6 health benefits of beans

They really are good for your heart’and other body parts, too

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green beans

Control your PMS

In a clinical trial, women who consumed high amounts of the mineral manganese in their diets each day had fewer cramps and mood swings than those who ate the lowest amounts. Yellow, green, yard-long and flat beans (also called Roma or Italian beans) are all very good sources of manganese, so add a large handful to your next stir-fry.

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Reduce cancer risk

Green beans contain an impressive list of antioxidant plant pigments, called flavonoids, including kaempferol and ?quercetin. A study of cultured human breast and gut cancer cells done at Deakin University in Australia showed a synergistic effect between the two compounds in reducing the growth of these cancer cells.

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Look after your joints

Add a cup (250 mL) of raw flat green or yellow beans to your favourite salad and you’ll get ?19 percent of your daily needs of vitamin K. Low levels are associated with a higher rate of osteoarthritis in hands and knees. This vitamin also plays a key role in the clotting of blood.

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heart disease men

Protect your heart

The soluble fibre found in beans may help to reduce LDL ( “bad”) cholesterol levels. Plus, it’s been shown to reduce inflammation and blood pressure-also good for the heart. One cup of green or yellow beans has 12 percent of your daily needs, while the same amount of fava beans provides 19 percent.

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Green beans

Improve your bone density

Green beans contain the ?trace mineral silicon, which research has shown is positively linked to bone mineral density ?in men and in women who are pre-menopausal-but not post-menopausal women (scientists suggest a possible interaction between silicon and estrogen). As well, a study at ?the Rayne Institute in the U.K. showed the silicon in green beans was more easily absorbed by the body than that found in other vegetables, making it readily available for bone building.

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beans on spoons

Absorb more iron

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps with the absorption of iron, and also assists the body in making collagen, which is vital for healthy cartilage. Add a cup of green or yellow beans to your raw veggie tray and get 19 percent of your daily needs. And just ½ cup (125 mL) of fresh fava or lima beans provides about 25 percent.

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