India's love affair with piping hot plate of rajma chawal is no strange fact. A filling meal, an instant mood-lifter, rajma rice means so much to so many people across the country. Would you believe that rajma, or red kidney beans, are not even from India? It is said that the red kidney beans were brought to the Indian terra firma as a part of trade in the ancient times. Kidney beans are extensively grown in Mexico and parts of Central America. They are available in many kinds - white, cream, black, red, purple, spotted, striped and mottled. They are a major source of plant-based protein and pack a number of health benefits that is sure to make you a fan (if you are not one that is).
(Also Read: Here's Why You Should Add More Beans To Your Diet)
Here Are Some Benefits Of Kidney Beans You May Not Have Known:
1. Rich In Protein: Vegans and vegetarians often find themselves in a dearth of options when it comes to protein sources. According to USDA, a 100-gram serving of raw kidney beans contain about 24 grams of protein. Kidney beans teamed with rice are dubbed as the complete protein meal. Leaving soy and quinoa, plant-based protein sources like beans, nuts and whole grains are incapable of giving you your required fill of protein. But, they can be combined with other foods to complete your set of proteins. Macrobiotic nutritionist and Health practitioner Shilpa Arora says, "Legumes are great proteins, and are also loaded with good quality fibre. The combination of grains and legumes works well if you want a variety of amino acids in a single meal. If you eat a variety of plant-based foods and legumes, you will get your dose of complete protein and nutrition."
However, make sure you maintain portion control. Kidney beans are abundantly loaded with protein phaseolin, which may cause allergic reactions in some people.
2. Good For Digestion: Kidney beans contain a hearty mix of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Fibre helps to promote good digestive health and bowel regularity. But again, you have to ensure that you do not overindulge, or you may have problems like gas and flatulence.
3. Good For Diabetics: A good part of kidney beans are carbs. But, don't you fret already. The carbs present in kidney beans are the good kinds, also known as the 'slow-release carbohydrate'. These carbs delay the digestion, which aids slow release of sugars in the blood stream. Kidney beans have a very low glycaemic index (29), which makes it an ideal food for diabetics
4. High In Essential Minerals: According to the book, 'Healing Foods' by DK Publishing House, kidney beans are high in blood building iron, phosphorous - which plays a crucial role in healthy bones and teeth - and vitamin K that helps protect the nervous system from free radical damage.
5. Lowers Cholesterol: Kidney beans are rich in soluble fibres. Soluble fibre attracts water and turns it into gel during digestion. While we all know that soluble fibres help promoting digestion but not many know that they also help lower "unhealthy" (LDL) cholesterol.
6. Weight Loss: Kidney beans are packed with proteins and fibres, both of which help induce a sense of satiety. When you feel full, you would binge less and would be able to manage your weight better. They also contain substantial amounts of resistant starch, which may play an effective role in weight management.
(Also Read: 10 Best Beans Recipes)
It is true that too much of kidney beans often lead to gas and issues like bloating. Learn how to de-gas them with these quick tips and tricks here.
So, what are you waiting for? Toss them in curries or have them as sprouts, but do not miss the nutritional marvel.
About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.