If you like beans, then you are able to enjoy a wide range of healthy, flavourful choices in your diet. But, you should know that not all beans contain the same health benefits. One tiny bean, the garbanzo bean (also sometimes referred to as chickpeas), is known to be one of the healthiest beans you can eat. Just one cup of garbanzo beans contains 18 grams of protein and every amino acid that is required for muscle growth.
A recent study conducted in Canada showed that those who consume garbanzo beans on a regular basis have better cholesterol levels than those who avoid the chickpeas. This is likely due to the high soluble fibre content, which absorbs water and creates a certain gel in your intestines that prevents cholesterol from being absorbed into the blood stream. This same soluble fibre also helps promote healthy gut probiotics, which helps with digestion, protects the colon, and boosts immunity.
Adding chickpeas to your diet is easy. They happen to go very well with many dishes, from salads to stews to side dishes. All you have to do is open the can and drain it! Snack on them right from the can, if you’d like. Or, if you are feeling particularly ambitious, it’s not terribly difficult to whip up a delicious hummus for dipping veggies.
Kidney beans take a close second when it comes to rating the healthiest beans. Kidney beans contain high levels of thiamin and riboflavin, which are important for helping your metabolism work efficiently. In addition to these important nutrients, one cup of kidney beans contains 14 grams of soluble fibre, which helps fight cholesterol. Kidney beans make a great addition to salads, soups, chili, and beans and rice.
Some worry that eating too many beans can cause problems with flatulence. A study recently published by Arizona State University determined that, while flatulence may increase when beans are added to the diet because of the increased fibre, the effects fade after a few weeks.