Beans Are a Superfood Shown to Support Optimal Brain Health
Beans are not just the “magical fruit.” They’re a superfood, jampacked with protein and other nutrients that appear to help support brain health and cognition as we age, studies find. A single cup of beans contains roughly 15 grams of protein, two to three times more than rice or wheat, health experts note.
Consuming adequate amounts of protein, particularly from plant sources, may support healthy cognition as we age, that evaluated self-reported dietary habits and health of more than 77,000 men and women more than 20 years.
Peas and lima beans, especially, were associated with a 28% lower risk of cognitive decline for every additional three servings per week, the study noted. These findings suggest that adequate protein intake, and choices of protein sources, could play a role in the maintenance of cognition, the researchers concluded, adding that further study is needed.
“Beans, Peas, Lentils” is the new name of for a vegetable subgroup formerly called “legumes (beans and peas),” according to the . This category includes black beans, black-eyed peas, bayo beans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), edamame, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, mung beans, pigeon peas, pinto beans, and split peas, USDA note.
These foods contain an abundance of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and other health-promoting components and with no or little added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium, the Guidelines say.
The USDA also underscores the overall health benefits of eating foods that contain protein as we get older.
Consuming enough protein is important to prevent the loss of lean muscle mass that occurs naturally with age, states the USDA Guidelines. Monitoring protein intake is especially important as older adults transition through this life stage.As a food category, beans, peas, and lentils are a delicious source of healthy proteins and nutrients that any pharmacist should feel comfortable recommending.