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Kidney beans are commonly known as rajma in India. This beans served with hot steaming rice is called rajma chawal which is a favourite dish among the Indians. Kidney beans come with a lot of health benefits. They aid in weight loss, promote heart health, maintain blood sugar levels to name a few.
Kidney beans are a good source of protein and considered a healthy food. However, they should be cooked properly before consumption it can be toxic to your system if eaten raw  .
Nutritional Value Of Kidney Beans (Rajma)
100 grams of kidney beans contain 333 calories, 337 kcal of energy and 11.75 g of water. It also contains:
- 22.53 g protein
- 1.06 g total lipid (fat)
- 61.29 g carbohydrates
- 15.2 g total dietary fibre
- 2.10 g sugar
- 0.154 g total saturated fat
- 0.082 g total monounsaturated fats
- 0.586 g total polyunsaturated fats
- 83 mg calcium
- 6.69 mg iron
- 138 mg magnesium
- 406 mg phosphorus
- 1359 mg potassium
- 12 mg sodium
- 2.79 mg zinc
- 4.5 mg vitamin C
- 0.608 mg thiamin
- 0.215 mg riboflavin
- 2.110 mg niacin
- 0.397 mg vitamin B6
- 394 µg folate
- 0.21 mg vitamin E
- 5.6 µg vitamin K
Health Benefits Of Kidney Beans (Rajma)
1. Aids in weight loss
Kidney beans contain soluble fibre which slows down the emptying of your stomach, so you feel fuller for longer. Also, the higher protein content increases your satiety, thereby helping in weight loss.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, people who consume kidney beans are less likely to be obese and more likely to have a smaller waistline and lower body weight  .
2. Helps in cell formation
Kidney beans are packed full of amino acids which are the building blocks of protein. Protein work on most of the cells to structure, regulate and help in the function of body's tissues and organs. They also aid in the formation of new molecules by analysing the genetic information in DNA. However, make sure that you don't consume too much kidney beans as they are loaded with a protein called phaseolin, which may cause an allergic reaction in some people and an increase heart failure risk  .
3. Maintains sugar levels
Kidney beans contain carbohydrates known as starch. Starch is composed of glucose units called amylose and amylopectin  . It accounts for 30 to 40 per cent of amylose which isn't as digestible as amylopectin. This slow-release of carbs in the body takes a longer time to digest and doesn't cause a spike in blood sugar compared to other starchy foods, making kidney beans a perfect food for diabetics  .
4. Promotes heart health
Consume kidney beans more often and you are less likely to die of a heart attack, stroke and other heart-related problems according to a 2013 study  . It also lowers LDL cholesterol and boosts HDL cholesterol due to the presence of dietary fibre content in beans. So, start eating beans to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
5. Reduces the risk of cancer
Kidney beans are high in antioxidants called polyphenols and possess anti-inflammatory properties which have been shown to have a positive effect in lowering the risk of cancer, says a study  . Kidney beans and other beans in general are considered cancer-fighting foods and because they have the potent ability to fight all types of cancer.
6. Prevents fatty liver disease
Fatty liver disease occurs when too much of fat gets accumulated in the liver. Consumption of kidney beans can boost liver health and lower the risk of fatty liver disease due to the high fibre content that binds the waste deposits and expels it out from the body. Also, kidney beans are a nutrient-dense food which contains plenty of nutrients including vitamin E. This vitamin is known to improve fatty liver disease  .
7. Improves digestion and gut health
Are kidney beans good for digestion? Yes, they are as they contain a good amount of dietary fibre which promotes digestive health and maintains bowel regularity. Kidney beans also boost gut health by improving intestinal barrier function and increasing the number of healthy bacteria that help in preventing gut-related diseases. However, avoid overindulging in kidney beans as they may cause flatulence and gas  .
8. Aids in the formation of bones and teeth
Kidney beans contain a good amount of phosphorous which is essential in the formation of bones and teeth. Phosphorous also plays a crucial role in how the body uses carbohydrates and fats. High levels of phosphorous in the body help in effective usage of other minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium and calcium  .
9. Apt for pregnant mothers
Kidney beans contain folate or folic acid, a vital nutrient that is required during pregnancy  . The reason being it helps prevent neural tube defects in the foetus during pregnancy. Not getting ample amount of folate during pregnancy can also cause weakness, loss of appetite, irritability, etc.
10. Keeps skin and hair healthy
As kidney beans are loaded with antioxidants, they can fight against the effect of free radicals and slow down the ageing of cells. This prevents wrinkle formation, and heals acne. On the other hand, kidney beans being rich in iron, zinc and protein can help nourish your hair and prevent unhealthy hair loss and thinning  .
11. Prevents hypertension
Kidney beans can prevent hypertension because it contains magnesium, potassium, protein and dietary fibre. All these nutrients help in maintaining normal blood pressure levels. Moreover, magnesium and potassium expand the arteries and blood vessels and ensure proper blood flow through the arteries, thereby normalizing blood pressure.
12. Boosts memory
Kidney beans is a great source of vitamin B1 (thiamine) which enhances cognitive function and improves memory. Thiamine aids in synthesising acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps in the proper functioning of the brain and boosts concentration. This is beneficial in lowering the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease  .
13. Aids in detoxification
Molybdenum is a trace mineral found in kidney beans. It acts as a natural detoxifier by removing sulphites from the body. High sulphite content in the body can be toxic as they cause eyes, skin and scalp irritation  . Also people who are allergic to sulphites should have kidney beans regularly to slow down the symptoms of allergies.
How To Add Kidney Beans Into Your Diet
- Add boiled beans in soups, stews, casseroles and pasta dishes.
- Combine cooked kidney beans along with other beans to make a stand-alone bean salad.
- You can make a chaat made of boiled beans mixed with black pepper, tomatoes and onions.
- You can make mashed kidney beans with seasoning for a healthy spread in a sandwich.
Now that you know the benefits of kidney beans, enjoy them in boiled, baked or mashed form to receive their amazing health benefits.
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