Beans are one of the most complete legumes in terms of nutrients which provide many benefits for our health. There are many varieties of beans (more than 300), but the white kidney bean is one of the most interesting ones. In fact, it is a product with healing properties that we will discuss in this article.
What is the White Kidney Bean?
The main benefits of the kidney bean lie in its supply of carbohydrates (slow absorption), protein and fibers. Moreover, it barely has any fat. That is why they are perfect for cooking or combining them with other legumes in our diet. They will provide energy for our body while supporting weight loss processes.
Traditionally, the oldest cooking recipes consists of combining these legumes with vegetables. They used to boil them in water, salt and oil in a pot, which is quite simple actually. These meals were rich in carbs in order to face long working days. Before cooking them, the kidney beans had be soaked in water to make them soft and easier to cook.
Where does the White Kidney Bean come from?
White kidney beans have many different names. Dry beans are present in the popular gastronomy of the old and new continent. Even if there are varieties which are native to the Mediterranean, these beans would arrive to Spain with the discovery of America. In the beginning, they were used to feed the cattle. With time, they started to be used in the kitchen until they became the main ingredients of traditional dishes that we still eat today.
According to the information, there is archeological evidence that shows how white kidney beans were the main protein source of indigenous people. Before discovering America, the Arabs cultivated them in some areas and they were called al-lubiya, a term that has evolved into alubia in Spanish.
Properties of Kidney Beans
We have already seen that the main elements of this bean are carbohydrates, protein and fibers. The main difference between this bean and other types of beans and legumes, is that they are easy to digest. This is due to the fact that their skin, main source of fiber, is much more digestible than any other type of legume. That is why it has become a key ingredient in many diets such as the Mediterranean diet.
The soluble fiber from these beans helps to low the cholesterol and triglycerides. Moreover, it also regulates the intestinal transit, which helps to treat constipation.
White kidney beans also stand out due to their iron content. In addition, they provide vitamin B that, along with its iron content, can prevent or treat different types of anemia.
Like most legumes, bean also have an excellent supply of potassium, which has antiedematous properties and regulates the blood pressure; phosphorus, indispensable for the memory and the nervous system in general; and magnesium, another mineral that regulates the proper functioning of the nervous system that also decreases the fatigue. Meanwhile, it has a low calorie supply, which is the reason why people use it to lose weight.
Nutritional value of white kidney beans
100 grams of this product provide:
- 304.6g of kilocalories
- 54.8g of carbohydrates
- 21.4g of protein
- 1.5g of fats
- 21.3g of fiber
- 0.5g of vitamin B1 and 2.4 of vitamin B
- 31.160g of potassium, 6.2g of iron, 400mg of phosphorus and 163mg of magnesium
Benefits of White Kidney Beans
- They are perfect for those who suffer an iron deficiency: children, pregnant women or those who lose a lot of blood due to diseases or wounds. They tend to experience fatigue and weakness because of that.
- These legumes are important for vegans and vegetarians who look for sources of vegetable protein.
- White kidney beans support weight loss diets due to their satiating effects and their ability to improve the digestion. They are low in calories and saturated fats, which is its main difference when compared to other legumes. You can combine vegetables rich in nutrients with white kidney beans in many recipes
Cooking the beans is very easy, you just have to soak them first to soften them and then boil them in some water with salt and oil. There are many recipes with these legumes, both traditional and modern.
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