Beans, Beans the musical fruit. The more you eat…. ok nevermind! Many of you might remember that pleasant rhyme from elementary school and it could be the reason you still don’t like beans today!
Whether beans give you unpleasant GI side effects or not, the fact is that they have many phytochemicals (cancer fighting plant components) that can keep your body healthy and strong. They are also great sources of protein and can take the place of meat at a meal.
Cancer Fighting Beans – The Facts!
There is nothing magical about any one food. It’s the combination of the right foods in your diet, along with physical activity and weight management that can control your cancer risk.
Beans (also known as legumes) include dry beans such as black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, garbonzo beans and lentils along with many other varieties. Soybeans also fall into this category.
The phytochemicals in beans that scientists believe may play a role in cancer prevention include:
- saponins (In lab studies, saponins have shown the ability to inhibit the reproduction of cancer cells and slow the growth of tumors)
- protease inhibitors (In lab studies, protease inhibitors have slowed the division of cancer cells and helped
to prevent tumors from releasing substances called proteases that
destroy nearby cells)
- phytic acid (In lab studies, phytic acid has shown the ability to significantly slow the progression of tumors)
These compounds are found naturally in plants and appear to protect our cells from damage that can lead to cancer.
Beans are also rich in fiber. The American Institute for Cancer Research found probable evidence that foods containing dietary fiber (like beans) can decrease your risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Cancer Fighting Recipe: Mexican 5-Bean Soup:
In light of this information, here is a great recipe that I use often. As a hint, you can get rid of some gas causing enzymes by rinsing beans before cooking them!
Mexican 5-Bean Soup
- 1 can red kidney beans rinsed and drained
- 1 can garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
- 1 can navy beans rinsed and drained
- 1 can black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 large onion diced
- 1 can diced green chilies undrained
- 10 oz. frozen cut green beans
- 4 tsp chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
- 3 cups water
- 28 oz. low-sodium chicken broth
- 12 oz. beer or water - but the beer really adds a great flavor and smell!
- Combine all in a slow cooker and stir. Cook on HIGH for 5-6 hours or LOW 9-10 hours. Sprinkle shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese on it when served.
- ** NOTE: I have a smaller crock pot, so this recipe actually fills my crockpot 2 times. Yes... I need to purchase a larger crock pot!
Let’s have beans for every meal!