Historical – Beans – A Dietary Wonder

Originally published on positiveimpactmagazine.com on June 10, 2011.

Photo: Historical

By: Dr. Joel Fuhrman M.D.

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States, and it is the second most deadly cancer. Yet, numerous studies have proven that proper nutrition, in particular, eating a variety of beans, can dramatically cut colon cancer risk. A six-year study tracking over 32,000 individuals found that those who ate beans, peas, or lentils only twice a week decreased their risk of colon cancer by 50%. If they cut their chance of colon cancer in half by eating beans twice a week, imagine the benefit of eating beans daily!

Beans’ unique composition makes them a dietary wonder. They are rich in fiber and resistant starch and are not easily broken down by enzymes in the small intestine. They pass into the large intestine where bacteria ferment them into short chain fatty acids such as butyrate.

Butyrate protects against colon cancer by:

  • halting cancer cell growth and causing cancer cell death
  • increasing the expression of detoxifying enzymes and limiting DNA damage due to oxidative stress
  • inhibiting tumors from acquiring a blood supply
  • providing an anti-inflammatory effect

Dr. Fuhrman recommends that people eat beans every day. Beans not only protect against colon cancer, they also stabilize blood sugar and help you feel full.

All Kinds of Beans

There are a variety of beans to choose from: chickpeas, black-eyed peas, black beans, lima beans, pinto beans, lentils, red kidney beans, cannellini beans, and many more.

They can be flavored and spiced in lots of interesting ways. Add beans to soups, salads, dips, burgers, or explore the Recipe Guide in the Member Center of  DrFuhrman.com for various recipes.

Disclaimer: This article was written for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, prescribe or heal any health condition or to replace standard medical treatment or advice.

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