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Eating beans reduces your cancer risk

Updated: May 19, 2022

Most of us fear getting cancer, and the scariest part is when it spreads to other tissues – by a process called metastasis. When cancer spreads it becomes much harder to treat, cancer metastasis accounts for 90% of cancer deaths. So anything we can do to help prevent this is surely a good thing. New research suggests that eating beans might just help!

Different types of dried beans

Eating a lot of fruit and vegetables decreases your risk of developing cancer, and the risk of it spreading. Phytochemicals in plants are able to inhibit nearly every step of the cancer progression pathway. Particularly beneficial are fruits, especially berries, a variety of vegetables, especially greens, legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas etc.), nuts and seeds, mushrooms, onions, garlic, spices, herbs and green tea.

Research on the effect of bean proteins on the enzymes that allow cancer cells to spread shows that a number of beans (black-eyed beans, lentils, kidney beans and broad beans) cut the enzyme activity by around 50%, but amazingly lupin beans, chickpeas and soy beans reduced the enzyme activity by up to 90%. This compounds that have the effect are present even after the beans have been cooked.

This might go some way to explain why research has shown that eating legumes reduces the risk of colon cancer, and why people eating a lot of fruit and vegetables have lower rates of cancer.

So, my advice is, don’t forget to eat beans and lentils regularly. If you want ideas of simple recipes see my information sheet, or simply google for suitable recipes, there are lots of brilliant ones on the internet.

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