Austin, with its Mexican, Tex-Mex and vegetarian offerings, is a bean-friendly city, and that may be helping keep residents more heart healthy, according to a new study that extols the value of beans for lowering “bad” cholesterol.
By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now
Chances are you’re already trying to incorporate certain foods into your diet because they’ve been found to offer some protection against developing diabetes, heart disease and cancers. Now steady your red wine glass and push that broccoli to one side of the plate, you’ll need room for a helping of beans, especially if you’re a woman.
Cannellini, navy, pinto, kidney – almost any variety will do. According to researchers at Colorado State University legumes are not just high in the anti-oxidants that fight free radicals in the body, they may help reduce the risk of breast cancer in previously unrecognized ways.
The team of academics tested six types of beans, looking at their “antioxidant capacity” and phenolic and flavonoid content, which are all “factors thought to be associated with anticancer activity,” according to a news release about the study. They found that the levels of phenolic and flavonoid content varied widely, with deeper colored beans having more phenolic and flavonoid content, as well as stronger antioxidant abilities, compared with white beans.