Why you should eat kidney beans
Red in color and shaped like the kidneys of an animal or human, kidney beans are commonly added to soups, stews, salads, and other foods in most countries. You can buy them fresh, canned, or dried, and the nutrition they provide means they should always be part of a healthy diet.
Nutrition facts for kidney beans
100 grams (3.5 ounces) of boiled beans contain:
Water … 67%
Calories … 127
Protein … 8.7 g (8.7%)
Fat … 0.5 g (0.5%)
Carbohydrates … 22.8 g (22.8%) of which;
Sugar … 0.3g (0.3%)
Fiber … 6.4 g (6.4%)
As you can see, with moderate calories and very little fat and sugar, as well as plenty of fiber, these beans are an ideal part of a diabetic diet. Additionally, kidney beans contain many beneficial micronutrients such as folate, iron, and manganese.
Protein … these beans are rich in protein. A 100 g has almost 9 grams of protein, which is 27% of the total calorie content.
Carbohydrates… starchy carbohydrates make up about 72% of your total calories. Bean starch is a slow-release carbohydrate (that is, it has a low GI). It causes a lower and more gradual rise in blood glucose compared to other starches. Therefore, kidney beans are especially beneficial for those of us who have type 2 diabetes.
Fiber… these beans are particularly high in fiber, including substantial amounts of resistant starch, a prebiotic. Prebiotics move through your colon to your colon, where they are fermented by beneficial bacteria. This fermentation results in the formation of short chain fatty acids, which can improve the health of your colon and reduce your risk of colon cancer.
Micronutrients… beans are rich in various vitamins and minerals. These include … molybdenum … folate (also known as vitamin B6 or folic acid) … iron (but the phytate in these beans can mean that the iron is poorly absorbed) … copper … manganese .. potassium, and … vitamin K1, which is important for blood clotting.
Health benefits of eating kidney beans
By incorporating these beans into your diet, you can experience significant health benefits. These include:
Reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes
Better control of blood glucose levels
Protecting cells from damage
Helping prevent and treat some cancers
Reduction of the risk of obesity.
Reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes… these beans have a much lower GI (glycemic index) than other carbohydrate-rich foods, probably due to the fiber and resistant starch they contain. Tea glucose level it is a measure of the speed with which individual foods increase blood glucose levels after eating them.
A 4-year study of 3,349 people found that consuming large amounts of vegetables and lentils was associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The study also found that eating half a serving of vegetables a day instead of a serving of eggs, bread , rice, or similarly sized baked potatoes were associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes.
It seems obvious that eating red beans instead of other carbohydrate-rich foods can lower blood glucose levels in both those with type 2 diabetes and those who do not.
Better control of your blood glucose levels… according to a review published in the American Journal of Clinical NutritionAdding legumes to your diet, such as beans, may lower your blood sugar and fasting insulin, thus supporting long-term blood glucose control.
Protecting cells from damage… these beans are a great source of antioxidants, compounds that help neutralize free radicals, thus reducing inflammation and protecting cells from damage and disease. Foods high in antioxidants can also help prevent chronic conditions like heart disease, cancers, and autoimmune disorders.
Improving heart health… research suggests that eating lots of vegetables, like these beans, as part of a healthy diet can lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, both of which are major risk factors for heart disease.
Additionally, other studies have shown that eating vegetables can reduce inflammation markers, many of which contribute to chronic diseases like heart disease.
Other research indicates that eating lots of vegetables as part of a healthy diet can lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, both of which are major risk factors for heart disease.
Helping prevent and treat some cancers… eating kidney beans is a good source of flavonoids, plant compounds that act as antioxidants. According to a study published in 2009, consuming higher amounts of flavonoids is associated with a lower risk of advanced adenomas (a type of tumor from which colon cancer can develop).
In vitro research published in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules discovered that certain compounds in navy beans could block the growth and spread of cancer cells. This suggests that beans can be a powerful cancer-fighting food.
Reduced your risk of obesity… several observational studies have linked bean consumption with a lower risk of being overweight or obese. A 2-month study of 30 obese adults on a weight-loss diet found that eating beans and other vegetables four times a week led to greater loss than a diet without beans.
Another study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition stated that higher consumption of beans may be related to better nutrition, lower body weight and reduced abdominal fat.
Beans are high in dietary fiber and protein. Fiber moves slowly through the body, thus prolonging the feeling of fullness. Protein has been shown to reduce levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates the feeling of hunger.
Risks and Side Effects of Eating Red Beans
Eating these beans isn’t quite a dietary paradise … issues include:
Flatulence… when eating beans, some people experience unpleasant side effects such as flatulence, bloating, and diarrhea. These effects are due to alpha-galactosides, that is, insoluble fiber. Alpha-galactosides can be removed, at least partially, by soaking and sprouting the beans.
Toxicity… raw beans contain large amounts of phytohemagglutinin, a toxic protein. Although this protein is found in many beans, it is particularly high in these beans. Symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting.
To get rid of this toxin, soak and cook the beans … soak them in water for at least 5 hours (or overnight, preferably) and boil for at least ten minutes at 1000C (2120F). Well-prepared kidney beans are safe to eat and highly nutritious.
Antioxidants… are substances that reduce nutritional value by affecting the absorption of nutrients from your digestive tract. The main antinutrients in kidney beans are:
- Phytic acid… aka phytate … misses the absorption of minerals like iron and zinc.
- Protease inhibitors… also known as trypsin inhibitors … they inhibit the function of various digestive enzymes, making it difficult for proteins to digest.
- Starch blockers… also known as alpha-amylase inhibitors … you miss the absorption of carbohydrates from your digestive tract.
All of these antinutrients are totally or partially inactivated when beans are soaked and cooked properly. Fermentation and sprouting of beans can further reduce some antinutrients, for example phytic acid.
How to cook kidney beans
Kidney beans come in three basic forms … fresh, dried, and canned.
You shouldn’t eat raw beans unless you want to experience the heady joys associated with bouts of vomiting and diarrhea.
Ideally, raw beans should soak overnight for at least eight hours before cooking. Soaking and sprouting before cooking will improve digestion and nutrient absorption.
Cook for a minimum of an hour to an hour and a half using 3 parts water to 1 part beans.
Instead of cooking your own beans, you can buy canned (canned) beans that have already been cooked. Canned beans are just as nutritious as raw beans, except they often have much more sodium. You should be able to find low sodium varieties. Otherwise you can drain and rinse the beans … this will remove up to 41% of the sodium content.
But keep in mind that draining and rinsing canned beans could remove other micronutrients, such as vitamin C or B vitamins. You can avoid this by adding other healthy foods, such as carrots, onions, bell peppers, and celery, to your food to increase its nutritional value. .
So once you have the beans ready, what can you do with them?
Find out in the next article in this series … Recipes with red beans