By Mary West
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
Although legumes, such as lentils, chick peas and dried beans are an integral part of diets in other parts of the world, they are generally not featured prominently in western diets. But will this change in light of new research indicating they may improve the health of diabetics?
In the study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, scientists made some discoveries that could catapult this somewhat underappreciated food into a realm of greater importance. Researchers found that merely changing the diet can aid in lessening some of the symptoms of diabetics, as well as reducing their risk of heart disease. Moreover, rather than taking years to see improvements, the benefits can be noted in as little as a few months.
Study suggests eating beans can lead to less dependence on diabetic meds.
Canadian researchers worked with 121 type 2 diabetic patients, monitoring parameters like blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol. Half of the participants were instructed to add a cup of legumes to their diet each day, while the other half was asked to incorporate more whole wheat products into their diet.
At the end of three months the participants were retested. Both groups saw a reduction in a marker of average blood sugar, but the reduction was a little larger in the legume group. The magnitude of these reductions were considered “therapeutically meaningful,” which indicates they could result in less diabetic symptoms along with lower doses of medication needed to control blood sugar levels.
On top of this advantage, scientists discovered an additional benefit they did not expect — the legume group experienced a significant drop in blood pressure. Lead author David Jenkins states, “That came as a shock to us.”
Experts laud the health benefits of beans.
Researchers say the positive findings translate into better diabetes control and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Jenkins advises incorporating more legumes into the diet, noting, “They will help you keep your blood pressure down and your blood glucose under control, and help you keep your cholesterol down.”
Samantha Heller, a clinical nutrition coordinator at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital in Derby, Conn., adds her voice to the experts extolling the benefits of beans. “Not only do legumes have a relatively low glycemic index, they are loaded with fiber, antioxidants, protein, vitamins and minerals,” she says.
In addition to being heart-healthy, they are more affordable than less healthy red meat and processed meat, Heller points out. Dishes like lentil soup and bean chili are healthful substitutions for meals featuring red meat. She also suggests that beans make an excellent addition to salads and burritos, along with pasta sauces and dips.
Previous article by Mary West:
- The Link Between Antidepressants and Murder
- 4 New Reasons to Avoid Pesticides
- Toxic Gene Discovered in GM Crops Shows Approval Process Is Fatally Flawed
- 5 Newly Discovered Health Powers of Asparagus
- Coconut Oil Could Help Fight Tooth Decay
- 8 Ways to Maximize Telomere Length and Increase Life Expectancy
About the author:
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies. To learn more, visit her website alternativemedicinetruth.com.
This article was republished with permission from Live in the Now, one of the fastest growing natural health newsletters. Visit LiveInTheNow.com to browse their complete library of articles, or join the nearly 60,000 readers subscribed to their Newsletter.