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Are canned beans healthy? Learn about the benefits and harms

Beans are from the legume family, a staple food in some cultures and an important source of plant protein and other essential nutrients such as iron and folic acid, and you can buy them either dried or canned, but some people believe that canned beans are less nutritionally valuable or harmful compared to dried, and in the following report, We will find out if canned beans are good or bad for your health, according to what was published by the "healthline" website.

How are canned beans made?

The beans are partially cooked and canned under high heat and pressure. The dried beans are first moistened with hot water at 75-85°C. This process kills any microorganisms on the surface of the beans, then is treated with any food additives, including salt, and packaged under pressure. and high temperature.

Benefits of canned beans

Beans are an important source of vegetable protein and are a suitable alternative to meat in the diet.

Plant-based diets have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, and may also improve brain function. Protein is also an important nutrient for weight loss.

Dietary fiber

Beans contain dietary fiber, a type of carbohydrate your body cannot digest, and research has shown that fiber can help you feel fuller for longer, which may support weight loss and lower cholesterol levels.

gut health

Beans are also a prebiotic food, and a source of nutrition for the beneficial bacteria that live in your gut. Beans contain compounds with anti-inflammatory and lipid-lowering properties, which means they help reduce inflammation and blood lipid levels.

Beans support the gut microbiome that plays a role in your overall health, including weight management, and research suggests they may protect against the development of neurodegenerative diseases.

Possible negatives of canned beans

Canned beans are safe to eat, but there are low risks of canned foods that may be a source of excess salt, nitrates, nitrites, and heavy metals that may pose risks to human health.

A 2020 study in Nigeria found that some canned foods contain environmental pollutants, and canned beans may contain nitrates and nitrites, which are preservatives used in canned foods and as food additives in processed meats, and they help prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.

Excessive consumption of nitrates and nitrites may disrupt the flow of blood and oxygen in the body, these compounds are safe in small doses, and research has shown that they play an important role in the production of nitric oxide in the body, which helps lower blood pressure, reduce blood clotting and reduce the risk of heart disease. .

May contain salt

Salt (sodium) is an essential nutrient that helps your body regulate blood volume and blood pressure, while your body needs small amounts of salt. Consuming too much salt can increase your risk of high blood pressure, kidney disease, and stroke.

The Dietary Guidelines 2020-2025 for Americans recommends limiting the daily intake of sodium to 2,300 mg, which is the equivalent of one teaspoon of salt, and a can of canned beans can contain up to 25% of the recommended daily intake of salt (570 mg).

How to use canned beans

When buying canned beans, check the can for dents and choose cans that are free from any defects.

Read food labels and choose products with lower salt levels.

Rinse canned beans to remove some of the salt before you cook them.