Kidney beans, a variety of “common beans” (Phaseolus vulgaris) commonly known as surakh (red) lobia in Pakistan are consumed in several dishes. You will be surprise to know that red beans are super nutritious food and have plenty good amount of protein, dietary fiber, vitamin D, B complex, folate, antioxidants, molybdenum, manganese, phosphorus, iron, potassium, magnesium, copper and zinc. Eating beans regularly confer several health benefits and prevent from major diseases. Here are some amazing benefits of kidney beans consumption.
- Weight Loss
Obesity/overweight is major underlying cause of many health problems and heart diseases. A good serving of red beans in your meals 4 times a week for 2 months significantly aids in weight loss. It is because Red beans are rich in protein, complex carbohydrates and dietary fibers that help you feel full for longer time and tend to eat less. Moreover, alpha amylase inhibitors are extracted from red beans and grains (wheat, rice) which prevent starch absorption and breakdown, used for weight loss supplements.
- Boosts energy
Red beans are rich in high protein and good alternatives of meat in developing countries. One bowl servings of 100 g can provide you with 127 kcal of energy. When consumed with rice, beans are great to boost nutritional power of your meal. Also the manganese in kidney beans aids in metabolism and provide energy from consumed food.
- Improves memory
A good amount of vitamin B1 is present in red and related beans. This helps to form new brain cells and maintain healthy cognitive function. B1 is helpful in synthesis of acetylcholine which boosts brain function and memory as well as prevent from diseases; Alzheimer’s and dementia.
- Anti-ageing properties
Antioxidants present in kidney beans scavenge free radicals and reduce cell damage. In addition flavonoids (proanthocyanidins) in red beans have anti-wrinkle properties. This helps to slow down the ageing processes and keeps you younger with wrinkle less glowing skin and healthy hair & nails.
- Controls Blood Sugar and Combats Diabetes
Kidney beans are rich in dietary fibers which decrease metabolism rate of carbohydrates and maintain lower sugar levels after meals. They provide a slow steady supply of glucose in blood unlike of other carbohydrates rich foods. Plenty good amounts of slow releasing carbohydrates in beans with low glycemic index help to keep balanced sugar levels. Hence red beans help to reduce Diabetes type 2 risks and also a good option in diet plan of already diabetic patients.
- Cancer Prevention
Several anti-cancer chemicals in red beans reduce the risk of many forms of cancers. Presence of isoflavones and phytosterols in beans help to fight against Colorectal cancer. Fibers and resistant starch from red beans passes undigested to colon, where these are converted to short chain fatty acids and help to prevent colon cancer.
- Reduce Cholesterol level and Heart Disease Risk
Red beans helps to reduce cholesterol levels owing to the presence of high fiber contents in them. The magnesium in beans helps to keep proper function of cardiovascular system. The folates/ vitamin B9 in them have heart friendly effects and reduce the risks of stroke and heart attacks.
Folates also reduce homocysteine levels in blood. In addition, formation of short chain fatty acids upon consumption of kidney beans prevents cholesterol synthesis in liver which is termed as bad cholesterol.
- Improves stomach functioning
Insoluble dietary fibers are helpful to keep smooth bowl functioning and relieve constipation. If properly cooked, red beans have cleansing effects on stomach and digestive tract. Soluble Fibers helps to dissolve bile acids and eliminate from the body.
Raw kidney beans have a toxin (phytohaemagglutinin) in them. If not properly cooked or cooking at low temperatures (80 °C) may increase the toxin levels up to 5 folds. Upon slow cooking the toxin may remain in the beans and poisoning may lead to diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, liver damage and even hospitalization in serious conditions. However, overnight soaking in water or for at least 5 hours followed by cooking at boiling temperature for 30 minutes is sufficient to completely destroy the toxin, make kidney beans safe and nutritious to eat. Enjoy your servings!