By: Monica Lewis Stampfel
- Black Beans provide special support for digestive tract health, and particularly our colon. It has been shown to be the perfect mix of substances for allowing bacteria in the colon to produce butyric acid. Cells lining the inside of the colon can use this butyric acid to fuel their many activities and keep the lower digestive tract functioning properly.
- The soaking of black beans in water has always found fairly widespread support in food science research as a way of improving overall black bean benefits. Soaking and draining the soaked water, helps get rid of some of the phytates and tannins that can lower nutrient availability. It also means reducing flatulence-related substances like raffinose and stachyose.
- We tend to think about brightly colored fruits and vegetables as our best source of phytonutrients, but recent research has recognized black beans as a strong contender in phytonutrient benefits. The seed coat of the black bean (the outermost part that we recognize as the bean's surface) is an outstanding source of three anthocyanin flavonoids: delphinidin, petunidin, and malvidin. These three anthocyanins are primarily responsible for the rich black color that we see on the bean surface. These anthocyanins have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Kaempferol and quercetin are additional flavonoids provided by this legume. Also contained in black beans are hydroxycinnamic acids including ferulic, sinapic, and chlorogenic acid, as well as numerous triterpenoids. All these have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- These beans help regulate blood sugar and promote cardiovascular health.
|Black Bean Salsa|
Picture by Esther Vasa
Canned or Home Cooked Black Beans- 2 cups
Peeled and Diced Cucumber - 1
Diced Shallot - 1
Diced Tomatoes - 2
Non-GMO corn (fresh or frozen) - 1/4th cup
Cilantro - few sprigs finely chopped
Ground Cumin - a big pinch
Black Pepper to taste
Himalayan Salt to taste
Walnut oil - 1 tbsp
Juice of one lime
- If you are planning to cook black beans, soak them overnight, rinse the next morning and cook until the beans are done but not too soft. While cooking you can add a bay leaf, cinnamon stick, salt and whole cloves for additional flavor. Drain the stock and use it for some other dishes. You need the cooked black beans without any stock for this recipe.
- Toss all the ingredients and serve cold with homemade crackers.