Beans – A Contentious Subject


Consumption of cooked black beans stimulates a cluster of some clostridia class bacteria, decreasing inflammatory response and improving insulin sensitivity, study suggests.
Black beans have stirred up some interest in early research studies for their high fibre content (per 100g Carbohydrates 16g, Fibre 6.9g figures differ depending on source). In a May 2017 review, researchers noted that black beans contain compounds that may promote weight loss and reduce insulin resistance.


Another study demonstrated that consumption of black beans improved glucose response, an effect mediated in part by modification of the gut microbiota, by increasing a cluster of Clostridia class bacteria with anti-inflammatory potential. The modification of the gut microbiota by black beans is thought to be associated with the presence of resistant starch. Resistant starch contains α-linked glucose molecules that are resistant to hydrolysis in the small intestine, passing directly through the colon where it is fermented by the resident microbiota. The study suggests that the use of black beans could help treat insulin resistance.

One issue that seems to be missing from the study is whether organic or non-organic beans were studied, especially as the study was looking at effects on the microbiome. So, if this is something of concern, organic black beans are available. 

If you are open to the idea of using black beans in your meals, here’s an easy recipe for burgers.

1 can organic black beans, rinsed, drained and dry
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ of a large onion finely diced
2 cloves of minced garlic or ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
50g Almond flour
50g of crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon Tahini
1 egg
A few splashes of Worcestershire sauce or liquid aminos
1 tablespoon tomato puree
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Spread beans evenly onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until slightly dried out.
Sauté the onion, and garlic until soft. Add to a large bowl with the rest of the ingredients followed by the black beans. Combine all of the ingredients by either mashing with a fork or by hand or processor, leaving some of the beans whole for texture. Form into patties and bake on parchment paper for 30 mins at 180 °C or until firm and hot throughout.

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