The Anti-Aging Benefits of Beans

Kidney beans in a bowl

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Beans can be a healthy part of your diet, and they contain anti-aging properties. Beans are a good source of protein. Unlike animal protein sources (like meat and dairy), they do not contain any unhealthy fat. They're also extremely high in antioxidants. In fact, half a cup of dried red, kidney, or pinto beans contains some of the highest amounts of antioxidants in any food.

Nutritional Value of Beans

So beans are a great source of low-fat vegetarian proteins, but their nutritional benefits do not end there. Beans, like other legumes, also naturally contain fiber, a non-negotiable substance when it comes to gastrointestinal health. The fiber in beans also helps to satisfy you quicker, meaning you can feel full on less calories than a fiber-poor meal.

Beans are also a great source of folate (also known as folic acid or vitamin B9), which is known for its ability to help repair damaged cells. All-in-all, beans can be a great addition to any healthy diet, assuming that they are prepared without excess sodium or fats.

Just take look at some of this nutritional data for one of the most popular types of beans:

Nutrition Facts: Kidney beans, raw (Serving Size: 1 cup)
Calories 613
Total Fat 1.5 g 2% Daily Value
Cholesterol 0 g 0% Daily Value
Sodium 44 mg 1% Daily Value
Potassium 2587 mg 73% Daily Value
Total Carbohydrate 110 g 36% Daily Value
Dietary Fiber 46 g 184% Daily Value
Protein 43 g 86% Daily Value
Calcium 25% Daily Value
Vitamin C 13% Daily Value
Iron 83% Daily Value
Vitamin B-6 35% Daily Value
Magnesium 64% Daily Value

Though different types of beans carry slightly different stats (an equivalent serving of raw black beans, for example, has slightly less fiber and no vitamin C), all beans contain anthocyanin, a powerful flavonoid known for its antioxidant properties.

The Importance of Antioxidants in Anti-Aging

Antioxidants are especially important for anti-aging and longevity. Antioxidants are not actually substances in and of themselves as the marketers might have you believe. Rather, the term antioxidant refers to a substance's ability to remove damaging oxidizing agents in the body, which explains how so many different natural substances have been described as antioxidants.

What's most important in anti-aging nutrition is that antioxidants found in healthy food sources fight off the damage caused by free radicals, which helps protect your organs and tissues from long-term problems caused by metabolism and unhealthy foods as you age.

Get Your Antioxidants From Whole Foods, Including Beans

While you can certainly still get your antioxidant fix from certain supplements and vitamins like vitamin E and vitamin C, the best sources of all your nutritional needs are still whole foods. Try incorporating beans like black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans, into a few meals a week. Your body will thank you.

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Article Sources
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