What are the best foods high in antioxidants? It turns out that some beans (legumes) contain more antioxidants than others. A research group published a paper (Xu et al J Food Sci 2007; 72(7):5522-7) a while ago that directly compared a number of different legume foods.
Their bottom line was that the protection against free radicals (oxidative stress) was higher for black beans, black soybeans, and red kidney beans appeared to be higher in antioxidant effects, along with lentils and pinto beans, than were yellow peas, green peas, chickpeas, or yellow soybeans.
Beans have other dietary benefits. They have good plant based fiber that can help keep you full without adding empty calories. Legumes have other health benefits. These include vitamins and minerals such as B complex vitamins, folate, iron, and calcium. In addition to fiber, beans are high in plant-based proteins that can help stabilize the blood sugar for people with diabetes. They may reduce the risks for certain cancers such as those of the colon, as well as colon polyps.
It is true that beans also contain various amounts of carbohydrates, but these are complex carbs that are good for you. Their glycemic index is generally lower than what you will get from eating sugary foods or refined white breads. Your body needs some complex carbohydrates as part of the macro-nutrients we all need to support our bodies.
So - check out black beans (which you can find in nonfat "refried" black bean paste in the store) as well as lentils, black soybeans, and red kidney beans to see how you can fit them into your diet in salads and simple recipes for lunches and dinners.
If you want some fast and tasty recipes for how to cook beans, lentils, and peas, check out this recipe book now - click here