Beans don’t need to be boring or come in containers with a lid covered in sauce. Beans are a staple in the kitchen since they’re adaptable and healthy. If you’ve only tasted canned beans, we’re here to convince you that you’re not missing out on the authentic flavor of beans that benefits your digestive system and the environment.
The benefits for gut health are an especially hot research area because fiber serves as an important fuel for important gut microbiota. Let’s explore, ‘Are beans good for gut health?’
Beans: The Natural Fiber Supplements
Beans and other pulses are one of the best natural sources of dietary fiber. Although the exact amount of fiber varies, just one cup of cooked beans gets you about 14 grams of fiber. That’s almost half of the daily recommendation made by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (28 grams of fiber per 2,000 calories eaten, although some, including me, argue eating even more illness.
It is important to eat a diet that is healthy for your gut. Research suggests that the gut’s health is enhanced with a diet rich in plant-based foods full of fiber.
Fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet. Nutrition experts recommend that adults consume between 25 to 38 grams of dietary fiber daily; research shows that most Americans do not meet this recommendation.
Fiber provides many benefits, including an increased feeling of fullness or satiety and helping maintain a healthy digestive system. Beans Are Naturally Rich in Fiber.
The trillions of organisms in the gut microbiome are busy: They produce vitamins, such as K2 and B12, help develop immunity, enhance the benefits of some phytochemicals, and protect against pathogens.
The bacteria of the microbiome convert dietary fiber and resistant starch from plant foods into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that protect intestinal cells and regulate metabolism. As bean eating increased, so did the quantities of certain healthy gut bacteria, but microorganisms linked to a higher risk of developing chronic diseases were reduced.
Are Beans Good for Gut Health? What Research Says?
Beans are among the most nutritious sources of protein. They’re also low in calories, leaving you fuller for longer. Beans can also boost the number of bacteria in your digestive tract.
A healthy combination of gut bacteria will help you digest food, increase your immune system, and decrease your risk of diseases like diabetes.
Did you consider that beans are beneficial for the environment? When they grow, they release nitrates into the soil, which improves soil health and the growth of other foods in those fields. Beans are an essential element of sustainable agricultural practices.
Beans have many health benefits. We are researching pulses for my doctoral dissertation (“pulses” is an umbrella term that encompasses chickpeas, beans, lentils, black-eyed beans, and dry peas, that are believed to have a huge impact on the maintenance of health as well as the prevention of chronic diseases.
Gut health is a subject of intense research since fiber can be a crucial energy source for the gut microbiota.
Probiotics aren’t all you need to improve the health of your gut. Beans contain resistant starch. This, along with fiber, can be difficult to digest.
The resistant starch moves throughout the GI Tract where it ends up in the large intestine. In addition, these good gut microbes help to boost the immune system and help you fight illnesses.
Research has proven that lentils, in particular, may benefit your bowel health by improving its function and reducing the speed of emptying your stomach, which helps aid digestion and prevents high blood sugar levels.
Best Probiotic for Gut Health and Bloating: According to A Health Expert 
Why Are Beans Good for You?
It is suggested that adults consume between 25 and 38 grams of daily fiber from dietary sources. Are you getting enough fiber? Research indicates that most Americans do not consume sufficient quantities of fiber.
Healthy beans can save the day! When you incorporate beans into your daily diet, you’ll be able to reach your aim of getting enough fiber. Beans are abundant in fiber:
- Navy Beans – 1/2 cup: Ten grams of fiber
- Kidney Beans – 1/2 cup: 8g of fiber
- Black Beans 1/2 cup: 8g of fiber
- Lentils 1/2 cup: 8g of fiber
Gut bacteria are essential in different inflammatory diseases through their interaction with the metabolic, endocrine, and immune systems. Our endocrine system is responsible for producing neurotransmitters (i.e., serotonin) which could influence our mood. It’s fascinating!
Food choices affect how we function and the structure of the gut bacteria. Diets high in animal protein and fat (“Western Foods”) are generally less in fiber, while in other regions of the world, the amount of fiber is much higher.
This may result in variations in the gut microbiome and provides an entirely new aspect to food! Soluble fibers form the basis for various gut bacteria, and this greater diversity of the microbiome in the intestine promotes a healthy gut and improves mental and physical health.
Gut bacteria feed on fiber (prebiotics). The result of the fermentation process is known as postbiotics. These waste products contain essential nutrients, such as Vitamins B and K, as well as amino acids and other substances like antimicrobial peptides, which help reduce the development of bacteria that cause harm. Other postbiotics, such as SCFAs, can also aid healthy bacteria to flourish.
Gut Health and Mental Health Benefits of Beans
Our gut microbiome plays an essential function in our well-being and mental health. The Central nervous system, as well as our gut microbiome, interact (the brain-gut axis).
When our gut-related environment triggers the body to be in an inflammation state, this can cause negative consequences for disorders of the psyche, such as depression and anxiety.
Beans are regarded as one of those foods and are very good for general health, so it’s necessary to consume a diet that supports overall health. Gut health is a crucial factor that could be essential in treating and preventing these disorders—mental health diseases.
The severity of major depression (which happens to be the most significant and frequent mood disorder) has been associated with the level of SCFA in the feces.
About the anti-inflammatory capabilities of SCFAs, dysbiosis and lower levels of these microbes can play a part in the inflammation process, which might be associated with depression since legumes can regulate the health of our gut and can help you feel more relaxed in both your body and mind, The more beans, the better!
How Do You Digest Beans?
Beans are extremely rich in carbohydrates, protein, antioxidants, and minerals. Beans are digested slowly, which is why your brain enjoys the beans. When they digest slowly, they provide your brain with a constant supply of glucose. Beans can take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours of digestion while boosting your brain!
What Are the Symptoms of Tomato Intolerance? Interesting Facts 2022
Best Beans for Your Gut Health
Let’s discuss some types of beans that are good for your gut health.
Chickpeas are among the most adaptable beans. Making falafel, hummus, and mouthwatering when roasted and served with a salad. Chickpeas are high in fiber and protein. They have been proven scientifically to reduce blood sugar levels.
Chickpeas taste delicious in a Moroccan tagine or in the form of a delicious curry or a side dish such as Chana masala. Serve them cooked and uncooked over salads for the nutty flavor.
Another favorite bean option. This bright red bean is loaded with minerals and vitamins, including iron. Thus, adding kidney beans to your diet can boost your energy.
Naturally, kidney beans taste great in hot chilies and are served with rice. They can also be cooked in a dish in Pasta e Fagioli, an Italian soup with kidney beans and pasta that is warm and satisfying.
The large, creamy beans appear like a larger version of the haricot beans. They are a great source of carbohydrates and protein; however, they are low in fat. The butter beans provide a flavorful and richness to dishes.
Take a look at some Greek inspiration by eating a healthy portion of Gigantes plaki, served on freshly breaded sourdough, for a quick and easy lunch.
Soybeans are an excellent example of how adaptable a bean can be. There are many ways to use the humble soybean turned into tempeh, tofu, soy sauce, milk, the texture of vegetable protein, and many more. Soybeans are a great source of calcium, and there is no need to eat the processed version of this delicious legume.
Edemame is a different name for fresh soybeans. They are popped like peas right out of their pods for an enticing and fresh taste. As tofu, it is possible to make both sweet and savory meals.
Green, red, or Puy Lentils are part of the bean family. They are loaded with proteins, vitamins, and minerals essential to improve immunity. Incorporating lentils into your diet will help keep away illnesses in winter.
Lentils are delicious in curries, salads, and traditional Dhal. Nutty legumes give you energy and energy without adding extra calories.
The black beans are tiny but mighty and can add an unexpected splash of color to your meals. They are usually black, blue, or purple; when you cook them, they are an excellent addition to an array of rainbow salads and Buddha bowls. Like all beans, they contain vitamins and minerals to maintain your hair and skin healthily.
Black beans are delicious in single pots, such as curries or chili. Delicious comfort food that will make you feel better through the winter months.
Beans are packed with nutrients to eat healthily and are among the most nutritious foods that can be grown to ensure soil health. We’re big supporters of regenerative agriculture at On the Table, so we love exploring innovative ways to incorporate beans in our dishes.
Can You Use Dried or Canned Beans?
The big bean debate is whether it’s better to use canned or dried beans. The canned variety is easier to prepare and cook. We think you’ll have a better flavor after spending more time in the dried version.
Soaking your beans can take time; if you are using a slow cooker, you can put beans in there throughout the daytime. There’s no need to plan last-minute using dried beans, but If you have a clear idea of what you’d like to do the day ahead, you can place them in the water and let them soak for a night.
Like all food items, the more fresh and fresh, dried beans are, the more nutritious.
Lentils do not require to be soaked, which makes them a great quick option. Butter beans are the best choices if you favor the convenience of canned beans or chickpeas.
Are Tomatoes Low FODMAP? Shocking Truth Revealed 2022
Is Turmeric Good for Gut Health? Best Research-Based Facts 2022
Best Over the Counter Probiotic for Gut Health: Easy Guide 2022
Best Exercises for Gut Health: 8 Easy Exercises for Digestive Health
Best Probiotic for Vaginal and Gut Health: The Best Guide 2022
Sources and References
At TipTop Gut, we rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.
- Bell, R. C., et al. (2017). Dried beans lower cholesterol and glycated hemoglobin while peas lower blood pressure in adults with mild hypercholesterolemia [Abstract].
Ganesan K, Xu B. Polyphenol-Rich Dry Common Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and Their Health Benefits. Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Nov 4;18(11):2331. doi: 10.3390/ijms18112331. PMID: 29113066; PMCID: PMC5713300.
- Black beans. (2019).
- Moreno-Jiménez, M. R., et al. (2015). Phenolic composition changes of processed common beans: Their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in intestinal cancer cells [Abstract].
Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Augustin LS, Mitchell S, Sahye-Pudaruth S, Blanco Mejia S, Chiavaroli L, Mirrahimi A, Ireland C, Bashyam B, Vidgen E, de Souza RJ, Sievenpiper JL, Coveney J, Leiter LA, Josse RG. Effect of legumes as part of a low glycemic index diet on glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med. 2012 Nov 26;172(21):1653-60. doi: 10.1001/2013.jamainternmed.70. PMID: 23089999.
Monk JM, Lepp D, Wu W, Pauls KP, Robinson LE, Power KA. Navy and black bean supplementation primes the colonic mucosal microenvironment to improve gut health. J Nutr Biochem. 2017 Nov;49:89-100. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2017.08.002. Epub 2017 Aug 10. PMID: 28915390.
- North Dakota State University: “All About Beans Nutrition, Health Benefits, Preparation and Use in Menus.”
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: “Ask the Expert: Legumes and Resistant Starch.”