While all beans are deemed heart-healthy and considered a major part of a healthy diet, new research shows that black beans are leading the way.
In a number of studies, black beans have been shown to lower the glycemic response when eaten alone, or even when eaten with a higher glycemic food like rice. (1) This means that beans have been shown to lower blood sugar levels after meals, which can decrease the risk of cardiovascular issues. (1)
Researchers believe that, in addition to beans having a high insoluble fiber content – which slows the absorption of sugar – there are constituents in beans that lower the levels of alpha-amylase, a digestive enzyme responsible for delivering sugars into the blood.
One reason digestive enzyme supplements should be used carefully is because they are often high in alpha-amylase, which can drive sugars into the blood too rapidly. In a world where pre-diabetes is an epidemic, we surely do not need help raising blood sugar levels.
Black beans were also found to protect cells and the DNA from damage due to toxic exposure. (1)
Black beans seem to provide better gastro-intestinal benefits compared to other beans due to their higher insoluble fiber content. The indigestible fraction in black beans particularly has been shown to support the ability of the bacteria in the colon to produce the needed chemicals to make healthy colonocytes, which help protect the wall of the intestines and help the gut maintain proper function. (1)
1. Downey M. Life Extension Mag. Apr 2013