Heart conditions are no joke. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 out of 4 annual deaths in the US can be chalked up to heart-related illnesses, making heart disease the leading cause of death in America. Every year, about 735,000 Americans undergo cardiac arrest. Of these, 210,000 have already had one prior.
According to research published in Heart Rhythm Journal in 2013, one prime contributor to sudden cardiac death is an elevated resting heartbeat. For most adults, the acceptable range lies at around 60-80 beats per minute, with every increase above that signifying a greater chance of experiencing heart complications.
So how can you mitigate the risks? One surefire way of decreasing your resting heartbeat is regular aerobic exercise. Be it cycling, jogging, or swimming, putting in the work and getting your sweat on may increase your heartbeat momentarily, but in the long run, it definitely helps keep you in the green zone.
But there’s another surprising way of reducing resting heartbeat; according to research published in JAMA Internal Medicine Journal (2012), regularly eating protein-rich legumes (such as beans) can lower heartbeat as effectively as regular exercise does. Who knew that children singing “beans, beans, they’re good for your heart” about the legume’s musical properties were actually right, all along?
To celebrate the healthy, potentially life-saving benefits of beans, here is a recipe (courtesy of my own mother) for a hearty meal of chili con carne: