Beans Reveal a Hidden Talent

You’ve heard of the French Paradox. Get ready for the South of the Border Riddle. How come people in Mexico routinely eat higher-fat diets than we do but wind up with less heart disease?

One answer may be all the beans they eat, say researchers at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff.

We already know beans are rich in cholesterol-fighting soluble fiber and heart-healthy folate. But new research is revealing that beans also contain potent antioxidants called polyphenolics.

Just how potent? In test-tube studies, polyphenolics from pinto beans and kidney beans actually beat one of the most famous antioxidants of all – good old vitamin C – at keeping fat in the blood from becoming oxidized! Since that’s often the first step in the formation of artery-clogging sludge, it means beans may be even healthier for hearts than we realized. So how full of beans are we? Average daily bean intake in the United States is less than 2 tablespoons per person. Let’s bean up!

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