The kidney bean is a variety of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). It is named for its visual resemblance in shape and color to a kidney. The extraordinary health benefits kidney beans offer are nothing short of amazing.

These beans are reddish brown in colour with a mild taste when boiled, but easily absorb flavours from whatever seasonings they are cooked in. They have high quantities of folic acid, calcium carbohydrates, fibre and proteins amongst other essential nutrients, all of which are important in proper functioning of the body.

Health benefits of kidney beans:

1. Lowers cholesterol

The high content of complex carbohydrates and dietary fibre in kidney beans lowers cholesterol levels in the blood. The presence of soluble dietary fibre forms a gel like substance in the stomach, which surrounds the cholesterol and prevents its reabsorption into the body.

2. Good for diabetics

Rajma is a healthy option for diabetics because of its low glycemic index, which keeps body’s sugar content balanced. It also reduces the risk of developing diabetes.Learn to know more about wonder foods for diabetes.

3. Improves memory

Kidney beans are rich in Vitamin B1, which contributes greatly to healthy cognitive functions. Sufficient levels of Vitamin B1 help in synthesising acetylcholine (an important neurotransmitter), which ensures proper functioning of the brain and boosts concentration and memory. It is also beneficial in slowing the progress of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

4. Boosts energy

Manganese in the kidney beans is very important in conducting metabolism, which is basically breaking down of nutrients to produce energy for the body.

5. Anti-oxidative properties

Manganese in kidney beans also aids body’s antioxidant defences to make sure that the harmful free radicals in the body are properly and efficiently destroyedHence kidney beans fall under the category of antioxidant rich foods.

6. Powerhouse of proteins

Kidney beans have high protein content. So much so that it can serve as a great substitute for meat for vegetarians. When consumed with rice or whole wheat pasta, it provides a boost of protein to the body without the added calories of meat or heavy dairy products.

7. Natural detoxifier

A lot of foods these days are loaded with preservatives, which contain sulphites. High sulphite content is known to be toxic to the body. The molybdenum present in kidney beans helps in detoxifying the body off sulphites. It is also beneficial for people with sulphite allergies because the symptoms of the allergies rapidly decrease after regular consumption of kidney beans.

8. Prevents hypertension

Kidney beans being a good source of potassium, magnesium, soluble fibre and protein help reduce hypertension. Together these elements help in maintaining normal blood pressure. The potassium and magnesium expand the arteries and vessels and ensure smooth blood flow.

9. Helps in weight loss

The large amount of dietary fibre in kidney beans keeps one full for longer. Also, low fat content makes it a wholesome low calorie meal.

10. Relieves constipation

The insoluble dietary fibres add bulk to your stool, which ensures a smooth bowel movement and helps in relieving constipation.Read more to know home remedies for constipation.

11. Boosts immunity

The antioxidants in kidney bean strengthen the immune system by getting rid of the free radicals and protecting the cells of our body

12. Has anti-ageing properties

Antioxidants in the kidney beans get rid of the free radicals and slow down ageing of cells. They also help in reducing wrinkles, healing acne and nourishing hair and nails.

13. Cleanses stomach

When kidney beans are consumed in the right quantities they can also help with cleansing  the digestive tract, ensuring removal of toxins from the body and lowering the risk of colon cancer.

14. Improves heart health

High quantity of magnesium in kidney beans acts on the cholesterol and helps the body fight diseases associated with the heart like stroke, vascular diseases, coagulation of the arteries, heart attack, etc. and maintain a strong heart.

15. Strengthens the bones

The manganese and calcium present in the kidney beans make the bones stronger and help in preventing osteoporosis. The folate in kidney beans helps in maintaining bone and joint health, which reduces the risk of bone diseases and fractures.

16. Helps reduce migraine

The magnesium present in kidney beans helps in preventing the awful migraine headaches and also stabilises blood pressure.

17. Helps in tissue repair

Vitamin B6 helps in tissue growth and repair of the skin and hair. It also helps in preventing any sort of degeneration of the eye. It even helps in stopping hair fall.

18. Helps reduce cataracts

Vitamin B3 has been seen to reduce and in some cases cure cataracts. The high quantity of vitamin B3 in kidney beans will pretty much ensure the same.

19. Helps relieve rheumatoid arthritis

The high copper content in kidney beans reduces inflammation in the body in the case of arthritis. Copper also ensures flexibility of the ligaments and joints.

20. Helps relieve asthma

The magnesium present in kidney beans has a bronchodilatory effect and ensures smooth air passage in and out of the lungs. Studies have shown that low magnesium levels can lead to asthma.

The nutritional breakdown of 1 cup (177 g) of kidney beans is as follows:

Kidney beans Calories: 225 kcal

  • Protein -> 15.35 g
  • Carbohydrates -> 40.36 g
  • Fat – Total -> 0.88 g
  • Dietary fiber -> 11.33 g
  • Total Sugars -> 0.57 g
  • Vitamin B1 -> 0.28 mg
  • Vitamin B2 -> 0.10 mg
  • Vitamin B3 -> 4.09 mg
  • Vitamin B6 -> 0.21 mg
  • Choline -> 53.98 mg
  • Folate -> 230.10 mcg
  • Pantothenic Acid -> 0.39 mg
  • Vitamin E -> 0.05 mg
  • Vitamin K -> 14.87 mg
  • Calcium -> 61.95 mg
  • Copper -> 0.38 mg
  • Iron -> 3.93 mg
  • Magnesium -> 74.34 mg
  • Manganese -> 0.76 mg
  • Molybdenum -> 132.75 mcg
  • Phosphorus -> 244.26 mg
  • Potassium -> 716.85 mg
  • Selenium -> 1.95 mcg
  • Sodium -> 1.77 mg
  • Zinc -> 1.77 mg
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids -> 0.30 g
  • Omega-6 Fatty Acids -> 0.19 g

Just one look at that extensive nutrition table is sufficient to win any argument in favour of kidney beans. 

A few quick serving ideas

  1. Combine cooked kidney beans with white beans and black beans to make a healthy three bean salad.

  2. Mix them with tomatoes and onions, with a lemon and black pepper dressing for one of the healthiest option for breakfast.

  3. Blend cooked kidney beans with garlic and seasonings for delicious and healthy spread used for sandwich.

  4. Serve  cooked kidney beans over multigrain toast with lot of paneer with it.

So, you see including kidney beans in your diet on a regular basis is going to serve as your permanent health insurance for a forever fit and healthy body. Just go ahead and enjoy your kidney beans the way you like it baked, boiled or mashed, all of them will stack your body up with these amazing health benefits and a happy face!