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10 Great Reasons to Eat More Beans

I like FRIJOLES and I cannot lie! As far as I'm concerned, it's an emergency if we're out of beans in my home. Turns out being out of beans is a kind of an emergency because beans are a superfood that are so good for your health, you shouldn't do without.

Can I just say "thank you" for this bit of good news? It seems like I'm continually being told what I should be adding to my diet to make it better, so finding out how great one part of my diet already is makes me feel like for once I'm ahead of the game.

RELATED: 12 things to do with a can of black beans

1. Beans are full of fiber.

Everyone needs fiber, but if you are watching your weight fiber is particularly wonderful because it keeps you feeling full longer.

2. Beans are great for digestion.

Not only do beans have lots of fiber, they have two kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber slows down your digestion — that's why beans keep you feeling full longer. Insoluble fiber helps keep you regular and prevents constipation.

3. You never have to get bored.

There are so many different kinds of beans: pinto, black, navy, kidney and un montón more. There are also tons of different ways to prepare them, so you can eat beans pretty much on the daily without ever getting bored.

4. Beans are low on the glycemic index.

A low score on the glycemic index means that beans help keep your blood sugar steady. That means beans are good for fighting diabetes. You're welcome!

5. Frijoles act like cholesterol blockers.

The bad kind of cholesterol (known as LDL) sticks to the walls of your blood vessels, which leads to plaque buildup and inflammation. The soluble fiber in beans sticks to cholesterol in your gastrointestinal tract and keeps it from being absorbed into your blood, which helps prevent the buildup of that yucky bad cholesterol.

6. They reduce cholesterol overall.

Not only do beans help prevent bad cholesterol from being absorbed into your blood, they also help reduce the bad cholesterol that's already been absorbed. One study found that one serving of beans (3/4 cup) can reduce your levels of LDL cholesterol by five percent!

7. They're good for your corazón.

Beans are good for your heart for a variety of reasons. They contain potassium and magnesium, which are good for your heart health. They help reduce cholesterol, which in turns help reduce the risk of a heart attack. Also, they have all that fiber we talked about and fiber can reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular disease.

8. They can help keep you slim.

We already talked about how beans can help you stay full longer because of all the fiber, but did you know that the protein in beans is also great for keeping you from overeating? People on diets for weight loss often reach for animal protein to keep them full and on track, but the protein in beans has the added value of being low-fat.

9. Beans have iron.

An iron deficiency can lead to anemia. If you're anemic, your red blood cell count is lower than it should be. You end up feeling rundown and tired, and who wants that? Eating beans can help you get more iron. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that you want to have the beans with foods that have vitamin C in them to help your body absorb the plant-based iron.

10. The more you eat, the less you'll toot.

Excuse me for being indelicate, but you know how everyone blames beans for making them gassy? Well, yes, there is some truth in that, but according to Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, Health's contributing nutrition editor, "people who eat beans on a consistent basis experience less gas and bloating than people who consume them less often." So if beans are making you toot, maybe it's a sign you need to be eating them more often.

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