Haricot Bean Health Benefits, Nutritional Value and Uses

What is Haricot Bean?

Haricot beans are small, oval, plump and creamy-white with a mild flavour and smooth, buttery texture. The haricot beans is famously known as baked beans, they don’t have a lot of flavour, but do absorb other flavours easily when cook to a melting tenderness while still keeping their shape. These beans can be stored for a year or more when it is kept in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight.

Other names for haricot beans including Boston beans, navy beans, pearl haricots, and fagioli. They are widely used in the cooking of countries such as France, Spain, Portugal and South America.

Health Benefits of Haricot Bean

Antioxidant Activity: Manganese isn’t a mineral you often hear about, but it is a key cofactor in many antioxidant enzymes that can prevent the spread and impact of free radicals. This can help to lower your risk of cancer and chronic illness. Secondly, copper plays an important role as an enzyme cofactor as well, and can help to stimulate blood flow, joint mobility and overall flexibility by cutting back on oxidative stress in those areas.

Circulatory System: Keeping the blood flowing normally in our body is obviously important for the oxygenation of our organ systems and normal overall function. Iron is a key component of red blood cells, and without proper iron intake, your circulation suffers, making you susceptible to anemia, weakness, bone mineral loss, fatigue and poor circulation. Copper is also very important in this regard, as it is necessary for the synthesis of hemoglobin. In other words, without copper, iron is practically useless in the body. Haricot beans fortunately, contain high levels of both.

Growth and Repair: One of the most notable and important aspects of Haricot beans are their high content of protein. Proteins are the building blocks of all life, and we need a steady stream for the growth of new cells, tissues, muscles, bones, blood vessels and every other part of our body. Protein is essential for normal development, but also in the function of repairing damaged areas of the body and speeding the healing process. For vegetarians, navy beans are an excellent alternative source of protein, with more than 15 grams of protein in a single cup!

Memory and Cognition: Folate is a key nutrient for many different reasons within the body, including the prevention of neural tube defects and anemia, but it also affects the nervous system in a meaningful way. A deficiency of folate has been directly linked to an increase in homocysteine levels, which can often lead to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Furthermore, one of the B vitamins found in Haricot beans thiamin, can help to increase certain neurotransmitters we need for memory and cognition, so these little legumes can also keep our memory sharp as we age.

Diabetes Prevention: High-fiber foods have long been praised for its impact on diabetes, due to its ability to stabilize blood sugar levels, and improve the absorption of nutrients from the gut. With glucose and insulin levels maintained at healthy levels, you are far less likely to develop diabetes, and if you are already suffering from this condition, the high fiber in Haricot beans can help you manage your symptoms.

Heart Health: Magnesium and folate team up in navy beans to keep the heart strong and protected. Folate decreases levels of homocysteine, which is a dangerous precursor to heart disease, while magnesium functions in a similar way as potassium, reducing tension and stress in the blood vessels to lessen exertion and lower blood pressure, thus preventing heart attacks and strokes.

Digestive Issues: Haricot beans are extremely high in fiber, which is a key component to good gastrointestinal health. Fiber is able to bulk up the stool and prevent symptoms of constipation and diarrhea. Furthermore, fiber makes bowel movements more normalized by stimulating peristaltic motion. A good fiber diet cleans the intestines and prevents more serious gastrointestinal issues, like colon cancer or gastric ulcers.

Uses of Haricot Bean

Haricot Bean are used in casseroles, cassoulets and soup recipes

With little flavour of their own, they absorb other aromas and flavours easily, which makes them popular beans to use in bean salads, vegetable soups, slow-cooked dishes such as cassoulet or bean purées.

Nutritional value of Haricot Bean

Haricot beans are rich in protein, folate, iron, thiamin, and magnesium. They are loaded with antioxidants and provide a good supply of detoxifying molybdenum. They are also a good source of fiber and protein and rank low on the glycemic index. They produce alpha-amylase inhibitors which help regulate fat storage in the body.

Total Fat 0.7 g 1%

Saturated fat 0.1 g 0%

Polyunsaturated fat 0.4 g

Monounsaturated fat 0.1 g

Cholesterol 0 mg 0%

Sodium 13 mg 0%

Potassium 307 mg 8%

Total Carbohydrate 13 g 4%

Protein 6 g 12%

Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 31%

Calcium 1% Iron 10%

Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium 25% (Spillednews)

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