Types Of Beans And Their Nutritional Values

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We are all aware of beans, but in a very general manner. Kidney beans also known as rajma, falls into the category of the beans family and is a well known lentil. Beans are known around the world for their nutritious value. These nutritious foods are grown in many countries and cultures for preparing variety of dishes. Beans are known to have the ability to absorb flavours from other foods. They are very easy to store and cook. However, consuming beans should be limited as they are known to cause gastric trouble. Likewise, while cooking make sure you wash them properly as they contain toxins due to sprayed fertilisers in their raw form.

The nutritional value of beans are endless. They are known to have nutritious as they are rich in fiber, proteins and minerals. Molybdenum, a mineral is used as a counteract to the sulfide preservatives. They are low in fat and lowers bad cholesterol. Since they are rich in fiber, they help in digestion and improves bowel movements.

Beans are also used for cooking and most of the Mexican dishes are prepared using beans. Some of the other dishes where beans are used in preparation are stews, soups and stir fries. Kidney beans blend with a wide variety of spices because they adsorb other flavours well.Check out the different types of beans and their nutritional values.


Adzuki or Aduki beans

These are small deep red beans. There are sweet to taste and are an excellent source of fiber, folate, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and lots of iron. Due to their sweet taste, they are used mainly in Asian cuisines. They are also added in desserts to enhance the taste. It is usually sold in a dried form, but can also be purchased as a paste or flour.


Pinto Beans

These medium-sized beans are brown in colour. They are an excellent source of folate, fiber and a good source of iron. This oval-shaped bean should be soaked before using. They are available dried or are precooked in cans.


Black eyed peas

Cowpeas are oval, creamy white beans with a black patch. There are an excellent source of fiber and folate. This bean is available as a fresh or dried bean which is used in soups, side dishes, and casseroles.



Chickpea or Garbanzo Beans are large, round, and have a nutty flavour. This bean is a rich source of iron and potassium. It is prepared in dishes including soups, salads and pasta dishes. They are mainly used in Middle Eastern, Indian, Italian, Spanish, and Latin-American cuisines.


Cranberry beans

They almost look like dried cranberries. They come in dust pink colour with light red stripes. They are known to have good mineral and potassium content. Cranberry beans must be shelled before cooking. They are also known as an Italian Borlotti. Pinto Beans can be used as a substitute for red kidney beans.


Fava beans

Fava beans are also known as broad beans. They come in oval shaped and are light brown in colour. Folate and fiber are high in this beans. When using fava dried beans, it is best to use beans that have been split so that the very tough skin is easier to remove and the cooking time will be less.


Great northern beans

Great northern beans are medium sized beans. They are high in iron and proteins. They are available in canned or dried manner. Great northern beans are basically used in baked bean dishes and soups. White kidney beans or navy beans are good substitutes for this bean.


Cannellini beans

Cannellini beans are famously known as kidney beans, red or white beans. They are large, kidney-shaped, deep reddish brown or white bean that has a good source of folate, fiber and iron content. They come in different ways like fresh in the shell, dried, frozen, and canned. Also known as rajma, these beans can be cooked and can be added in other dishes such as casseroles and salads. These beans should be soaked before cooking.



Lentils is one of the common legumes found in the market. They are small green, brown, or red in colour. They are abundant in phosphorous and iron. Lentils are used in many Asian and Indian dishes.


Mung beans

Mung beans are tiny, round dried bean which comes in green, brown, or black in colour. They are said to be originated in India and are also known as yellow mung. This dal is high in protein and iron. It is often used to make curries in India.

Read more about: nutrition, health, food
Story first published: Saturday, February 23, 2013, 12:12 [IST]
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