Cannellini beans, also known as white kidney beans are protein rich beans with a nutty flavor and great nutrient content. Regular consumption of these beans is found to offer many health benefits and prevent serious diseases. Cannellini beans have a firm texture and they maintain their shape even after cooking. They are a great addition to salads, stews, soups and many other dishes. Native to central and South America, cannellini beans form a major food item and a great source of protein in many parts of the world. They are rich in vitamins, mineral and antioxidants, which makes them a useful ingredient that promotes weight loss, improves colon health and regulates blood sugar levels.
Nutritional value of Cannellini beans
Cannellini beans happen to be a rich source of protein, carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Because of their high protein content, these beans are a major protein source in many developing countries. The carbohydrates in cannellini beans are digested slowly, which causes only a gradual rise in blood sugar levels. This makes them particularly beneficial for people suffering from diabetes. Cannellini beans are also high in various vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, potassium, molybdenum, iron, phosphorus, copper, zinc, selenium and manganese. They also contain a good amount of bioactive plant compounds such as isoflavones and anthocyanins.
Health benefits of Cannellini beans
Cannellini beans are considered an amazing super food. They are an excellent source of protein and various other nutrients. The antioxidants in them help protect your body and fight off serious diseases like cancer, heart diseases and problems with the immune system. Read on to know more about the benefits of Cannellini beans and try to add them in your regular diet.
Cannellini beans are rich in antioxidants
Cannellini beans are a storehouse of antioxidants that offer numerous health benefits. They protect your body from the damages caused by the dangerous free radicals that are often associated with many diseases and degenerative conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease etc. The antioxidants in cannellini beans also provide great benefits to your skin. They keep your skin looking young and supple by improving the elasticity of the skin. When the skin is exposed to sunlight, certain enzymes are produced by the body that breaks down the collagen, leading to wrinkles and fine lines on the skin. Free radicals are found to activate these enzymes and cause damage to the skin. The antioxidant properties of kidney beans therefore help in preventing the development of wrinkles and other aging signs.
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Cannellini beans may protect against cancer
Cannellini beans are packed with dietary fiber that is beneficial in preventing certain types of cancers. Moreover, they contain high amounts of phytochemicals and flavonoids that have potent antioxidant properties and help in reducing inflammation and slowing down the growth of cancer. The inclusion of fiber rich foods such as cannellini beans can thus help in reducing the risk of cancer. Studies indicate that women who consumed four or more serving of beans every week had a lower risk of colorectal adenomas (Benign tumors that may later develop into colorectal cancer).
Cannellini beans stabilizes blood sugar
Cannellini beans have a low glycemic index, which means that they metabolize slowly and so does not cause unnecessary spikes in the blood glucose levels. Consumption of these beans provides you with a steady supply of energy that lasts for hours. This helps in controlling your cravings for sugary food. The high levels of soluble sugars in cannellini beans also helps in stabilizing the blood sugar levels. For people suffering from diabetes, hypoglycemia or insulin resistance, kidney beans can provide long lasting energy while at the same time balancing the blood sugar levels.
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Kidney beans help reduce weight
Foods with low glycemic index such as cannellini beans help not only in controlling blood sugar levels but also in promoting weight loss. Insulin is a pancreatic hormone that helps in removing the excess sugar from the body by transporting it to the muscle and liver cells, where it is converted into energy. When you consume a high glycemic index meal, it results in the release of high amount of sugar in the bloodstream. The excess amount of sugar that cannot be converted into energy is stored in the form of fat. However, low glycemic index foods such as cannellini beans do not cause spike in blood sugar levels, as a result of which sugar is not stored as fat. Cannellini beans are rich in protein that increases the burning of calories and aids in weight loss. The fiber content in these beans makes you feel fuller for longer hours and prevents overeating. Additionally, kidney beans contain an amino acid known as leucine that helps in reducing body fat and weight.
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Cannellini beans detoxifies the body
Cannellini beans are rich in molybdenum, a trace element that plays a vital role in keeping your body healthy. Molybdenum helps in detoxifying the body by stimulating the actions of detoxifying enzymes such as aldehyde oxidase and sulfite oxidase. Aldehyde oxidase helps in getting rid of acetaldehyde, which is a toxic by-product of alcohol and yeast metabolism while sulfite oxidase speeds up the conversion of toxic sulfites into harmless sulfates.
Cannellini beans improve digestive health
Cannellini beans are rich in both soluble and insoluble fibers that offer many benefits to the digestive system. Eating fiber rich foods helps in improving digestion and in promoting regular bowel movements. It also helps in preventing digestive problems such as constipation, indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome. The starch present in these beans acts as prebiotics by stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon. The fermentation of fiber in the colon results in the formation of short chain fatty acids such as acetate, butyrate etc, which contribute to the health of the colon as well as reduce the risk of colon cancer.
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Cannellini beans protect your heart
Foods rich in fiber such as cannellini beans are exceptionally good for the heart as they help in lowering cholesterol. The soluble fibers in these beans bind with the bile acids in the intestine and eliminate it from the body. This prevents the re-absorption of bile acids by the liver, which in turn inhibits the synthesis of cholesterol. Cannellini beans are also rich in folate, a B group vitamin that help in lowering the levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that can turn toxic when found in excess amounts in the bloodstream. High levels of this amino acid are found to increase the risks of heart attack and stroke. Cannellini beans are also rich in the mineral manganese, which relaxes the blood vessels and improves the flow of blood and nutrients throughout the body.
Cannellini beans for brain health
Cannellini beans are rich in a nutrient known as phosphatidylserine, which is found to improve the health of your brain. This nutrient supports cell communication and also helps improve memory and concentration. Cannellini beans are rich in thiamin or vitamin B1, which is essential for the formation and functioning of brain cells. Thiamin plays a key role in the synthesis of acetylcholine, which ensures the proper functioning of your memory. Lack of acetylcholine is found to contribute to age related degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. Studies suggest that the regular consumption of cannellini beans help in improving and maintaining cognitive functions.
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Cannellini beans boost your energy
Cannellini beans are a good source of iron. So in addition to the carbohydrates that supply long lasting energy, the iron in these beans also help boost your energy. Iron is an important component of hemoglobin, which helps in transporting oxygen the lungs to all the cells in the body. Cannellini beans also help in preventing iron deficiency anemia by replenishing your iron stores. Thiamin, found in these beans also plays a key role in enzymatic reactions that lead to the production of energy.
Cannellini beans for pregnant ladies
In addition to providing protein and fiber, cannellini beans are also a good source of essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals that are extremely important if you are an expecting mother. The folate in cannellini beans is helpful in preventing neural tube defects in the fetus. Incorporating these beans along with a well balanced diet will help improve the health of both you and your baby. The protein in them assists in the proper growth of the baby. Calcium helps in building the tooth buds and bones of your baby. Iron helps in increasing blood circulation and in preventing anemia.
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Cannellini beans are a real super food that can offer you a wide range of health and nutritional benefits. Eating them is a great way to get plenty of antioxidants into your body. They have a mild flavor and can be used in a variety of dishes. They are inexpensive and can also be stored for a long period of time. It is important to note that uncooked or improperly cooked cannellini beans are toxic. However, when these beans are consumed after proper cooking, they form one of the healthiest additions to your diet.