Pinto beans are a member of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), which features mostly in Mexican cuisine. In the United States, pinto beans are found mostly in dried form and are the most popular bean.
Pinto beans change their color when cooked to pale pink or brown. Their original color in dried form is beige, but its specks are reddish-brown. They are very easy to prepare, and they have a nutty flavor. They can be enjoyed whole with other foods or mashed. Pinto beans are incredibly nutritious with high content of vitamins and minerals. They can also benefit your health in many ways. Here are some of their health benefits.
1. Are Highly Nutritious
Just like other legumes, pinto beans are high in carbs, protein, and fiber. They also provide a variety of vitamins and minerals. According to the Food Data Central of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) database, 171 g of boiled pinto beans contains 245 calories, 45 g of carbs, 15 g of fiber, 15 g of protein, 1 g of fat, 407 mg of sodium, 28% of the daily recommended value (RDV) for thiamine, 20% of the RDV for iron, 21% of the RDV for magnesium, 20% of the RDV for phosphorus, 16% of the RDV for potassium. As you can see, pinto beans provide more than a quarter of the total percentage of needed thiamine in a day. Thiamine or vitamin B1 is an important nutrient for the metabolism of food into energy. If that is not enough, pinto beans also provide decent amounts of other minerals in small amounts, such as zinc, magnesium, iron, calcium, and other B vitamins. They are naturally low in fat, free of cholesterol, and low in sodium.
2. They Are a Greater Source of Fiber
All legumes contain fiber, which is a type of carb that your body cannot digest. While fiber may benefit your body in many ways, like improving digestive health by feeding good gut bacteria, many people still don’t meet their daily fiber needs from the diet. It is recommended that women consume 25 g of fiber every day, while men should aim for 38 g. Fortunately, just 171 g of pinto beans provide about 40% of the RDV for fiber for women and 60% of the RDV for men. Studies indicate that increasing your intake of foods rich in fiber, such as pinto beans, can reduce your risk of heart disease, improve blood sugar control, improve digestion, support gut health, and even promote weight loss.
3. Are High in Antioxidants
During metabolism, your body produces free radicals, which are virtually harmless at low levels. However, when you are under stress or leave on a poor diet, free radicals can be produced in high amounts, which can lead to oxidative stress. Several chronic conditions, including heart disease and inflammation, are associated with oxidative stress. That said, eating pinto beans may help protect you against the damages caused by oxidative stress. This is because they contain powerful antioxidants like polyphenols and flavonoids. One flavonoid found in abundance in pinto beans is kaempferol, which is impressively beneficial. Studies indicate that they can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Additionally, kaempferols can lower inflammation and are associated with a lower risk of stroke.
4. May Help with Blood Sugar Control
People living with diabetes are usually advised to avoid certain foods. Have you asked yourself why? Diabetes is characterized by impaired blood sugar control, and any food that can raise blood sugars is avoided. It appears that pinto beans are among the foods suitable for diabetic people. Research indicates that they can support blood sugar control. This is mainly because they have a low glycemic index – a tool used to measure how quickly foods can raise blood sugar. Although they are high in carbs, pinto beans are digested slowly. As a result, they regulate and maintain blood sugar levels. What’s more, pinto beans have a high fiber and protein content, releasing sugar slowly into your bloodstream.
5. May Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
There is no disease with more cases of fatalities than heart disease. It claims many lives, both young and old. A well-balanced, healthy diet including foods like pinto beans may help reduce the risk of heart disease. They are said to be heart-friendly, meaning that they help support the health of your heart. High LDL (bad) cholesterol, high total cholesterol, low HDL (good) cholesterol, high triglycerides, among other things, are the leading causes of heart disease. Studies suggest that eating at least 86 g of pinto beans per day can significantly reduce total and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Additionally, increasing your intake of pinto beans can also increase the production of propionate. These are short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) which researchers believe in helping lower the levels of cholesterol in the blood and reduce blood pressure. Finally, pinto beans are also high in many nutrients like potassium and magnesium, preventing high blood pressure.
6. May Help with Weight Loss
Poor diet and sedentary lifestyles are the leading causes of weight gain. Despite trying many strategies to lose weight, many people have failed because they eat unhealthy foods. If you are looking for foods to include in your weight loss diet, pinto beans should not miss the list. They are believed to promote weight loss significantly. The higher content of protein and fiber in pinto beans can help increase your feelings of fullness which lowers your appetite. As a result, you will eat fewer calories and help you lose weight, reduce waist circumference, and tone your thighs.
7. They Are Versatile
Pinto beans are simple to add to your diet. You can wash the dried beans before you cook them on a stovetop. You can soak them for over 6 hours to make them cook fast.
Pinto beans are nutritious beans of common bean variety. They contain several nutrients, including antioxidants like kaempferols which can help protect against heart disease. They also contain high fiber and protein, which promotes fullness and support a healthy weight.