Benefits of Feijão Carioca for health

It’s easy to joke about the different types of beans and the flatulence effect they have, but we must focus on the nutrients that foods like cariocas can bring to our health.

Did you know that many types of beans such as anasazi beans and carioca beans are some of the main cancer-fighting foods? More than that, carioca beans also benefit the heart.

Carioca beans have been around for centuries and they are served in celebrations and social gatherings. Although beans are sometimes prepared in trepidation for their well-known embarrassing gas-causing side effects, the nutritional value is vast and they are affordable in price.

Combine the carioca bean broth with a whole grain such as brown rice and you get a high-quality protein flour that is virtually fat-free. Dried beans from Rio are generally available packaged in plastic bags as well as in boxes or cooked in cans.

Because beans are a very cheap form of good protein, they have become popular in many cultures around the world. It is the most consumed bean in the United States and part of Mexico. Today, the biggest commercial producers of carioca beans are India, China, Indonesia, Brazil and the United States.


  • May slow tumor growth – Carioca beans contain antioxidants called polyphenols, which can prevent some forms of cancer. Carioca beans also contain kaempferol, which is a flavonoid known to help reduce inflammation. These beneficial antioxidants can slow the growth of tumors, increasing the survival rate of much-needed healthy cells.
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease – Red beans can be helpful in lowering cholesterol levels and therefore the risk of heart disease. Eating about half a cup of carioca beans daily can help lower your total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels. This works by replacing a protein source that is high in fat with one that is almost fat-free. Increasing your intake of dietary fiber can also help lower your cholesterol.
  • Potentially Helps Reduce Breast Cancer Risk – One study reveals that women who had more dietary fiber intake at an earlier age into adulthood were associated with significantly lower breast cancer risks, suggesting that a high-fiber diet during adolescence and early adulthood can be particularly important. Sex steroid hormone levels are known to be strongly related to the development of breast cancer. A high fiber diet is thought to reduce the risk of breast cancer by inhibiting estrogen reabsorption.
  • Fighting Diabetes – With obesity on the rise, diabetes is a growing concern. Carioca beans can offer some help, not only in reducing risk, but also in controlling blood sugar levels. The complex carbohydrates that carioquinha contains are useful due to a slower digestion process. This can increase satiety and help regulate glucose and insulin levels. In addition, the fiber they contain can help reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome, which affects glucose levels, making carioca beans the perfect addition to any diabetic diet plan.
  • Can help detoxify the body – Wines, dried fruits and some vegetables contain sulphites, which can cause side effects such as headaches and disorientation. Studies have shown that carioca beans are extremely high in molybdenum, a rare mineral that is not often found in foods. A cup of beans contains 285% of the recommended daily value of molybdenum. This mineral neutralizes the side effects of sulphites.
  • It can improve the nervous system – Molybdenum helps in the production of cellular energy and the development of the nervous system. Carioquinha beans provide the brain with the necessary amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Vitamins such as folate, which play a significant role in regulating specific amino acids that the nervous system requires. Studies have shown that a deficient amount of dietary folate can increase homocysteine ​​levels, which can be a dangerous precursor to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
  • It is useful for pregnant women and their babies – Folate from carioca beans has been shown to contribute to the composition of neural tubes and red blood cells in prenatal babies. A deficiency of folic acid in pregnant women can lead to the birth of underweight children and can also result in neural tube defects in newborns. A cup of beans contains 74% of the recommended daily value.
  • Helps maintain healthy blood pressure – Carioquinha beans are very high in potassium and low in sodium. A cup of carioca beans contains a whopping 746 milligrams of potassium, compared to 1.7 milligrams of sodium. Folate also contributes to the reduction of hypertension and relaxes blood vessels, maintaining adequate blood flow.


The carioca bean, scientific name Phaseolus vulgaris is referred to as “common bean” probably because it derives from an ancestor of common bean that originated in Peru.

From then on, beans were spread throughout South and Central America by the migration of Indian businesses. The carioquinha was introduced to Europe in the 15th century by Spanish explorers who returned from their journeys to the New World. Spanish and Portuguese merchants took him to Africa and Asia.

Brazil has been cultivating this nutritional source since 3000 BC, becoming a staple food in most meals with rice, pasta and potatoes. It is unclear as to the exact date of the domestication of beans, although evidence goes back to archeology as far back as 10,000 years in Argentina and 7,000 years ago in Mexico.

Carioquinha is an excellent source of molybdenum, fiber and folate. Carioca beans are also a good source of copper, manganese, phosphorus, protein, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium and iron.

Certain phytonutrients, shown to be helpful in preventing some types of cancer, including stomach cancer, are also provided in significant amounts by this bean. Phytonutrients include cinnamic acids, secoisolariciresinol, and coumestrol.

A cup of raw Rio beans has the following nutritional value:

  • 670 calories
  • 121 grams of carbohydrates
  • 41.3 grams of protein
  • 2.4 grams of fat
  • 29.9 gram fiber
  • 1.013 micrograms of folate
  • 2.2 milligrams of manganese
  • 1.4 milligrams of thiamine
  • 1.7 milligrams of copper
  • 340 milligrams of magnesium
  • 793 milligrams of phosphorus
  • 2,689 milligrams of potassium
  • 53.8 micrograms of selenium
  • 9.8 milligrams of iron
  • 0.9 milligrams of vitamin B6
  • 4.4 milligrams of zinc
  • 0.4 milligrams riboflavin
  • 218 milligrams of calcium
  • 12.2 milligrams of vitamin C
  • 10.8 micrograms of vitamin K
  • 2.3 milligrams of niacin


Before washing the beans from the carioquinha beans, spread them out on a light-colored board or kitchen sink surface to check for small stones, debris, or damaged beans. Then place them in a bowl, rinsing them thoroughly in fresh water.

To cook the carioca beans, you can use an ordinary pot or a pressure cooker. For the pot method, add three cups of fresh water or a broth of your choice to each cup of dry beans.

The liquid should be about one to two centimeters above the top of the beans. Bring them to a boil, then reduce the heat, partially covering the pan. If any foam appears during the cooking process, just wipe it off. Carioca beans usually take about an hour and a half to cook using this pot method.

They can also be cooked in a pressure cooker where they take about half an hour to cook. Regardless of the cooking method, do not add seasonings that are salty or acidic until after the beans are cooked. Adding them sooner will make the beans tough and considerably increase cooking time.

Prefer to season your carioca beans after cooked in an adjacent pan.

Some quick ideas for preparing carioquinha beans:

  • Use carioca beans in recipes that use pepper in the preparation.
  • Mix carioca beans with sage, oregano, garlic and black pepper to make a delicious paste that can be used as a topping for appetizers or sandwiches.
  • Place a layer of cooked red beans, chopped tomatoes, onions and grated cheese in a tortilla. Leave in the oven until the cheese melts. Finish by covering with chopped avocado and cilantro.
  • Add red beans to vegetable soup.
  • Add the grains of carioquinha with cooked rice. Add chopped vegetables that are also cooked, such as carrots, zucchini and tomatoes. Then season, savor and enjoy this simple meal.


Carioca beans are famous for causing intestinal discomfort and flatulence, which can happen due to the large amounts of fiber and a sugar they contain called Oligosac. This sugar is difficult to break down during the digestion process and usually does not break down until it reaches the large intestine, where useful bacteria live.

It is this process that produces the usually irritating and uncomfortable gas.

Another risk you should be aware of is iodine. For those suffering from thyroid cancer, it is common for radiation to be part of the treatment process and the iodine present can impair the expected effects.

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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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