Bean Benefits

Bean Benefits

By Reed Mangels, PhD, RD

Beans, actually legumes (see Vegan Journal for an explanation of terms), are associated with many health benefits including a lower risk of heart disease (1) and type 2 diabetes (2). A new study suggests that higher consumption of legumes is associated with a lower risk of mortality from all causes and a lower risk of dying from stroke (3).

This study combined results from 31 other published studies using a technique called meta-analysis. Higher intakes of legumes, compared with lower intakes, were not associated with a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or from cancer but were associated with a lower risk of dying from all causes. A 50 gram increase in legume consumption was associated with a 6% lower risk of all-cause mortality. Fifty grams of legumes is about 1-3/4 ounces or about ¼ cup of cooked legumes.


  1. Bazzano LA, He J, Ogden LG, et al. Legume consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in US men and women: NHANES I Epidemiologic Follow-up Study. Arch Intern Med. 2001;161:2573-2578.
  2. Becerra-Tomás N, Díaz-López A, Rosique-Esteban N, et al. Legume consumption is inversely associated with type 2 diabetes incidence in adults: A prospective assessment from the PREDIMED study. Clin Nutr. 2018;37:906-913.
  3. Zargarzadeh N, Mousavi SM, Santos HO, et al. Legume consumption and risk of all-cause and cause-specific mortality: A systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. Adv Nutr. 2023;14(1):64-76.

For some ideas about adding more beans/legumes to your diet see:

Quick Ideas for Using Canned or Leftover Cooked Beans

Quick and Easy Beans

Usin’ the Old Bean

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