Black beans are amazing! They have tons of health benefits and can be prepared tons of different ways. Black beans are very high in fiber, folate, protein, and antioxidants, along with many other vitamins and minerals. When combined with brown rice, they make a perfect protein which makes them ideal for those on a vegetarian diet. Check out a few of the benefits of black beans below and then give our Chilaquiles Casserole a try for dinner!
Digestive Tract Benefits
The high amount of protein and fiber in black beans help us to digest them at a steady pace. This keeps the digestive track healthy by maintaining the level of chemicals and enzymes the same throughout.
Blood Sugar Regulation
The steady movement of protein and fiber during digestion causes it to break down at an even pace. This makes the blood sugar absorption from the digestive track also remain steady and even.
Black beans are very high in soluble fiber, the type of fiber that has been found to help in lowering blood cholesterol levels. Increasing your consumption of soluble fiber, especially from legumes can lower your risk of coronary heart disease ad heart attack.
Black beans also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They help prevent cardiovascular disease by reducing excessive oxidative stress and inflammation in the blood vessels. Black beans are also high in folate and magnesium, both nutrients highly associated with preservation of cardiovascular health, and the antioxidant minerals zinc and manganese.
Black beans consumption has been connected with reducing the risk of certain cancers. This is attributed to the at least 8 different flavonoids (great antioxidants) and their high content of phytochemicals. Recent studies have suggested black beans can be effective against colon adenoma, a non-cancerous tumor that can turn into colon cancer.
Nervous System Health
Folate, or vitamin B6, is abundant in black beans. The nervous system relies on folate to produce the amino acids it needs to function. For pregnant women a deficiency in folate can cause the improper development of the fetus’s brain and spinal cord. The high iron content of black beans is also particularly beneficial to pregnant women.
Rich in Molybdenum
Black beans are a rich source of the trace mineral molybdenum. Molybdenum breaks down and detoxifies sulfites found in foods like salads and wines. Many people are sensitive to sulfites, and they may cause rapid heartbeat, headache or disorientation when eaten. Studies also show that molybdenum deficiencies can result in impotence in older men.
Getting in enough healthy fruits, veggies, and other nutritious foods isn’t always easy. When you don’t have the opportunity or time to shop or cook, try our Wellness Program to supplement your nutritional needs on the go.
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Chilaquiles Casserole Recipe
This enchilada-style casserole is packed with nutritious beans and vegetables. Canned prepared enchilada sauce can be substituted for a green enchilada sauce or substituted for two 8-ounce cans of plain tomato sauce for some variety.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium zucchini, grated
- 1 19-ounce can black beans, rinsed
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 1/2 cups corn, frozen (thawed) or fresh
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 corn tortillas, quartered
- 1 19-ounce can mild red or green enchilada sauce
- 1 1/4 cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a 9×13 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini, beans, tomatoes, corn, cumin and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are heated through, about 3 minutes.
- Scatter half the tortilla pieces in the pan. Top with half the vegetable mixture, half the enchilada sauce and half the cheese. Repeat with one more layer of tortillas, vegetables, sauce and cheese. Cover with foil.
- Bake the casserole for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the casserole is bubbling around the edges and the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes more.