Kidney beans range in color from light red to dark reddish-brown, and are commonly used in soups, casseroles and stews in the United States. They are commonly associated with chili, a tomato-based soup that also typically contains onions, peppers and pork or beef. These beans may offer several health benefits.
Kidney beans are a rich source of protein; one cup of cooked kidney beans contains about 13 g of protein. They are commonly used as protein replacements for meats in vegetarian diets. Protein is a primary source of energy for cognitive function and physical strength. This nutrient also aids in the repair of organ, muscle and bone cells.
Potassium is a mineral that works with sodium to regulate fluid balance in your body. It improves the absorption of vitamins and minerals through cell membranes. Potassium also helps regulate blood pressure, according to "Prescription for Nutritional Healing." Kidney beans provide a wealth of potassium; one cup of cooked kidney beans contains about 607 mg of potassium, or about 24 percent of the recommended daily intake.
Kidney beans are cholesterol-free foods, and are low in saturated fats; one cup of cooked kidney beans contains only about 0.361 g of saturated fats, or about 1.8 percent of the recommended daily intake. Saturated fats may contribute to lipid blockages that impede blood flow throughout your circulatory system and lead to heart disease.
Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate that may enhance digestion and improve the elimination of wastes from your body. It may also help control "bad" cholesterol levels in your bloodstream, which may lower your risk of heart disease. Kidney beans are abundant sources of dietary fiber; One cup of cooked kidney beans contains about 13.6 g of fiber, or about 36 percent of the recommended daily intake.
- Vegetarian Resource Group: Protein in the Vegan Diet
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C.; 2010
- USDA National Nutrient Database