Eating More Beans Might Help You Live Longer

In a study finished in 2003, researchers tried to find out which food category made the most difference in how long people lived. Almost 800 participants in four countries (Australia, Sweden, Japan, and Greece) were studied for up to seven years. All of them were over 70 years old when the study started.

The researchers carefully monitored what the participants ate and divided the food categories into 9 groups:

1. vegetables

2. legumes

3. fruits and nuts

4. dairy products

5. grains and potatoes

6. meat

7. alcohol

8. fats (monounsaturated versus saturated)

9. seafood

Three of these groups were significant predictors of longevity: fat, seafood, and legumes. But the single food category that made the biggest difference across all cultures and ethnic groups was legumes. For every 20 grams of legumes per day a person added to their diet, they reduced their risk of death by 8%.

Add more beans (peas, lentils, etc.) to your diet and it will make you healthier. They are high in protein, low in fat (except peanuts), high in phytonutrients, high in vitamins and minerals, they have a low glycemic index, and they're cheap! Not only that, but they contain two sugars that are not broken down by stomach acid, so they make their way to your colon and selectively feed beneficial bacteria in your gut.

Legumes also add nitrogen to the soil. Most plants remove nitrogen from the soil, and can eventually deplete the soil. So when crops are rotated with legumes, it keeps the soil healthy and productive and makes it possible to use less (or no) fertilizer. So legumes are even good for the earth.

Here is a simple, easy, inexpensive, and tasty thing you can add to your diet that will make a significant difference to your health: Eat more beans.

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth, Slotralogy, Antivirus For Your Mind, and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.

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