Looking to lose weight? Try our FREE Calorie Counter »  |  Log In
Articles Fitness Nutrition

The Nutrition of Baked Beans

Baked beans have been a family favorite for a great number of years. They come in many flavors and go well with barbecued foods such as hot dogs or burgers. Made with wholesome beans and a thick sauce, they provide a hearty side dish. Although people eat them all over the United States, the nutrition they offer is something no one talks about. Here's a breakdown on a barbecue's favorite friend and why they and any bean packs a nutritious punch.

Different Varieties

Baked beans come in a small number of delicious flavors. They've become more than the plain variety with a piece of pork in the can. Now you can enjoy them in honey, barbecue, and maple brown sugar flavors. This encourages children to eat them as well by adding more taste and texture.

Fiber Benefits

Beans are an excellent source of fiber. Fiber keeps your intestines working properly by warding off constipation. A good number of people stay away from beans due to the gas they experience. Gas occurs after the bacteria in the bowels digest fiber. It's a byproduct of the digested fiber and relieves itself after you eliminate your bowels. If gas becomes a big problem when eating foods containing fiber, cut back on the amount and this usually solves the gas problem.

Lowers Cholesterol

Beans lower cholesterol levels due to the fiber found in them. Studies show that eating beans up to four times a week lowers the risk of heart disease and cholesterol.

High in Protein

The building blocks of muscles begin with protein. This important nutrient is needed to promote healthy muscle tissue that not only helps you get strong, but increases energy. When you have more energy, you can work out longer. Protein also promotes strong hair and nails. Beans are often said to be the poor man's meat, but the amount of protein in them provides a wealth of health benefits.

Vitamin and Mineral Content

Baked and other types of beans contain folic acid, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and vitamin B6. Folic acid is excellent for pregnant or child-bearing women. Iron helps promote healthy blood cell production. Vitamin B6 helps with metabolism and potassium regulates fluids in the body. Manganese is important for your bones, the thyroid, sexual health and the metabolism of food. Magnesium is necessary for bone formation and cell function. It also keeps the heart functioning properly and lowers cholesterol.

Antioxidants

Beans have strong antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals increase your chances of illness, aging and cancer. Studies conducted by the USDA reveal that beans have high antioxidant levels. The small red bean varieties have the highest benefits. Most baked beans are made with haricot, pinto and kidney. Both kidney and pinto beans rank high in antioxidants.

Diet

If you're on a high fiber or protein diet, beans are the healthiest way to incorporate these nutrients. They're better for the body and provide more vitamins and minerals than red meats. When you're having a barbecue or just looking for a side dish, don't forget the baked beans.

Article Comments