Kidney beans are legumes popularly grown and produced largely in Central America and Mexico. Kidney beans offer a punch of beneficial nutrients with a high profile.
Kidney beans are just one kind of common bean – P. vulgaris which is a member of the plant family called Fabaceae, also known as pea or legume. You can cheaply source proteins, fiber, vitamins, iron, and other important minerals from kidney beans. To get the best of healthy nutrients and health benefits from kidney beans, it is wise to cook them properly. This is because raw or poorly cooked beans contain toxins that may lead to food poisoning. Kidney beans can be found in different colors and patterns like purple, striped, white, red, cream, black, mottled, and spotted.This article talks about the facts and nutrition of kidney beans.
Eating kidney beans packs a variety of nutrients such as proteins, carbs, and fibers. For every 100 g of kidney beans that have been properly cooked, there are 127 calories, 67% water, 8.7 g of proteins, 22.8 g of carbs, 0.3 g of sugar, 6.4 g of fiber, and 0.5 g of fat.
Protein Facts In Kidney Beans
Kidney beans are an excellent source of protein. For just 100 g of properly cooked beans, there is about 9 g of proteins which is equivalent to 27% of the total content of calories by weight.Animal products and meat usually provide high-quality protein. Nevertheless, you can still cheaply obtain proteins from kidney beans even if they are of low quality.
According to one study published in Science Direct, beans are sometimes referred to as “poor man’s meat.” This is because they offer high amounts of proteins than most plant-based protein sources.Researchers at the National Center for Biotechnology Information have found beans to contain phaseolin – a type of protein that, in some people, initiates allergic reactions. Other specific proteins found in considerable amounts in beans include protease inhibitors and lectins.
Carbohydrates Facts In Kidney Beans
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), up to 72% of the calorie obtained from beans is purely made up of starchy carbs. Published studies in Science Direct have shown that starch is mainly composed of amylose and amylopectin which are glucose joined with long chains.Beans contain higher amounts of amylose which is up to 40% than many foods that provide starch. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, is digestible while amylose is not. It is for this reason why kidney beans are one of the chosen foods for people living with type 2 diabetes because they take longer to digest. This results in a slow spike in levels of blood sugar than most starches.
Additionally, the glycemic index (GI) score of kidney beans is low. A glycemic index is a tool used to determine how certain food can raise blood sugars after consuming them. Carbs or starch found in kidney beans have the potential to balance blood sugar as compared to most of the foods rich in carbs.
Fiber Facts In Kidney Beans
Another nutrient sourced in abundance from kidney beans is fiber, with about 6.4 g contained in just 100 g of boiled kidney beans. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, kidney beans contain considerable amounts of resistant starch which has been shown to help manage weight.
Published studies have also found that they are loaded with alpha-galactosides. These are insoluble fibers associated with loose stool and flatulence in some individuals. Insoluble fiber and resistant starch act as prebiotics in the digestive tract. They escape digestion in the upper digestive tract and move intact to the large intestines. Here they are fermented and fed on by the good gut bacteria.This fermentation process is important to your health as it results in the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) like acetate, butyrate, and propionate. These fatty acids help in reducing the risk of colon cancer as well as improving gut health and mental health.
Nutrition Facts of Vitamins and Minerals Found In Kidney Beans
According to several published studies by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, there are many vitamins and minerals in kidney beans. They include:
Folate: This type of vitamin is essential for the formation and healthy growth of the fetus. It is also called vitamin B9 or folic acid.
Molybdenum: Is contained in seeds, legumes, and grains as one of the trace elements. Beans, in particular, contain molybdenum in high amounts.
Copper: Besides being found in beans, copper can also be found in seafood, organ meat, and nuts. What’s more, copper acts as an antioxidant in the body protecting against oxidative stress. Unfortunately, it is a trace element that is low in Western foods.
Iron: This mineral has various functions in the human body including the formation of blood. Kidney beans have phytate which may interfere with the absorption of iron.
Potassium: This is one of the essential nutrients in the human body. It is essential for the contraction of muscles among other vital functions.
Manganese: It is found in high amounts in kidney beans, fruits, and vegetables.
Vitamin K1: Also called phylloquinone. It is an important factor in the process of clot formation.
Plant Compounds In Kidney Beans
Kidney beans are also a good source of powerful plant compounds, according to a research by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. These include:
Phytic acid: Also known as phytate, is a plant compound found in all edible seeds. It interferes with the absorption of iron, zinc, and other minerals.
Anthocyanins: This plant compound gives kidney beans their characteristic color, especially anthocyanin pelargonidin.
Isoflavones: Acts as an antioxidant in the body and are highly found in soybeans. They have the properties of estrogen – the female sex hormone.
Health Benefits of Kidney Beans
Kidney beans offer some health benefits like:
- Aiding weight loss – they prolong feelings of fullness.
- Helping in blood sugar control – low GI score.
- Protect against cancer – especially of the colon.
Kidney beans are a member of the Fabaceae family with different nutrients of high quality. These include proteins, carbs, fiber, and powerful plant compounds. Health benefits include aiding weight loss and controlling blood sugar.
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