Black Bean Nutrition Facts

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Black beans are a great food to add to a healthy diet.  They are packed with nutrition and beneficial for your body. Black beans are an easy food to add to your meal plans, and just as little as 1/2 cup per day adds necessary vitamins and minerals to enhance your health.

Historically, black beans are a staple in Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia and the Dominican Republic.  Top producers of black beans include India, China, Brazil, Indonesia and the United States.

Like other legumes, black beans grow in seed pods.  The outer covering is discarded and the beans inside are dried.

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High Fiber

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You can get 9 to 13 grams of fiber from 1 cup of cooked beans.  Because it has insoluble fiber, it contributes to reduced cholesterol.  Black beans also help with irritations in your gut by helping with the digestive tract.  Because of this, black beans are also a good food when you are wanting to lose weight. They make you feel full, create energy, and are less likely to be stored as fat in your body.

Promote blood sugar regulation

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Due to the fiber content, black beans help regulate blood glucose levels.  This simple carbohydrate results in a steady energy flow without those ups and downs.  This can also be beneficial in treating irregular glucose metabolism, diabetes, and hypoglycemia. 

Prevent Heart Disease

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Fiber, folate, potassium, and magnesium in black beans benefit the heart.  Magnesium helps get the nutrients, blood, and oxygen to veins and arteries.  Folate (B9) controls the amino acid, homocysteine, which can cause harmful effects to the body.  It is a perk for your nervous system, and is also great for pregnant women as it aids with fetal development.  Potassium reduces the sodium level in your blood, which helps reduce blood pressure.

Source of Protein

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When combined with brown rice, black beans form a complete protein that is very high quality and fat-free.  If you are vegetarian and looking for a substitute for dairy or animal proteins, adding black beans and rice will provide the same benefits.  1 cup of black beans will provide you with 30% of your recommended daily value of protein.

Rich in Antioxidants and Minerals

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Black beans contain the antioxidant anthocyanins, which offers anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer benefits.  This antioxidant also gives the black beans a rich dark color.  While beans in general provide antioxidants, black beans have one of the highest levels.  This helps in eliminating free radicals from your system.  Free radicals left unchecked can potentially lead to growth of cancer cells.

Iron

Black beans can provide much needed iron to the body.  If a person is anemic (deficient in iron), pregnant, or a growing child or adolescent, black beans provide an iron source which is lower in calories and fat-free than the other good source of iron which is red meat.

Manganese and Molybdenum

Black beans contain manganese which helps your body produce energy and also acts as an antioxidant. Molybdenum is a lesser known trace mineral which can help detoxify your body from sulfates that are often found in prepared foods. It can also help with fertility, especially among men.

And more!

Black beans also contain phosphorus, calcium, zinc, and copper which, along with the other minerals mentioned, are building blocks for strong bones and joints.

Preparing Beans

Delicious Slow Cooked Brazilian Black Beans

Black beans cooked from dry beans are the most nutritious.  The beans that come in cans have gone through processing that reduces the amount of nutrients.  They are also packaged in a high sodium solution.  If you are going to use canned beans, drain and rinse them well.  Some sources also recommend that you heat them up.

Some people are intimidated by the preparation process of dried beans, but there are easy ways of preparing them.  The best way is to soak them in water overnight.  The next day, drain them, add fresh water and boil them on the stove until they are tender.  Using an Instant Pot is a very easy alternative.

Stainless steel pot with Black beans in water,

If you don’t want to soak them overnight, you can bring the beans to a boil for 2 minutes, shut off the water, and let them sit in the cooking water for an hour.  After that, drain them, add fresh water, and cook them on the stove or in the Instant Pot.

If you are going to prepare a large batch of beans, you might consider canning dry black beans. That way you will have a jar available anytime you want to prepare a recipe.

Gas Issues

The word Gases laid out from beans, the theme of flatulence and bloating from beans.

When you first start eating beans on a regular basis, you may notice some issues with gas or bloating.  This is due to the oligosaccharides, or sugars, in the beans.  There are a few ways to reduce this effect:

  1. Start slowly.  Your body will get used to this food if you eat it a little at a time.  At the same time, eat slowly and allow your body to fully digest the beans.
  2. Using an Instant Pot (or other pressure cooker) will break down the sugars quickly.
  3. Soak the beans longer – the USDA recommends soaking the beans 8-12 hours but drain the water every 3 hours.  The sugars and starch gather in the water and changing the water often will reduce these levels.
  4. Adding kombu, ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander, or fennel have also been suggested to help reduce the gas factor.
  5. Adding baking soda or apple cider vinegar may also help some. 
  6. Having a cup of chamomile or peppermint tea after a bean meal can counteract the gassy affects as well.

Black Bean Nutrition Facts

These are the values for 1 cup of black beans:

NutrientAmount
Calories227 Kcal
Protein15 grams
Total FatLess than 1 gram
Fiber15 grams
Calcium46.4 milligrams
Iron3.61 milligrams
Magnesium120 milligrams
Phosphorous241 milligrams
Potassium611 milligrams
Sodium1.72 milligrams
Zinc1.93 milligrams
Copper.359 milligrams
Manganese.764 milligrams
Folate256 micrograms

Source:  FoodData Central (usda.gov)

Add Black Beans to Your Diet

black bean soup or stew.

Black beans are delicious and easy to add to your diet.  They are easy to prepare, and pressure can, so you have a supply in your pantry for quick meals.  Add them to salads, soups, or chili.  Make veggie burgers and dips.  As you can see, they are almost a superfood!  I challenge you to add black beans to your diet in some way.  Comment below what you prepared.

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