Which Bean Is the Healthiest?

Medically Reviewed on 11/10/2021
black beans nutrition
Beans are an essential part of any diet and offer numerous health benefits. Here are 7 of the healthiest beans your should regularly consume.

Beans have a bad rap for generating flatulence, which can overshadow their nutritional value.

The fact is, they are one of the healthiest foods available because of their high content of dietary fiber, complex carbs, protein, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. They're inexpensive and offer many health benefits.

Although a few varieties, such as soy, kidney, and black beans, stand out above the others, narrowing it down to the healthiest bean is too subjective.

7 healthiest beans to eat

Some of the healthiest beans to consume include:

  • Black beans:
    • Often known as turtle beans, black beans are inexpensive and widely available in supermarkets.
    • Cooked black beans have a texture that makes them a superb beef and poultry alternative.
    • Black beans are high in vitamin B1, folate, tryptophan, manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, iron, phosphorus, and antioxidants, in addition to fiber and protein.
      • Folate is particularly crucial during pregnancy because it protects newborns from developing brain and spinal cord abnormalities.
  • Kidney beans:
    • Kidney beans are cheap and easy to come by, and the majority of varieties have a strong flavor, which is why they're frequently used in hearty stews, soups, and chili.
    • Kidney beans are high in vitamins B1 and K, tryptophan, molybdenum, phosphorus, copper, potassium, manganese, and iron, in addition to fiber and protein.
      • Iron is required for the production of hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying molecule in your blood).
      • Vitamin K is required for blood clotting.
      • Molybdenum aids in the detoxification and elimination of preservatives such as sulfites from the body.
  • Lima beans:
    • Lima beans, a type of legume, are recognized for their buttery texture and are thought to have originated in Peru.
    • They are most commonly associated with succotash in the United States, a classic Native American dish that contains corn. To provide a complete protein supply, beans are frequently paired with other grains and vegetables. 
    • In addition to fiber, lima beans are rich in molybdenum, folate, vitamin B, manganese, copper, potassium, iron, and tryptophan.
      • Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that isn't found in a lot of other plant foods.
      • Copper is necessary for immunological function and enzyme production.
  • Soybeans:
    • In many regions of Asia, soybeans are a popular legume and are eaten raw or cooked or in the form of tofu.
    • The protein content of these beans is high with cooked soybeans containing 31.32 grams of protein per cup, making them a great alternative for vegetarians and vegans.
    • Soybeans are rich in iron, fiber, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, which are all important for good health.
    • They may assist to lessen the risk of cancer, according to some scientific research. This effect is caused by antioxidants called isoflavones, according to researchers.
  • Chickpeas:
    • Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, may aid in the reduction of blood sugar levels.
    • They are high in vital nutrients, with one cup of cooked chickpeas providing 14.53 grams of protein.
    • Chickpeas are commonly used in salads, and they are roasted as a snack or used to make hummus.
    • Chickpeas, like other beans, may help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer in adults. Moreover, they can assist people in maintaining a healthy weight and blood sugar levels.
    • Furthermore, eating chickpeas may help lower the risk of heart disease and help people consume enough legumes each day, according to studies.
  • Pinto beans:
    • Pinto beans are a good source of fiber and are simple to incorporate into a healthy diet.
    • They are high in protein and fiber, and they're popular in Mexican and Southwestern cuisines in the United States. They can be fried, mashed, or eaten whole.
    • Studies report that eating pinto beans regularly reduces risk factors for heart disease in people who are insulin-resistant to a minor degree. Although these findings are encouraging, more recent research is needed to confirm this possible advantage.
  • Navy beans:
    • Navy beans, also known as haricot beans, are a good source of several nutrients.
    • A cup of cooked navy beans has 19.10 grams of fiber, 14.98 grams of protein, and vitamin B. Additionally, it is rich in iron.
    • The word “Navy Beans” comes from its use as a mainstay in American Navy meals.
    • Navy beans may aid in the reduction of cholesterol and the development of the metabolic syndrome. Researchers discovered that people who increased their consumption of navy beans and rice bran lowered their cholesterol levels.

Why are beans healthy?

Beans are one of the world’s oldest food categories and were a staple of the first people that converted from a nomadic “hunter-gatherer” lifestyle to a more permanent farming existence. 

Beans are easy to store and transport and contain various critical nutrients. They are particularly high in soluble and insoluble fiber, as well as vitamins, minerals, and the majority of amino acids. Additionally, they’re high in protein, yet most varieties still lack at least one necessary amino acid, making their protein content incomplete.

How much beans can you consume?

Because major components in beans have been associated with a lower risk of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends consuming at least three cups of beans each week.

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Medically Reviewed on 11/10/2021
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