Kidney beans are a very popular legume because of its great taste, texture and flavor. They are dark red in color and are kidney shaped. Kidney beans are full of potassium, magnesium, iron and protein. Hence, this is a good meat substitute for vegetarians. Kidney beans also have several disease-fighting antioxidants that promote a healthy and strong immunity.
Other names of kidney beans are ‘Rajma‘ in Hindi, ‘Nallachikkudu‘ in Telugu, ‘Sigappu Karamani‘ in Tamil, ‘Capparadavare‘ in Kannada, ‘Barbati Beej‘ in Bengali, ‘Phanasi‘ in Gujarati and ‘Rajma‘ in Punjabi. Owing to its various health benefits, kidney beans are considered to be one of the best legumes for everybody. The top health benefits of kidney beans are explained below:
1. Cancer Prevention:
Kidney beans are loaded with manganese that act as an antioxidant defense (1). This helps to reduce free radicals in mitochondria at the cellular level. This also contains vitamin K that is known to protect your cells from oxidative stress and further reduce the risks of cancer.
2. Brain Function:
Vitamin K is present in abundance that is very beneficial for the brain and nervous system. The myelin sheath requires sphingo-lipids for proper formation. Vitamin K helps in the synthesis of sphingo-lipids that aid in healthy brain and nervous functioning. Kidney beans also contain a good amount of thiamine that is required by the brain cells for cognitive function. This helps to create acetylcholine for memory (2).
3. Blood Sugar:
Kidney beans contain soluble fiber that helps to decrease the metabolism rate of carbohydrates. This can prevent blood sugar levels from hiking after a meal. Kidney beans are also a good source of protein that lowers blood sugar level (3).
4. Sulfite Detoxification:
Sulfites are added as a preservative to prepare foods like salads and salad bars. Kidney beans contain good amount of molybdenum that detoxifies sulfites. This is vital for people with sulphite allergies as it helps to lower the symptoms like headache by detoxifying sulphites (4).
5. Digestive Tract Health:
Kidney beans have insoluble fiber that is useful to regularize the bowel movements and increase stool. This helps in the fermentation of dietary fiber in our large intestine and maintains good bacteria in the digestive tract. Healthy bowel movements reduce the risk of colon cancer (5).
6. Cardiovascular Benefits:
The high fiber content in kidney beans can lower the cholesterol level (6). The folate in kidney beans can lower the levels of homocysteine that further reduces the risk of strokes, heart attacks and vascular diseases. They also contain magnesium that aids in healthy functioning of the cardiovascular system.
[ Read: Amazing Benefits Of Pinto Beans ]
7. Energy Booster:
Kidney beans are a rich source of iron that increases your energy levels. Iron is also essential for your body’s metabolism and production of energy (7). The manganese content in kidney beans also contributes to the production of energy in your body.
8. High in Protein:
Kidney beans are loaded with protein and can be the best substitute for meat or dairy products. Consume the beans with rice to get complete nutrition (8).
9. Bone Strength:
The manganese and calcium content in kidney beans aids in developing stronger bones and thus prevents osteoporosis. Kidney beans contain folate that maintains the level of homocysteine and reduces the risk of bone and hip fractures (9).
[ Read: Amazing Benefits Of Navy Beans ]
10. Prevent Bad Cholesterol:
Fibernya present in kidney beans produces acid short-chain fatty acids which can inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver. This helps to lower and prevent bad cholesterol (10).
11. Prevent The Risk Of Diabetes:
Kidney beans contain carbohydrates with a low glycemic index. This is useful to prevent the risk for diabetes (11).
12. Maturation of Red Blood Cells:
The nutrients in kidney beans are useful for the synthesis of DNA and RNA. This can lower the homocysteine level in the arteries and thus reduce the risk of heart disease (12).
13. Healthy Skin:
Kidney beans help to maintain the metabolism of amino acids, gluconeogenesis, neurotransmitter synthesis, histamine synthesis, fatty acids, lipids and hemoglobin synthesis. Thus, it can be useful in maintaining healthy skin (13).
14. Free Radicals:
White kidney beans are a rich source of antioxidants that contain anti-cancer properties (14). Our body produces free radicals as a by-product of cell metabolism. Kidney beans are useful in detoxifying these free radicals and thus reduce the risk of cancer and many chronic diseases.
15. Rich in Fiber:
White kidney beans have both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber (15). This soluble fiber can bind itself with the bile acids in the digestive tract to eliminate it from the body. This is useful to cure bile acids formation in the liver and hence reduces bad cholesterol. Insoluble fiber can help in the prevention of constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis.
16. Heart Health:
Kidney beans are rich in vitamin B9 i.e. folate or folic acid. White kidney beans are considered heart-healthy as they are low in fat content. Folate helps to reduce the level of homocysteine in your bloodstream (16).
17. Improved Cognitive Ability:
White kidney beans contain a good amount of vitamin B1 or thiamin. It helps in the formation of brain cells and their proper functioning. Thiamin is also useful for synthesis of acetylcholine that helps in memory functioning. Consume white kidney beans to maintain healthy cognitive function (17).
Red kidney beans are a rich source of antioxidants. They have anti-aging properties that promote longevity and limit cell damage. This can protect your skin and body from health problems caused due to unhealthy foods (18).
Red kidney beans are a rich source of flavonoids like proanthocyanidins (19). They act as an anti-wrinkle food and maintain a youthful skin.
20. Weight Loss Benefits:
Red kidney beans are highly rich in fiber, protein and complex carbohydrates that stabilize blood sugar levels. It is advised to consume red kidney beans in case of insulin resistance, hypoglycemia and diabetes. Stable blood sugar levels help to release less insulin by the pancreas. This promotes fat storage in your body and keeps the insulin levels low to maintain a healthy weight (20).
Folate in kidney beans can be useful to improve memory. Kidney beans contain magnesium that can prevent migraine headaches and stabilizes high blood pressure (21).
Kidney beans contain zinc or vitamin B6 (22). This mineral helps in tissue growth and repairs damaged skin and hair. Zinc is also found in the retina of eye that helps in fending off macular degeneration. Vitamin B6 can also prevent age-related memory loss and hair fall.
23. Irritable Bowel Syndrome:
Kidney beans have many health benefits including cure for ‘Irritable Bowel Syndrome’ (IBS). The fiber in kidney beans can lower the discomfort from IBS (23).
24. Vitamin C:
Kidney beans have vitamin C. It helps in producing collagen of cartilage (24). This vitamin c can also prevent and cure arthritis and lead to healthy skin and hair. Vitamin C has also shown a positive result in lowering the risk of macular degeneration.
Kidney beans are a rich source of niacin that can cure cataracts (25). They are a good source of magnesium that provides many health benefits especially for migraine sufferers.
Kidney beans are a good non-dairy source of calcium that helps to maintain strong bones and fight against PMS symptoms. Kidney beans contain quercetin, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant, which can cure and prevent arthritis and memory loss (26).
[ Read: Health Benefits Of Calcium ]
27. Prevent Osteoporosis:
Kidney beans are high in soluble fiber, potassium, lean protein, folate, magnesium and zinc. They are also rich in iron and folate that help to maintain blood pressure and prevent osteoporosis (27).
28. Alzheimer’s Disease:
29. Cures Acne:
Kidney beans are a good source of zinc that plays a vital role in maintaining healthy skin. Zinc also ensures the proper functioning of the sebaceous glands that produce sweat. Sebaceous glands that are overactive can cause acne.
Kidney beans are also rich in folic acid that helps in the formation of new skin cells. Regular production of new cells can be useful to clear pores and reduce acne breakouts (29).
30. Eye Health:
Consume a cup of red kidney beans daily as they are a good source of zinc that is important for eye health. Adequate amounts of zinc are useful for enabling good night vision and to prevent cataract.
31. Healthy Immune System:
kidney beans contain eight basic amino acids that prevent many diseases and help in maintaining a healthy immune system (30).
32. Blood Pressure:
The dietary fiber in kidney beans can lower the blood cholesterol levels in your body. This is due to the bond of fiber with bile acids in your intestine. The bile acids are required for cholesterol synthesis that lowers the availability of acids. Hence, the risk of high blood pressure is reduced to a great extent (31).
33. Inflammatory Diseases:
Kidney beans are a rich source of many nutrients that are involved in the detoxification process. This can lower the risk of numerous inflammatory, degenerative and cardiovascular diseases to promote healthy life (32).
34. Rheumatoid Arthritis:
Copper in kidney beans helps in the reduction of inflammatory conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) (33). Copper is also important to promote certain enzymatic activity and maintain elastic properties of ligaments, joints and blood vessels.
35. Relieves Fatigue:
The magnesium content in kidney beans can provide you relief from fatigue. This can also relax the muscles, nerves and blood vessels. Kidney beans are also known to reduce the effects of asthma, muscle soreness, headache and migraine (34).
36. Reduce Asthma:
Consume magnesium-filled food like kidney beans for bronchio-dilating effect in the body. Low magnesium levels can lead to asthma.
37. Healthy Nails:
Kidney beans are a good source of biotin that can prevent nail breakage and aid in nail health (35). Deficiency of biotin can lead to dryness of your nails and slow down the nail growth. This also causes your nails to become dark.
38. Healthy Hair:
Kidney beans are filled with biotin, iron and protein that are required for strengthening hair and nails. Biotin is also useful for fast growth of nails and hair (36).
[ Read: Effective Tips For Healthy Hair ]
39. Food for Kids:
Feed your kids with kidney beans that are a good source of protein, fiber and iron. They are also soft and easy to chew.
Now, let’s look at the kidney beans nutrition chart for a better understanding about its health benefits.
|Nutrients||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat (0.5 g)||0%|
|Saturated fat (0.1g)||0%|
|Polyunsaturated fat (0.3g)|
|Monounsaturated fat (0g)|
|Cholesterol (0 mg)||0%|
|Sodium (1 mg)||0%|
|Potassium (405 mg)||11%|
|Total Carbohydrate (23g)||7%|
|Dietary fiber (6g)||24%|
|Amount Per 100 grams|
Tips to Use Kidney Beans:
- Gout and kidney stones patients must avoid excess consumption of kidney beans.
- High amount of red kidney beans can disrupt cellular metabolism.
- Pre-soak the kidney beans to help in digestion and reduce the cooking time.
- Buy beans that are whole and not cracked.
- Store kidney beans in an airtight container.
- Keep them in a cool, dry and dark place.
- You can store them for up to 12 months.
- You can cook them in a pressure cooker.
- Avoid adding any salty or acidic seasonings.
We hope you will increase your kidney beans consumption to gain its various health benefits. Do let us know how it helped you by dropping your feedback in the comments section below.
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