If you’re a fan of Asian cuisine then you’re most likely familiar with red bean paste, but did you know which small red beans are used to create this unique condiment? That would be adzuki beans, awesome sources of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
In general, research has associated beans with slower aging, improved heart health, cancer prevention, lower cholesterol, reduced waistlines and increased energy. Dried beans are often a staple in the diet of many vegetarians, and studies show that beans like the adzuki may be a main reason so many health benefits are associated with this way of eating.
These legumes, also sometimes called azuki or aduki beans, are said to be the most “yang” or warming of the bean family. With their nutty yet quite neutral flavor profile, even the pickiest of palates will likely be a fan of the adzuki bean. Keep reading to see just how impressive adzuki beans truly can be for your health.
5 Health Benefits of Adzuki Beans
1. Help Manage Diabetes
With their high mix of protein and fiber, adzuki beans are great for helping manage normal blood sugar. Animal research has even shown that the protein found in adzuki beans can even inhibit intestinal α-glucosidases, which are are enzymes involved in breaking down complex carbohydrates like starch and glycogen. In other words, adzuki beans act like alpha-glucosidase inhibitors that are taken to control diabetes.
This makes the adzuki bean a great addition to any diabetic diet plan to help treat, manage or prevent diabetes.
2. Increase Antioxidant Intake
Not only are adzuki beans tasty, but they’re also loaded with disease-fighting and health-promoting antioxidants. Researchers have identified at least 29 different compounds found within an adzuki bean, making them some of the most high-antioxidant foods around. These compounds include bioflavonoids that are valued for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits.
3. Up Muscle Mass
Consuming protein foods like adzuki beans can help build muscle mass. Just one cup of adzuki beans contains 17.3 grams of protein, packing a powerful protein punch.
Muscles are made up of protein — therefore protein is necessary to build and maintain muscle. Without adequate protein, muscle loss occurs. If you do heavy lifting, then your protein needs are even higher. Combining a regular workout routine with increased healthy protein intake is a great way to get your body not only leaner, but stronger.
4. Improve Heart Health
With their high concentration of dietary fiber, folate, potassium, magnesium and B vitamins, adzuki beans really have heart health written all over them. Eating adzuki beans as part of an overall heart healthy diet and lifestyle can help reduce your chances of developing coronary heart disease. Their dietary fiber aids in regulating cholesterol levels while their potassium relaxes blood vessels and increases blood flow, which reduces blood pressure and strain on the heart.
5. Healthy Weight Management
Adding adzuki beans to your diet can help you eat less and keep you feeling full longer. Feeling full longer hopefully means less overeating because you reach satiety without consuming too much food.
The high fiber content of adzuki beans is the reason you feel satiated longer. High-fiber foods like beans also tend to take longer to eat and less “energy dense,” which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food. So whether you’re trying to lose weight or maintain your current weight, I highly suggest adzuki beans as part of your diet.
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