Diet

Black Beans: Nutritional Properties, Benefits and Uses

Legumes are a rich source of protein and antioxidants. Black beans, also known as ‘turtle beans’, are a healthy, mouth-watering and budget-friendly legume. In addition, they have medium, oval-shaped seeds with a satisfying texture and mildly sweet flavour. Black beans have been an essential part of North American diets for centuries. In addition, they are also a healthy option for vegans to meet their daily protein intake. Black beans are in trend because of the instant pot recipes. However, it also highlights the nutritional benefits of this traditional legume seed.

Types of Black Beans

There are two types of black beans available in the market. The first is naturally dried beans, and the other is the processed canned black beans.

The dried black beans are high in nutrition and low in fat and sodium. They usually take more time to cook. However, you can store dried black beans for a long time, and they are inexpensive. At the same time, the canned black beans are processed and contain sodium. They are ready to use, and you can cook them in minutes. Canned black beans have an expiry date and are a little costly.

Nutritional Properties of Black Beans

Black beans are rich in fibre, carbs, folate, potassium, and protein. In addition, they are free from sodium and cholesterol.

Nutritional Value – One hundred grams of cooked black beans contain:

  • Calories- 132 Kcal
  • Fat – 0.54 g
  • Carbs – 23.7 g
  • Protein – 8.8 g
  • Dietary fibre- 8.7 g
  • Water- 65.4 g

Carbs

Black beans are rich in carbohydrates and fibre (both soluble and insoluble). They do not contain sugar. The carbohydrates present in black beans are simple carbohydrates.

Fats

Black beans contain less fat, and most of the fat is polyunsaturated. 

Protein

Black beans are protein-dense legumes that contribute to a person’s daily protein intake.

Minerals

Black beans are exceptionally high in iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium content. Black beans also contain manganese, thiamine and folate, which is very important for pregnant women. In addition, black beans contain vitamins B, E and K and minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron.

Daily Consumption Limit

Beans are super healthy food. They have impressive nutritional benefits. Because of their high concentration of nutrients, consuming more beans in a diet can improve overall health and decrease the risk of heart disease, obesity and many types of cancers. For vegans, beans can be a crucial source of plant-based protein. The recommended quantity of black beans is ½ cup or 25-30g per day. 

Studies recommend the consumption of 1.5 cups of beans each week in order to get the advantages of their possible health benefits.

Benefits of Black Beans

1. Helps in Reducing the Risks of Heart Disease

Magnesium, iron and potassium are essential for maintaining good heart health. Black beans are rich in iron, potassium and magnesium, vital for producing healthy red blood cells. In addition, black beans are cholesterol-free and are perfect food for heart patients.

2. Controls Diabetes

Diabetic patients should eat foods high in fibre. Black beans are an excellent source of fibre and help control blood sugar levels. As a result, black beans are beneficial for type-1 and type-2 diabetic patients. 

In people with type-1 diabetes, black beans help lower blood sugar levels. However, it increases insulin levels and insulin tolerance in people with type 2 diabetes.

3. Lowers Blood Pressure

Black beans are low in sodium content. Sodium is the leading cause of high blood pressure. Black beans are also rich in potassium, which lowers blood pressure levels. Studies shows that the intake of beans regularly keeps your blood pressure levels in check.

4. Helps in Healthy Bone Growth

Black beans are rich in iron, zinc, calcium, copper and magnesium. These minerals are necessary for bone growth and strengthening, as well as for the development of healthy and strong bone structures. Black beans for older adults is a good option for increasing bone strength and preventing issues like osteoporosis.

5. Good for Pregnancy

Black beans contain folate, which is essential for pregnant women. When folate enters a pregnant woman’s body, it changes into folic acid. Folic acid helps in increasing the growth of red blood cells. In addition, folic acid helps typically develop the brain and heart of the foetus and prevents congenital disabilities in the unborn baby. 

The iron content of black beans helps reduce iron deficiency and its effects. The nutrients present in black beans contribute to the mother’s and the baby’s health.

6. Helps in the Prevention of Cancer

Black beans are considered a superfood. That is because it helps lower blood pressure, prevent diabetes and improve heart health. In addition, it prevents the growth of cancerous cells.

Black beans are high in antioxidants and help fast recovery and remove damaged cells before infecting other healthy cells. The antioxidants also prevent the mutation of genes. As a result, it helps prevent cancer.

7. Helps Cure Anaemia

Anaemia is due to a deficiency of iron. Black beans have high iron content, which also helps in reducing the risk of anaemia. In addition, eating black beans results in increasing the production of healthy red blood cells.

8. Helps in Enhancing Fertility

Beans contain a rare mineral, molybdenum. Studies suggest that molybdenum increases energy during sexual activities. In addition, molybdenum cures infertility and erectile dysfunction in men. It also helps detoxify some acidic compounds present in our digestive tract.

9. Helps Nervous System

The foliate present in black beans is beneficial for our nervous system. In addition, some amino acids present in black beans are essential for maintaining nervous system functioning. The consumption of black beans also reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.

10. Helps in Weight Loss

Black beans are rich in fibre. As a result, they move slowly in the digestive tract, as slow as meat. The slow movement of beans makes you feel full for a long time, reduces food craving, and aids weight loss.

Carbs present in black beans are simple carbs that provide energy without risking a person’s body shape and structure. However, black beans cannot be a part of the keto diet due to their high carbs content.

11. Helps Maintain Digestive System

Black beans are one of the healthiest foods in the world because they are rich in protein, fibre, carbs and minerals. Fibre and protein assist in optimising the function of the digestive system, which increases the absorption of nutrients. In addition, it will help thoroughly flush the waste. Therefore, eating black beans is an effective home remedy for stomach problems like constipation.

Beans: Comparison

Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are softer and creamier than black beans. They are brown with spots and pink when cooked. Pinto beans are slightly higher in carbs, fat and fibre than black beans, and they have high starch content.

Kidney Beans

The only difference between black beans and kidney beans is their taste. Both beans are virtually identical and have almost the same nutritional value. However, kidney beans are toxic when cooked improperly.

Red Beans

You can easily differentiate black beans based on their appearance. For example, red beans are small, oval and have red skin. In contrast, black beans have more magnesium, antioxidants, and pack more fibre than small red beans.

Healthy Recipes Using Black Beans

Black beans are enjoyed worldwide, mainly with rice, burritos, salads and tacos.

The most important part of preparing black beans is soaking them. Soaking is an essential step for preventing intestinal gas. Some people prefer boiling beans overflowing them. Going for dried black beans is always better than canned ones.

1. Instant Pot Black Beans

Black Beans: Nutritional Properties, Benefits and Uses- HealthifyMe

Serving- 4

Ingredients

  • Dried black beans (rinsed): 1 cup
  • Chicken (or vegetable) broth: 2-3 cups
  • Shallot (peeled and halved): ½ bowl
  • Bay leaf: 2-3
  • Garlic (diced): 4-5 cloves
  • Salt (as per taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly chopped herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, and green onions

Directions

  1. Add black beans, broth, shallot, bay leaf, and garlic to an instant pot—season with salt and pepper. 
  2. Place lid on Instant Pot and set to Manual, High and set time for 30 minutes.
  3. Wait 15-20 minutes before opening the lid. 
  4. Add more salt and pepper and garnish with herbs, if desired.

2. Black Bean Tacos

Black Beans: Nutritional Properties, Benefits and Uses- HealthifyMe

Mexican cuisine is gaining popularity each day. Tacos are delicious and can be made healthy with black beans.

Servings -2

Ingredients

  • Olive oil: 2 tablespoons
  • Onion (chopped): 1 small
  • Black beans (rinsed and drained): ½ cup
  • Green salsa (salsa verde): 2 spoons
  • Garlic powder
  • Chilli powder
  • Cumin (ground)
  • Taco shells (optional)
  • Shredded Mexican cheese blend (optional)
  • Tomato, diced (optional)
  • Avocado, sliced (optional)
  • Shredded lettuce (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. 
  2. Cook onion in hot oil until tender for a few minutes. Add black beans, green salsa, garlic powder, chilli powder, and cumin to the onion and saute. 
  3. Reduce heat to low and cook the mixture until it thickens.
  4. If desired, serve with taco shells, cheese blend, tomato, avocado, and shredded lettuce.

3. Black Bean Dip

Black Beans: Nutritional Properties, Benefits and Uses- HealthifyMe

It’s so flavorful, healthy and easy to make. You’ll love it with your favourite flavour of nachos.

Servings- 4

Ingredients

  • Black beans-½ cup
  • Olive oil-2 tablespoons
  • Chopped onion- 1 medium
  • Cilantro-½ bowl
  • Jalapeños- 4-5
  • Garlic- 5-6 cloves
  • Cumin powder
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh lime 2-3 spoons

Directions

  1. Cook onions, garlic, and jalapeños in olive oil until very soft, about 10 minutes. 
  2. Leave the garlic in large chunks. If you chop it too finely, it will burn.
  3. Add the beans to the onion mixture, salt, cumin, lime juice, water, and fresh cilantro in a blender. 
  4. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and add more fresh chopped cilantro, if desired.

Possible Side Effects

Consumption of black beans is safe without any significant side effects. The only problem people face is indigestion, stomach distress and intestinal gas. Moreover, in some cases, people experience stomach aches. People working on a low carb diet should avoid or minimise the consumption of black beans. 

Conclusion

Black beans’ antioxidants, fibre, protein, and carbohydrates are nutritionally powerful. A diet containing beans can reduce your risk of several severe medical conditions and help your body process calories more effectively. So adding Black beans to your grocery list is a good choice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Why are black beans bad for you?

A. Black beans are not bad for health. However, they can cause stomach distress, indigestion and intestinal gas in some cases, which are embarrassing for a few people.

Q. Why are black beans good for you?

A. Yes, Black beans are rich in nutrients. In addition, they are rich in protein, carbohydrates and fibres. They are also loaded with antioxidants and help reduce the risk of many diseases.

Q. Are black beans the same as kidney beans? 

A. No, Black beans and kidney beans are two different kinds of beans. But they have almost the same nutritional value. They only differ in taste and physical appearance.

Q. Do black beans make you gain weight?

A. No, Black beans do not make you gain weight. However, black beans are rich in fibre and low in fat which helps you to lose weight.

Q. Can you lose weight by eating black beans?

A. Yes, Black beans help in losing weight. It is because they are rich in fibre, which helps reduce food cravings by making you feel full for a more extended period.

Q. What is good to eat with black beans?

A. Black beans with rice keeps the blood sugar level in control. You can also use it with burritos and soup.

Q. Are black beans better than Pinto?

A. Both beans have their benefits and can help you in several ways. However, pinto beans are slightly higher in carbs, fat and fibre than black beans. In addition, pinto beans have high starch content. 

Q. Do beans help burn belly fat?

A. Black beans are low in fat and high in fibre. The fibre increases the absorption rate of nutrients in the digestive tract and helps maintain a good body shape and weight. But there is no scientific research that supports that black beans help burn belly fat.

Q. Are black beans good for a flat stomach?

A. Black beans are a healthy option for vegans. The carbs present in Black beans are simple carbs that provide energy and do not contribute to weight gain.

Q. How much black beans should I eat a day?

A. You can eat half-cup or 25-30 grams of cooked black beans every day to get its full benefits. However, it will help if you have twice or thrice per week. 

Q. Are black beans suitable for Keto Diet?

A. No, due to the high carbs content of black beans, they are not suitable for a keto diet. They are low in fat but high in carbohydrates.

Q. Do black beans have a lot of carbs?

A. Yes, Black beans are loaded with healthy and simple carbohydrates. They help provide energy.

Q. Are black beans a Superfood?

A. Black beans are a superfood. They are rich in proteins, fibre, carbohydrates and minerals like iron, magnesium, copper and potassium. Black beans also reduce the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, anaemia and cancer. Black beans also aid in weight loss.

Q. What are the health benefits of black beans?

A. Black beans help in losing weight. They also reduce blood sugar levels and maintain blood pressure. In addition, they reduce the risk of cancer. Black beans also help in maintaining a healthy digestive system.

Q. Can I eat black beans every day?

A. Yes, You can eat black beans every day. A half-cup of cooked black beans helps maintain a healthy digestive system and heart and blood pressure levels.

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