In this country, 1 out of every 4 deaths can be attributed to a single cause.
Yet we’re not NEARLY as afraid of it as we are of cancer… plane crashes… or even shark attacks.
The menace that’s killing more American men and women than anything else is heart disease.
Quitting smoking hasn’t helped. Loading up on statins hasn’t TOUCHED our mortality rate.
We need to look beyond our shores… and across the Pacific… to take a tip from Japanese men.
Their rate of heart disease is LESS THAN HALF that of American guys!
It’s not just the green tea they drink… or the copious amounts of seafood they eat at EVERY MEAL.
And it’s not their genetics, either – because when Japanese immigrants move to the U.S., their heart risk SKYROCKETS.
Their secret is something else… another staple of Japanese cuisine.
And it helps contribute to the UNBELIEVABLE longevity of the citizens of Japan, who live some of the LONGEST LIVES of anyone in the world.
It’s a special type of red bean…
And this one blows your average kidney bean OUT OF THE WATER.
A lucky legume for your heart
One of the lowest heart attack ratesin the world can be found in Japan — a country that FEASTS on some of the heart-healthiest food out there.
The Japanese TREASURE one particular dietary heart hero…
But you may have NEVER heard of it — not in this country.
It’s adzuki beans (Vigna angularis) – and the Japanese have cultivated this crop since 4000 B.C.
The adzuki bean is second only to the soy bean as the most important legume in Japan.
It’s a key component in the celebratory dish known as “red rice” (or “sekihan”), eaten on the luckiest days of the Japanese calendar.
And it’s ESSENTIAL to the Japanese approach to Traditional Chinese Medicine, known as “kanpō.”
Now, beans in general are known for reducing your risk of ischemic heart disease.
But adzuki beans are stand-outs among heart-healthy legumes, as they contain SUPERIOR concentrations of:
- potassium, which reduces strain on your heart by relaxing your blood vessels, reducing blood pressure, and increasing blood flow.
- magnesium, associated with a lower risk of ischemic heart disease and coronary heart disease
- protein, which helps strengthen your heart muscle
- folate (a.k.a. vitamin B9) and other B vitamins
- iron, in safe amounts to lower your heart risk (versus supplements, which can give you too much)
- lysine, an amino acid that helps strengthen the walls of your arteries
- dietary fiber, and more.
In fact, nearly 30 different antioxidant compounds within adzuki beans have been identified so far…
And those include some of the same polyphenols as found in heart-healthy teas and cocoa— including catechin and epicatechin glucosides, protocatechuic acid, dimeric procyanidins, and myricetin.
It’s no wonder that in a study on mice earlier this year, Japanese researchers found that adzuki bean extract can reduce oxidative stress in a diabetic heart… and protect it from oxidative damage.
And researchers have observed its potent anti-inflammatory activity, too.
You may have encountered adzuki beans as an ingredient in red bean paste (or “anko”) in East Asian cuisines…
But that preparation isn’t ideal, as it’s boiled with sugar to sweeten it.
A better option is to buy dry, uncooked beans at your local health food store, sometimes called “azuki” (no “d”) or “aduki” (no “z”) beans.
Ideally, soak them for 8 hours (discard the water) and then sprout them for two or three days.
Sprouting (or germinating) them will increase the availability of their nutrients… unlock beneficial enzymes… and make them easier to digest (and less gassy!).