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10 Reasons to Eat Legumes as Part of a Healthy Alzheimer’s Diet

Posted by on Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Beans for the Alzheimer's diet

There is a pretty long list of foods that are recommended as part of a healthy Alzheimer’s diet.  From wild caught fish to berries and green leafy vegetables, brain healthy food choices are numerous.  But one food that doesn’t really get a lot of PR worthy of mentioning, is legumes (beans).  Legumes include any type of beans, lentils, soy nuts, peanuts (commonly categorized as nuts by mistake) and peas.  So, just why are legumes so healthy and why are they highly recommended as part of a heart and brain healthy diet? 

10 Reasons to Add Legumes to the Alzheimer’s Diet

  1. Legumes are very high in protein and fiber, and low in fat.
  2. Legumes fill you up and help stave off hunger for long periods of time, promoting weight management.
  3. The fiber in beans and legumes helps to lower cholesterol.
  4. Beans have soluble and insoluble fiber which helps keep the digestive tract healthy.
  5. Beans are considered heart healthy (what’s good for the heart is good for the brain).
  6. Most legumes provide a low glycemic load, which enables them to regulate blood sugar.
  7. Beans are good sources of potassium and magnesium, key minerals for your heart.
  8. Legumes are thought to help fight colon cancer and help keep you regular.
  9. Beans are a great choice for a healthy food for type II diabetes, they help regulate blood sugar.
  10. Beans and legumes contain antioxidants and flavonoids, that can help fight disease. 

Beans are a Great Source of Fiber

The American Dietetic Association (ADA) recommends at least 25 grams of fiber per day, and many food experts feel that 30 grams is even better.  The average woman ingests only around 12 to 14 grams of fiber per day.  Men and women should eat between 2 to 3 cups of beans per week (or more), but most Americans do not eat nearly enough of this high fiber, healthy food group.  Just ½ cup of cooked navy beans provides as much as 10 grams of fiber.  Nutritionists rave about how the low fat, high fiber property of legumes can help with weight loss.

One cup of black beans provides over half of the daily recommended allowance of fiber.  Fiber helps to lower cholesterol levels and decrease risks of heart disease.  Legumes are literally choked full of fiber, and other nutrients such as antioxidants to help the immune system fight diseases.

Research Studies on Legumes and Health

A recent 70-year study discovered some very intriguing facts about the health benefits of beans.  Seniors in the study who at just 1/3 cup of beans every day reduced the risk of death by 7 to 8%.  Another study pointed to evidence that women who do not consume beans at all have a higher mortality rate than those who do eat beans. 

A study posted in the Canadian Medical Journal suggested that eating just one serving of lentils, peas, beans or chickpeas each day can lead to a reduction of bad cholesterol (LDL) by 5%, while lowering the risk of developing cardiovascular (heart) disease by 5 to 6%.  

Tips on Adding More Legumes to the Daily Diet

You may consider beans and other legumes bland and tasteless, but when prepared with some seasonings and spices, legumes and beans taste great!  Here are some creative and tasty ideas for incorporating beans more often into your daily meals:

  • Hide black beans in other foods such as brownies (swap some of the flour for beans).
  • Use black beans or kidney beans in egg dishes instead of fatty bacon or sausage.  A spicy bean frittata is delicious!
  • Spread healthy homemade hummus (made of garbanzo beans) on sandwiches.
  • Top salads with lentils or garbanzo beans.
  • Eat split pea soup for a hearty and tasty lunch.
  • Experiment with various flavor profiles such as adding chicken Italian sausage and fennel to navy beans.
  • Try using beans for dip, some great tasting bean dip flavors include: hummus with garlic and lemon, spicy black bean dip, or hummus with beets.

Learn more about foods for the Alzheimer’s diet by reading the ground breaking book, The Alzheimer’s Treatment and Prevention diet book, written by Harvard trained neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson.  

 

 

 

 

For more easy to follow nutrition advice check out The Alzheimer’s Diet: A Step-by-Step Nutritional Approach to Memory Loss Prevention and Treatment, or visit theadplan.com to learn more about Neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson's 9 week diet plan and his cutting edge approach in the fight against AD in Alzheimer's Treatment | Alzheimer's Prevention: A Patient and Family Guide 2012 Edition. Also, sign up for the newsletter to get the latest updates in AD treatment and prevention news.

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