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Reduce Blood Levels of CRP with Beans

Reduce Blood Levels of CRP with Beans

Reduce your blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) -- a possible indicator of heart disease risk -- with a few servings of beans each week.

Several studies suggest that high levels of CRP may be associated with an increased risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. But a high-fiber diet appears to reduce blood levels of CRP. Black beans have a sizeable 7 grams of fiber per ½ cup serving, so add them to soups, salads, and side dishes to boost your fiber intake.

Aim to get at least 25 grams of fiber daily for optimal health. Eating fiber-rich beans may help to reduce levels of C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP is a blood marker that indicates the presence of inflammation. Inflammation occurs in response to injury. Bacterial infections, cancer, and autoimmune diseases -- such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis -- are just a few conditions associated with inflammation.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is also associated with inflammation -- specifically inflammation of the arteries. CRP is nonspecific, which means that although blood levels of CRP indicate the presence of inflammation, it doesn't point to a definitive cause. Debate continues about the reliability of CRP as a predictor of CVD. Regardless, eating a high-fiber diet is associated with lower CRP levels and reduced heart disease risk. In addition to black beans, other fiber-rich foods include whole grains, raisins, berries, pears, broccoli, peas, and lentils.

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