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

The Nutrition of Kidney Beans

Sep 16, 2010

Kidney beans are sometimes referred to as chili beans, but they are named after a kidney because of their visual similarity to the organ. On more rare occasions, the kidney bean is also called the red bean, but there are other red beans, too, which causes an overlap in the reference. A fundamental aspect of the cooking traditions of Northern India, kidney beans are also used commonly in areas like Southern Louisiana, especially New Orleans, for the traditional dish of Creole (red beans and rice). Kidney beans are also found in the Spanish dish by the name of chili con carne. Nutrition-wise, they are an excellent source of many minerals and vitamins.

High in Magnesium

Eating a good amount of kidney beans is vital if you want to get your daily dose of magnesium. Kidney beans are a great source of magnesium, as 3.5 ounces of the beans gets you 140 milligrams worth. Magnesium is essential to the human body if you want to avoid serious conditions that can have a deleterious effect on your well-being. For example, if you do not get enough magnesium in your system, you stand the chance of suffering muscle spasms, high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, migraines, anxiety disorders, cerebral infarction and even osteoporosis. In addition, some salts found in magnesium, such as Epsom salts, have been shown to be effective in the treatment against high blood pressure.

High in Calcium

Calcium is also found plentifully in kidney beans, with just one, 3.5-ounce serving giving your body an intake of 143 milligrams of calcium. Calcium is a very important mineral for sustaining life, and it is a feature of a healthy diet. By eating kidney beans, you are adding to the strength of your bones, not just in the present day, but even extending as far into the future as your older age. If you don't adhere to your daily calcium requirements, you are in danger of developing diseases like rickets and also poor blood clotting. Sometimes, certain demographics, like pregnant women, can develop osteoporosis if they don't get enough calcium. So if you are worried that you are not getting enough calcium into your diet, then simply add some kidney beans to your meals, and you are well on your way to fixing this deficiency.

Good Source of Zinc

Kidney beans are a good source for the trace element of zinc; zinc is essential to life and is found in animals, people, plants and microorganisms. If you do not take in enough zinc, you stand to be in greater jeopardy of getting chronic renal disease, chronic liver disease, diabetes, sickle cell disease, malignancy, malabsorption and other types of chronic illness. Even in less severe cases of zinc deficiency, you still are at risk of suffering from sexual impotence, delayed maturation, impaired appetite, skin lesions, eye lesions and also diarrhea, just to name a few.

Article Comments