Kidney beans, also commonly known as chili beans, is a part of the legume family. It is interesting to note that kidney beans share a visual resemblance to that of a kidney, in terms of both color and shape, hence the name, kidney beans. Kidney beans were first cultivated in South America and they are rich in various proteins, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. These kidney beans are used in many dishes in various cultures.
Proteins are an essential mineral needed by our body. It helps in growing and repairing the tissues and cells in our body. Many sources show that kidney beans contain around 10.96 grams of proteins (8 oz. of kidney beans). Men and women, however, have different protein requirements. Men need around 56 grams of protein daily and women need 46 grams. Since kidney beans are rich in proteins, the consumption of this legume helps in keeping the blood sugar levels stable and keeps the heart healthy and functioning properly. To add an affordable source of proteins to your diet; enjoy kidney beans with a bed of brown rice, perhaps?
Dietary fiber is essential for healthy digestion and also helps in lowering the risk of diabetes and heart disease in a person. Insoluble fiber helps in preventing constipation and treats disorders like diverticulosis and irritable bowel syndrome. Research conducted by the National Institute of Health shows that half a cup of kidney beans has around 6 grams of fiber. Women need to consume around 25 grams of fiber while men need 38 grams.
Kidney beans are an excellent source of various vitamins. These vitamins include – Vitamin C, B1, Folate and vitamin K.
Amongst the many roles of Vitamin C includes the fact that it acts as a powerful antioxidant, hence effectively reducing the risk of Cancer, Heart Disease and Aging. Furthermore, vitamin C is important for the synthesis of collagen. The Institute of Medicine recommends 90 grams of vitamin C for men and 75 grams for women. On the other hand, Vitamin B1 plays an important role in energy production and is needed for the functioning of the brain too. Folate, another vitamin found in kidney beans, is needed by the body for lowering the homocysteine levels. This is a good thing because elevated levels of homocysteine can cause a heart attack, stroke or a vascular disease. An abundance of vitamin K is also found in kidney beans. Vitamin K plays an important role in normal blood clotting and avoids hemorrhaging.
There are various minerals found in kidney beans. Manganese is a mineral, whose important natural source is a kidney bean. It helps in keeping the body active and is associated in energy production. Iron helps in transporting oxygen from the lungs and distributes it to the body through the red blood cells. It helps immensely in performing metabolism functions. Copper is a mineral which is the third most common one found in our body. Like manganese, it helps in energy production and fights against free radicals to prevent cancer.
Phosphorus is found in the body and it helps calcium in the bones to form calcium phosphate. It helps to activate the B-vitamins in our body. Potassium helps in reducing the blood pressure and improves the functioning of the heart. A deficiency of this mineral can lead to fatigue and weakness. This mineral helps in keeping your body healthy and fit because it fulfills the 23% of the daily recommended value.