Black Beans: Nutritional Facts and Health Benefits

Learn the health benefits and nutritional facts of black beans. (Image via Pexels/Dayvison de Oliveira Silva)
Learn the health benefits and nutritional facts of black beans. (Image via Pexels/Dayvison de Oliveira Silva)

Black beans are a versatile plant-based protein that can be used in both savory and sweet meals to add flavor, texture, color, and nutrients. Classic Latin American, Caribbean, and Southwestern (US) cuisines use these beans a lot.

For at least 7,000 years, black beans have been a staple of North American cuisine. In scientific circles, they're known as Phaseolus vulgaris. They're also known as "turtle beans" in English and "frijoles negros" in Spanish.

Today, there are hundreds of various beans to choose from, with black beans being the fifth most popular pulse in the United States.

Black bean nutrition fact file

Nutrition in black beans. (Image via Freepik)
Nutrition in black beans. (Image via Freepik)

Black beans are one of the healthiest beans to eat. They are abundant in fiber and plant-based protein, two nutrients that help reduce the risk of chronic disease. Their proteins can be easily digested, with a 79 percent digestion rate.

In fact, when compared to animal-based protein sources, black beans are considered an environmentally sustainable protein source.

This nutrient-dense legume contains soluble fiber, insoluble fiber, and resistant starch, which are all linked to a variety of health advantages.

Calcium, selenium, and a variety of B vitamins are all found in black beans. Their iron content is also high.

Here's a nutritional profile of 100 grams of black beans:

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

Health benefits of black beans

Health benefits of black beans. (Image via Freepik)
Health benefits of black beans. (Image via Freepik)

Black beans, like other legumes, are a good source of lean protein. They provide several health benefits.

Here are some of the health benefits of including black beans in your diet:

1) For strong bones

Black beans contain iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, and zinc, all of which help to build and maintain bone structure and strength.

Calcium and phosphorus are needed for bone construction, whereas iron and zinc are essential for preserving bone, joint strength, and flexibility.

2) Aid in weight loss

The calories in black beans effectively aid weight loss. Black beans also include a lot of fiber and protein, which may help you lose weight by suppressing your appetite.

Black beans are high in soluble fiber, which swells into a gel-like substance in your digestive system when it comes in touch with water.

The rate at which your stomach passes its contents into your intestines is slowed by soluble fiber. This helps to hold food in your stomach for longer, which is one of the reasons why eating high-fiber foods makes you feel fuller.

3) Regulate blood sugar levels

It's reassuring to know that despite the fact that black beans contain carbohydrates, they may still be included in a diabetes-friendly diet and are likely healthy.

Beans have a low glycemic index, which might help you maintain a healthy blood sugar level.

According to studies, black beans can considerably lower post-meal insulin levels, which is beneficial for maintaining appropriate blood sugar levels.

4) Gut friendly

Due to their high fiber content, black beans are regarded as one of the healthiest foods on the planet.

Though fiber is one of the few compounds present in food that cannot be broken down, it serves a variety of functions in the human body, one of which is to aid digestion.

Along with protein, fiber may help to optimize the operation of the digestive system. It ensures that all nutrients are properly absorbed and waste is thoroughly eliminated from the digestive tract.

As a result, common gastrointestinal problems like constipation can be efficiently treated by simply eating black beans.

5) Keep heart health in check

Black bean fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, and phytonutrient content, as well as their lack of cholesterol, all contribute to heart health.

This fiber aids in lowering total cholesterol levels in the blood as well as the risk of heart disease.

Homocysteine is a molecule that is prevented by vitamin B6 and folate. When too much homocysteine builds up in the body, it damages blood vessels and causes cardiac difficulties.

Black beans contain the antioxidants quercetin and saponins, which help to protect the heart. Quercetin is a natural anti-inflammatory that has been shown to lower the risk of atherosclerosis and protect against the damage caused by LDL cholesterol.

The texture of black beans is pleasing, and the flavor is mildly sweet. They're also extremely nutritious, containing a wide range of essential nutrients while being low in fat and sugar.

Furthermore, they are a good way for vegans to achieve their daily protein requirements.

For those who don't have the time to cook dry black beans from scratch, canned ones are a good option.

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh