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A Cup of Boiled Beans / Bean Sprouts reduce the risk of Cancers
Amongst the different kinds of cancers, prostate cancer is the most common one among American men. It usually affects men who are above 40 years old. An increasing number of deaths have been reported due to this kind of cancer. A large number of plant products have been found to be very effective in reducing the risk of cancer. Bean is a common name given to a group of legumes belonging to the family of Fabaceae. These legumes are either consumed raw or after cooking and have shown the tendency to stop a number of cancers.
Nutritional Value Of Beans
Beans are generally rich in soluble fiber and all the health friendly nutrients like proteins and complex carbohydrates. They are also rich in vital vitamins and minerals like Niacin, thiamine, iron, selenium, potassium and molybdenum.
How do beans fight against cancer?
The sprouts of beans contain a flavonoid known as - Isoliquiritigenin (ISL), which contains certain anti-tumorigenic properties. When human and rat prostate cancer cells were tested with different concentrations of ISL, the rate of progression of the cell cycle was found to be reduced. Basically, the cell cycle was arrested by ISL . This flavonoid also stimulates apoptosis or programmed cell death within the prostate cancer cells via mitochondrial pathway . To study the effect of whole beans on colon cancer in mice, they were injected with azoxymethane (a carcinogenic, neurotoxic chemical) and later fed with soluble and insoluble fraction of beans. It was found that the anticancer action of whole beans was due to the equal contribution by both soluble and insoluble fractions . Latin Americans consume a very high quantity of dry beans and the chances of colon cancer have been found to be minimal.
Some Other Health Benefits Of Beans
Beans are very rich in fiber content (9-13 gm is obtained from one cup of cooked beans). As a result, it reduces the calorie intake and at the same time regulates the bowel movement also. It is good for people suffering from coronary heart disease, diabetes and obesity. A lipid profile analysis of people who consume a diet rich in beans has shown that the bad cholesterol (LDL) levels are significantly low .
How to include beans in our diet?
A cup of boiled beans or sprouts every day is advisable. Heating them in a microwave for some amount of time does not affect the quality of the protein and increases the digestibility of legumes. They can be consumed in the form of soups, salads or also as a snack item.
After analyzing the health benefits associated with beans, it is strongly advisable that one should wisely include it as a regular dietary component. This helps to keep deadly disease like cancer away.
1. Lee YM, Lim do Y, et al. Induction of cell cycle arrest in prostate cancer cells by the dietary compound isoliquiritigenin. J Med Food, 2009 Feb,12(1), 8-14. PMID: 19298190.
2. Jung JI, Lim SS, et al. Isoliquiritigenin induces apoptosis by depolarizing mitochondrial membranes in prostate cancer cells. J Nutr Biochem, 2006 Oct, 17(10), 689-96. PMID: 16517140.
3. Bobe G, Barrett KG, et al. Dietary cooked navy beans and their fractions attenuate colon carcinogenesis in azoxymethane-induced ob/ob mice. Nutr Cancer, 2008, 60(3), 373-81. PMID: 18444172.
4. Bazzano LA, Thompson AM, Non-soy legume consumption lowers cholesterol levels: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis, 2011 Feb, 21(2), 94-103. PMID: 19939654.