Black beans are a wonderful source of dietary fiber which has been shown to naturally help lower cholesterol. The high fiber content in black beans helps keep blood sugar from rising too rapidly after a meal, making them a wise choice for people with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia.
When black beans are prepared with whole grains such as barley or brown rice, the black beans provide a virtually fat-free, high quality source of protein. Recent research also shows that black beans are rich in antioxidants as well. Antioxidants destroy free radicals, and when eaten regularly, have been shown to offer protection against heart disease, cancer and aging.
Black beans have more antioxidant activity, gram for gram, than other beans, followed by red, brown, yellow and white beans. In general, darker colored coats were associated with higher levels of flavonoids, and therefore, higher antioxidant activity.
Recent studies show that one class of compounds in particular, anthocyanins, were the most active antioxidants in the beans. They discovered that the levels of anthocyanins per 100 gram serving of black beans was about 10 times the amount of overall antioxidants in an equivalent serving size of oranges and similar to the amount found in grapes, apples and cranberries.