The contributions of kidney beans to health are popularly appreciated. These beans, named so due to the similarity in color & shape to the kidneys, are eaten worldwide. Like adzuki beans or cannellini beans, they are used in soups & stews and prepared dried or canned and added to meals on occasions.
Kidney beans are rich in healthy nutrients, including complex carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins & minerals, while very low in fat. They have been associated with several positive effects, such as a decreased risk of cancer, diabetes & heart diseases.
Nutritional Profile of Kidney Beans
Kidney beans are filled with nutrition, with each serving offering rich percentages of protein, iron, folate, manganese & other nutrients. Also, a significant percentage of the carbs in these beans are made of fiber.
A 177 grams cup of cooked kidney beans offers:
- 219 calories
- 39.7 grams of carbs
- 16.2 grams of protein
- 0.2 grams of fat
- 16.5 grams of fiber
- 131 micrograms of folate (33% DV)
- 5.3 milligrams of iron (29% DV)
- 0.6 milligram of manganese (28% DV)
- 0.5 milligram of copper (26% DV)
- 243 milligrams of phosphorus (24% DV)
- 742 milligrams of potassium (21% DV)
- 85 milligrams of magnesium (21% DV)
- 0.2 milligram of thiamine (15% DV)
- 117 milligrams of calcium (12% DV)
- 1.5 milligrams of zinc (10% DV)
- 0.6 milligram of vitamin B6 (9% DV)
- 0.1 milligram of riboflavin (6% DV)
- milligrams of niacin (5% DV)
- 0.4 milligrams of pantothenic acid (4% DV)
- 2.1 milligrams of vitamin C (4% DV)
- 2.1 micrograms of selenium (3% DV)
6 Contributions of Kidney Beans to Health
With such a nutritious profile, it is natural that you expect a lot of benefits from its regular consumption. But are your expectations right or not? Let’s see.
Abundant in Antioxidants
Kidney beans are packed with antioxidants, which are compounds with powerful neutralizing effects on free radicals, thereby protecting against diseases & cell damage. They are especially rich in anthocyanins, for example, pelargonidin, which is charged with providing the beans with their signature red color.
When used well, antioxidants tackle inflammation to foster good health & may also help prevent or treat chronic concerns like cancer, heart diseases & autoimmune deficiencies.
Enhance Cardiovascular Health
As you may know, heart disease remains the chart-topper for causes of deaths globally. This is a scary fact, given that most of us eat foods that damage our hearts. Fortunately, by modifying certain things in your diet & lifestyle, you can considerably reduce heart disease risk.
Cholesterol is always a culpable presence in heart diseases, so cutting down on it (both total & bad LDL) is highly advisable. To do this, the advice is to eat a lot of legumes regularly while dumping unhealthy foods. Also, kidney beans contain soluble fiber, which has been recognized to manufacture short-chain fatty acids like propionate & butyrate, both of which are associated with reducing cholesterol synthesis within the liver.
Lastly, some recent studies suggest that legumes, particularly red beans, can significantly reduce inflammatory markers, which are regular presences in chronic conditions like heart disease.
Regulate Blood Sugar
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the regular consumption of pulses (a special type of legumes) may cause a reduction in the levels of insulin & fasting blood sugar, thereby supporting long-term regulation of blood sugar. Kidney beans are packed with fiber, which controls blood sugar by slowing down sugar absorption in the bloodstream.
Help to Tackle Diabetes
Clinical trials have repeatedly shown that replacing foods rich in carbs with beans can significantly cut down blood sugar in type 2 diabetics, and even people without the condition. Typically, kidney beans are much lower than other high-carb foods on the glycemic index, most probably because of their resistance to starch & level of fiber.
NB: The Glycemic Index is used to measure how specific foods affect blood sugar levels when eaten.
A study involving over 3 000 participants established that regular intake of plenty of lentils & legumes for four years significantly reduced the risk of becoming a type 2 diabetic. That aside, the researchers reported that replacing a small serving of foods like rice, bread, eggs & baked potatoes with a similar serving of legumes was also linked to a lesser risk of diabetes.
Assist to Prevent & Treat Specific Cancers
Colorectal cancer is amazingly deadly & so, so common in America. In just 2017, this cancer type was responsible for 50 260 deaths, and those are the direct cases. Any food that may tackle such diseases is therefore highly advisable.
Kidney beans are rich in flavonoids, which are plant compounds with antioxidant properties. A Maryland 2009 study reported that consuming more flavonols is associated with a reduced risk of experiencing advanced adenoma recurrences.
Going by another vitro publication in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, specific compounds in kidney beans blocked the growth & spread of cancerous tumor cells, leading to suggestions that kidney beans may have excellent cancer-fighting abilities.
Encourage Easier Weight-loss
Your diet & exercise routine is key in regulating your weight. Several studies have, to the effect, established that increased consumption of white or red kidney beans is always effective in maintaining a healthy waistline. In fact, a publication in the American College of Nutrition concluded that regular intake of beans is associated with lower body weight, enhanced nutrient intake & reduced belly fat.
Also, kidney beans are rich in fiber & protein, both of which are quite relevant on a weight-loss meal plan. Fiber promotes satiety, which means that you are quickly satisfied, while protein is tied to decreased levels of ghrelin, a hunger-stimulating hormone.
Kidney beans also contain alpha-amylase suppressors, a protein type with the ability to prevent starch breakdown & absorption. These are helpful when attempting to shed weight.
Concluding The Contributions of Kidney Beans to Health
The contributions of kidney beans to health are quite helpful for maintaining an overall healthy living. Add more of these legumes to your diet & experience a positive transformation. Let’s hear from you, are you keen on kidney beans? How do they taste when eaten?