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The Importance of Beans for Gut Health

The Importance of Beans for Gut Health

The Importance of Gut Health

There has been an enormous amount of attention given to maintaining a healthy gut recently. We’ve been told that this complex ecosystem of trillions of microorganisms plays a pivotal role in digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function and that it is crucial to our wellbeing. Who knew SO MUCH was going on right in our gut! If you’re like us, you’ve probably already added “gut health” to your long (and growing) list of things to do to live a healthier and more connected life – the stress of which feels like it’s reducing life expectancy and not the other way around.

Maintaining a healthy gut can be overwhelming. And while there are a myriad of supplements, tinctures, and cookbooks promising to feed and cultivate this advanced ecosystem of microorganisms, there is a simple and cost effective food readily available to everyone, the consumption of which will go a long way to care for our gut health: Beans.

Beans and Gut Health

Beans, encompassing a wide variety such as black beans, chickpeas, and lentils, and of course all the heirloom varieties that we love (like Peruano’s and Rio Zape’s) , are nutrient powerhouses. Rich in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals, beans contribute significantly to a well-rounded diet. It is the high fiber content in beans that particularly catches the attention when it comes to promoting gut health.

Research has shown that the consumption of beans can positively influence the gut microbiome. The fiber in beans serves as a prebiotic, a substance that nourishes beneficial bacteria in the gut. This, in turn, enhances the diversity and abundance of these microbes, fostering a healthier microbial community.

Studies have indicated that certain types of beans, such as black beans and navy beans, have specific compounds that support the growth of beneficial bacteria like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. These bacteria are associated with various health benefits, including improved digestion and a strengthened immune system.

Other Health Benefits of Beans

Beyond their positive impact on gut health, beans offer a ton of other health benefits. Packed with antioxidants, they help combat inflammation and oxidative stress. Additionally, the nutrient-rich profile of beans contributes to heart health, weight management, and diabetes prevention.

Get Cooking With Beans!

Now that you know how beans can positively affect your gut health you may be wondering how to add them into your cooking repertoire. Dan Buettner, Author of the Blue Zones Cookbook, and leading journalist on health and longevity, advises us to eat one cup of beans a day. But any amount is a positive step forward. And as for what to make, beans have been having a moment and there are no shortage of recipes online or in the most recent round of cookbooks. We’ve also got lots of great recipes in our recipe blog so try some of ours. Wherever you source your recipes, just get cooking with beans. Your microbiomes (and your gut) will thank you. :)

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