Insulin Control and Black Beans
They are a good source of carbohydrates for people with diabetes. Black beans are digested slowly and, indirectly, controls insulin production by producing a gradual rise in blood sugar levels. The body needs less insulin to control the blood sugar levels from the digestion of black beans than after eating other high carbohydrate foods like bread or potato that may cause a surge in insulin production above the actual levels needed.
People with Type I Diabetes using diets with beans in conjunction with whole grains, vegetables and rich in fruits were able to cut their insulin use significantly. Those with Type II Diabetes reduced their insulin injections to very low levels. The diets are in line with the guidelines of The American Diabetes Association. As always, consult with your Diabetologists and their dietitians before altering a diet.
Black beans, in particular, contain high levels of soluble fiber. It slows down the entry of glucose into the bloodstream over the time of digestion. This allows the pancreas to slowly increase insulin production to keep pace with the slower uptake of glucose from the intestines. Because of this change in glucose uptake black beans are excellent for people with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia.
Black beans are a source of antioxidants. The antioxidants reduce the effects of free radicals which cause many chronic health problems. Combined with the fiber of the beans and antioxidants they contain, black beans can help regulate insulin levels and lower risks for heart disease
Raw black beans contain chemicals that work against their nutritional value. These chemicals inactivate enzymes needed to digest proteins and carbohydrates. They also contain factors that inactivate Vitamin A and Hemagglutinins, substances that make red blood cells clump together - important in forming blood clots to protect blood loss from cuts, for example. To destroy the chemicals that work against the black beans wonderful advantages - cook them.
Served with grains, black beans provide a food that is complete for essential amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. The proteins in grains are deficient in the essential amino acids lysine and isoleucine but contain sufficient amino acids of tryptophan, methionine and cystine. The proteins in beans are just the opposite. Put together they provide the nutrients one needs. If this sounds familiar you are a vegetarian! They combine different foods that provide the same quantity and quality of essential amino acids as a daily serving of meat provides for non-vegetarians.
With an iron-rich food (meat) or with a vitamin C-rich food like tomatoes, they both enhance your body's ability to use the iron in beans. The meat makes you stomach more acid when the proteins break down (amino acids) and acidity favors iron absorption. The Vitamin C may convert the ferric ion (+++) in beans into the ferrous ion (++) which is more easily absorbed by the body. Keep in mind that iron is a very important component of hemoglobin in your red blood cells that make it possible to carry oxygen to all your cells for energy manufacture.