Health Benefits of Beans

The beans provides numerous health benefits and fits into several groups of different foods.

Although it’s rich in complex carbohydrates, made breads and starches like a plant-based food, it feels right at home in the vegetable group, offering a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants like its vegetarian companions.

It can also maintain its own protein group, providing plenty of protein. Unlike some other members of this group, the bean provides little fat and has no cholesterol. In fact, beans actually lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, rather than potentially increasing them, as some animal proteins have shown.


The bean, scientific name Phaseolus vulgaris, is produced from a plant belonging to the Leguminosae family that originates in countries with hot climates such as Central America.

They are usually upright plants that can grow like vines, as they have the ability to curl up in whatever medium is within reach. Its flowers are white, colored purple or yellow and its fruits are vegetable (green pods in which the seeds are).

Beans descend from the semitropical regions of South America, probably from the Peruvian Altiplano and from Central America, Mexico. They were already cultivated by the pre-Columbians in 8000 BC and were taken to Europe by Spanish colonists much later, only then spreading to the rest of the world.

In the past, because of their low price and easy availability, beans were considered the food of the poor. But beans are a noble and highly nutritious food and, according to historical sources, in the Middle Ages, many famines were faced and overcome thanks to the consumption of beans.

The variety of beans is very large, there can be at least 300 different types, of which about 60 are edible, with shapes and colors of all kinds: white, black, drawn, red, large, small, round or crushed. The calories provided by 100 grams of edible beans equal 343.

The beans contain in the nutritional information:

  • 10% water;
  • 24.5% protein;
  • 48% carbohydrates;
  • 14.50% dietary fiber;
  • 3% lipids;

The minerals present in greater amounts are sodium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, calcium, zinc and selenium. Grains contain a good dose of B vitamins, named vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6. Also, they are vitamins E, K, J and vitamin PP.

Among the amino acids, instead, include those present in a higher percentage which are: aspartic acid, glutamic acid, arginine, phenylalanine, leucine, lysine, valine and proline.


  • Helps the heart – Beans are “heart healthy” because they contain an abundance of soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. If you prefer canned beans, you can get rid of up to 40% of the sodium by washing them in water.
  • Low-fat – Most beans are about 2-3 percent fat and cholesterol-free unless they are processed or prepared with other ingredients, such as lard. In this way, any doubt about whether beans are fattening falls to the ground.
  • Carry a protein pack – We should eat more vegetable protein. About 1/2 cup of beans provides 7 grams of protein, the same amount as in 1 chicken, beef or fish. Vegetarians, vegans and individuals who rarely eat meat, poultry or fish can rely on beans as an alternative choice.
  • Balances blood sugar – With a low glycemic index (blood glucose rate), beans contain an efficient mix of carbohydrates and complex proteins. As a result, beans are slowly digested, which help to keep your blood sugar stable and can reduce fatigue and irritability.
  • Reduces risk of cancer – Scientists recommend that adults consume 3 cups of beans a week to promote health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer. This is due to its abundance of fiber and antioxidants.
  • Gives vitality and freedom – Full of fiber, beans can promote regularity, preventing constipation. To maximize your meal, be sure to eat other high-fiber foods together. Beans are ideal for those who are sensitive to gluten, a natural protein found in products containing wheat, rye, barley and sometimes oats. If you have food allergies, however, check the food label or contact the manufacturer to ensure the product is safe.
  • Satisfying – Because beans are metabolized more slowly than other complex carbohydrates, they can help with weight loss by keeping us full without being clogged with calories.
  • Easily found – Canned, frozen or dried, beans are easy to buy, prepare and store. They can even be in flour form.
  • It’s well priced – Beans can be the cheapest source of protein found on the market, especially when compared to fresh meat.
  • Rich in Nutrients – In addition to protein, carbohydrates and complex fibers, beans have a potency of nutrients, including antioxidants, vitamins and minerals such as copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
  • It’s versatile – They can be incorporated into a main dish (feijoada), side dish (rice and beans), appetizer (soup) or snacks. It’s easy to get creative when you have beans, navy beans, black beans, raccoon beans, moyashi, garbanzos (chickpeas), peas and lentils in your pantry. Take advantage of its many shapes, sizes and colors when planning meals.


Black beans are classified as vegetables. Also known as turtle beans because of their hard, shell-like appearance, black beans are actually the edible seeds of the plant.

Like other legumes, like peanuts, peas and lentils, black beans are prized for their high protein and fiber content. They also contain several other essential vitamins and minerals that are known to benefit human health.

Among other benefits, black beans can help strengthen bones, contain quercetin (a natural anti-inflammatory substance found in fruits and vegetables) and saponins that can protect the heart, and contain about 114 kilocalories in every half cup.


The largest producer of dry beans in the world is India, followed by Brazil, China, USA and Mexico. As for green beans, the biggest producer is the USA, following China, Japan, Spain and France.

But growing beans in your own garden is not just a task for those with experience. It may seem challenging at first, but bean growing is easy enough.

As long as you meet the basic requirements for cultivation, you will soon be reaping a wonderful and rewarding reward.

Beans prefer warm weather, these crops should be grown in places that receive full sun in well-drained and fertilized soil. Preparing the soil with compost before planting is highly recommended.

Beans should not be planted until all danger of frost has passed. Beans come in numerous varieties, deciding which variety of beans you want to plant is important when you are planning your garden.

Beans can be planted on hills or rows, they also need adequate moisture. They should be watered about once a week or more often during dry weather.

The use of organic plant materials such as straw, grass debris or leaves will help retain moisture and control weeds. Beans are susceptible to a variety of insects, with beetles being the most common.

These insects can easily be removed by hand or sprayed with soap and water. Excess heat and humidity can cause a variety of problems with beans.

The most common of these diseases are bacterial, but there are numerous bean varieties available that are disease tolerant.


Making simple beans is already a challenge for those who have never done it before. Just imagine making tasty, well-seasoned beans that make your crowd’s mouth water just by the smell? So, how to make a tasty bean?

First of all, it is essential to know if the beans are old or new, in which case bites a raw one, if it is easy it is because it is new, otherwise it is old.

After that, start putting the beans in a bowl to separate the stones and impurities that come in the package.

– Leave the beans to soak for 15 minutes (if cooking in a pressure cooker) or 24 hours (if using a common pot).

-Discard the water from the sauce, replacing more water for cooking. For every cup of bean tea, use 3 of water.

-Cover the pan and after it gets pressure, wait 25 minutes for new beans and 30 minutes for old beans.

-Remove the pan from the heat, placing it under the faucet to cool and take the pressure off.

-Do the cooking test with some beans, seeing if they are soft. If not, return to the fire with the lid open for a few more minutes.

-For seasoning, use half a small diced onion, 2 or 3 crushed garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon oil.

-Simply saute all the ingredients in oil, in a separate pan, placing the beans when they are boiling.

Bring to a boil, adding during this process the ingredients you think are necessary to make a difference, such as bay leaf, sausage, vegetables, etc.

Now that you’ve learned it, there will certainly be no limits!


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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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