TCM Nutrition Highlight: Black Beans
Black beans have been a pantry staple for many cultures for over 7000 years. They are a common ingredient in Latin American dishes as well as salads, chili, and veggie burgers. Black beans are a good source of antioxidants, fiber, and protein. Vitamins and minerals found in black beans include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Black beans have been shown to regulate blood sugar, protect against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, reduce the risk of certain cancers, lower cholesterol, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) proper nutrition is essential to the healing process. In addition to acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, food is used to correct imbalances within the body. Dietary recommendations are made based on the patient's TCM diagnosis and underlying constitution. Like Chinese herbal medicine, foods are selected based on their function, temperature, flavor, and ability to influence a specific organ or channel. You can read more about TCM Nutrition here.
According to TCM nutrition theory, black beans are warm, have a sweet flavor, and influence the kidney channel. Black beans tonify yin and yang, build blood, and tonify the kidneys. They also brighten the eyes, promote urination, and improve reproductive function. Black beans can treat low back pain, infertility, knee pain, seminal emissions, blurred vision, ear problems, and difficult urination.