber story and added new aspects of black bean nourishment to its list of cardiovascular benefits. Included here is the impressive variety of phytonutrients (both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory) contained within black beans. While we tend to think about brightly colored fruits and vegetables as our best source of phytonutrients, black beans are actually a standout food in this phytonutrient area. The seed coat of black beans (the outermost layer that we recognize as the bean's surface) is an outstanding source of three anthocyanin flavonoids: delphinidin, petunidin, and malvidin. These three anthocyanins are primarily responsible for the rich black color that we see on the bean surface. Kaempferol and quercetin are additional flavonoids provided by this legume. All of these flavonoids have well-demonstrated antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Also contained in black beans are hydroxycinnamic acids including ferulic, sinapic, and chlorogenic acid, as well as numerous triterpenoids. These phytonutrients also function as antioxidants and, in some cases, as anti-inflammatory compounds as well. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection is especially important for our cardiovascular system. When our blood vessels are exposed to chronic and excessive risk of oxidative stress (damage by overly reactive oxygen-containing molecules) or inflammation, they are at heightened risk for disease development. The prevention of chronic, excessive oxidative stress and inflammation is a key to decreased risk of most cardiovascular diseases. We expect to see increased attention to the phytonutrient content of black beans in future research on cardiovascular support from this special legume.

When addressing the issue of cardiovascular support, it would be wrong to ignore the rich supply of conventional nutrients in black beans. One cup of black beans provides nearly two-thirds of the Daily Value (DV) for folate--arguably one of the most important B vitamins for decreasing risk of cardiovascular disease. Black beans also provide about 120 milligrams of magnesium per cup. That's nearly one-third of the DV for a mineral that is more commonly associated with cardiovascular protection than any other single mineral. Antioxidant minerals like zinc and manganese are also plentiful in black beans. Finally, black beans provide about 180 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per cup in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

Here's a nice alternative to black beans and rice from

Quinoa and Black Beans

Makes 10 servings

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
2. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes,
3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.

Nutritional information per serving:
Calories - 153
Total Fat - 1.7 g
Saturated Fat - .2 g
Cholesterol - 0
Sodium - 517 mg
Potassium - 333 mg
Total Carbohydrates - 27.8 g
Dietary Fibre - 7.8 g
Sugars - 1.5 g
Protein - 7.7 g
Vit. A - 7%
Vit. C - 9%
Calcium - 5%
Iron - 20%
Thiamine - 14%
Niacin - 15%
Vit. B6 - 7%
Magnesium - 13%
Folate - 34%


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
-POOKIE- 2/21/2013 8:42AM

    We have black beans for breakfast three days a week.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TIMOTHYNOHE 2/21/2013 12:06AM

    one of my favorites

Report Inappropriate Comment
PLATINUM755 2/2/2013 6:09PM

    One of my favorite beans, eaten alone or mixed with other foods...Thank you for this great spotlighting!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SBULLA1961 2/2/2013 8:33AM

    Thanks for the info, going to add some black beans into today's menu.

Report Inappropriate Comment
THM_DEB 2/2/2013 6:22AM

    wow another goooddddd one... i love black beans....i also found a quick recipe for black bean soup, probably high in sodium cause of the salsa..but 1 can rinsed black beans, i jar salsa (mild works best) and i cup chicken stock...that's it and it is yummy....i think i'm going to print this one and make is very soon...please share on our low glycemic team..looks like a keeper to me!

thanks for the link, just printed the recipe!!

Comment edited on: 2/2/2013 6:24:46 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
DEELB1 2/2/2013 2:02AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
DS9KIE 2/2/2013 1:50AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
GLAMNGLOWDIVA 2/1/2013 12:59AM

    So so good for you. Thanks!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JUDY1676 2/1/2013 12:19AM

    I'm so glad I love black beans!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PEPPYPATTI 1/31/2013 6:01PM

    Thank you for sharing all the information & the recipe! Sounds delicious!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NELLJONES 1/31/2013 8:21AM

    I love beans but I soak and cook rather than used canned. They have a better texture that way. They are a carb, though, and diabetics have to watch how much they eat, no matter how "good for you" beans may be.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GABY1948 1/31/2013 7:23AM

    I LOVE anthing with soluble (and insoluble) fiber...thanks!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DEE107 1/31/2013 12:17AM

    thanks for sharing

Report Inappropriate Comment
JEANNE229 1/31/2013 12:02AM

    I love all beans.

Report Inappropriate Comment

Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

Log in to post a comment.

Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.