Pinto beans are well known in the United States. I dare say that they’re the most popular dried beans in the United States.
Pinto beans are a variety of Phaseolus vulgaris, a variety of the common bean mostly used in Mexican cuisine.
They have a reddish-brown speck when they are dried. When cooked, the turn pale pink or light brown. Their flavor is nutty and earthy and can be prepared with ease. You can eat them mashed or whole.
Pinto beans are rich in vitamins and minerals. But they also offer many other health benefits.
This article will review some of its nutrition and health benefits.
Pinto beans contain many nutrients
The major nutrients in pinto beans are protein, carbs, and fiber. They are also rich in minerals and vitamins.
A cup of pinto beans (171 grams) boiled with salt provides the following nutrients (1):
- 245 calories
- 45 grams of carbs
- 15 grams of fiber
- 15 grams of protein
- A gram of fat
- 407mg of sodium
- 28% of the DV of thiamine
- 20% of the DV of iron
- 21% of the DV of magnesium
- 20% of the DV of phosphorus
- 16% of the DV of potassium
From the details above, you can see that they are rich in thiamine, also known as vitamin B1. Your body needs vitamin B1 because it helps with the conversion of food into energy.
Pinto beans also contain other minerals, like magnesium and iron, as well as small amounts of zinc, calcium, and other B vitamins.
They are cholesterol-free and low in sodium and fat.
Rich in fiber
Fiber is a form of carbs. It is indigestible and usually found in plant foods.
Women are advised to take at least 25 grams of fiber every day. On the other hand, men should strive for 38 grams (4).
A cup of boiled pinto beans can provide 60% of the daily value of fiber for men and 40% for women.
Pinto beans are rich in antioxidants
Pinto beans are rich in healthy antioxidants, such as flavonoids and polyphenols.
Antioxidants offer protection from the damaging effects of free radicals. Free radicals, when they accumulate in your body can contribute to chronic ailments (8).
Pinto beans contain a lot of kaempferol. Kaempferol is a flavonoid that provides your body with many health benefits. Several studies have proven that it represses the growth and multiplication of cancer cells (9, 10, 11, 12).
Pinto beans improve blood sugar control
It has been established that pinto beans may support the regulation of blood sugar.
Yes, they contain many carbs. However, they don’t raise blood sugar that much. Their glycemic index is on the low side, meaning that your body digests them slowly, thus moderating their effects on blood sugar (15).
Pinto beans improve heart health
Of course, they are good for your heart.
An 8 – week study found that daily intake of 86g (one cup) of pinto beans caused a significant decrease in total and low lipo-density cholesterol. Note that high levels of LDL cholesterol increase a person’s risk of heart disease (19, 20).
Apart from lowering LDL cholesterol levels, a study found that regular consumption of pinto beans also encouraged the production of propionate (6).
Finally, these beans are rich in potassium, magnesium, and other nutrients. Potassium and magnesium prevent high blood pressure, and high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease (1, 23, 24).
May promote weight loss
Pinto beans can boost your weight loss efforts.
We can say without a doubt that pinto beans are very nutritious.
They are a great source of fiber, protein, minerals, and vitamins. These nutrients have many health benefits, such as improved regulation of blood sugar and cardiovascular health.
They are also loaded with antioxidants and may reduce your risk of chronic ailments.
Also, they are cheap, can be prepared with ease, and go well with many dishes.