The Surprising Health Benefits of Black Beans

The Surprising Health Benefits of Black Beans
Main Name: Black beans
Biological Name: Phaseolus vulgaris
Names in other languages: Alubias negras (Spanish)
If your body isn’t getting enough fiber, what better than having a steaming bowl of freshly cooked black beans or black bean soup to overcome this deficiency? Extremely rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, black beans are those wonder beans that contribute to your healthy living. If you happen to visit a Mexican restaurant, you will find these tasty legumes frequently blended into an assortment of Mexican dishes, like burritos, tostadas, and quesadillas. You would even be served with black bean soup as a side dish. Along with navy, kidney, and pinto beans, black beans belong to the bean group commonly known as ‘common beans’ and they are scientifically known as Phaseolus vulgaris. Often referred to as turtle beans, caviar criollo, or frijoles negros, black beans are characterized by their small rough ovoid size with a glossy black shell. The rich smoky flavor and meaty texture of these black beans is often compared to mushrooms. While enjoying the pleasant taste and flavor of this legume, you may not be aware of the various health benefits it can have. Find out what nutritional advantages these satisfying and filling black beans have, hence giving them a superior edge over other beans.
Black beans are indigenous to parts of Central and South America which dates back to at least 7,000 years, where they became a staple food in their diets. When discovered by Spanish explorers in Peru in the 15th century, black beans were brought along with them and introduced to Europe. Eventually, they spread to Africa and Asia by the Spanish and Portuguese traders and became popular for a variety of reasons – ease of growth, long-term storage ability, taste and texture, and nutrient content. Today, they are a significant staple in the cuisines of Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic. India and Brazil are the leading producers of dried black beans. Other countries of Central America and South America including Mexico, Indonesia, and the United States produce these beans too.Black-Beans-2

Health Benefits of Black Beans

  1. The modest black beans have the highest levels of antioxidants amongst all the common beans tested and they are at par with the antioxidant-rich cranberry. Their dark color is a result of the powerful flavonoids, anthocyanins, which are found in nutritional superstars, like red cabbage, blueberries, cranberries, and red beets.
  2. Black beans are capable of fulfilling about half the recommended daily requirement of fiber. With just one cup, their rich fiber content lowers LDL cholesterol and stabilizes blood sugar levels.
  3. They are one the best sources of the trace mineral, molybdenum. Hence black beans are capable of breaking down the sulfites found in foods which can otherwise lead to headaches, stomach aches and disorientation.
  4. Regular consumption of black beans is helpful in reducing the risk of impotency in men.
  5. Apart from being low in fat, black beans help in reducing hunger cravings due to their high fiber content. By keeping you full for longer durations, they help curb unhealthy splurges and maintain energy levels.
  6. Folate, found in abundance in black beans, is highly beneficial for pregnant women as they help in the proper development of the fetus’s brain and spinal cord. A diet rich in folate is also useful for providing protection against heart disease.
  7. Black beans are valuable for preventing high blood sugar levels, thereby making them beneficial for people suffering from diabetes, insulin resistance, or hypoglycemia.
  8. Researches reveal that consumption of fiber-rich foods, such as black beans, are necessary for preventing the risk of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease.
  9. The folate content in black beans is essential for lowering the levels of the amino acid, homocysteine, which can otherwise increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.
  10. With sufficient magnesium present, black beans give a sigh of relief and relaxation to the veins and arteries. In turn, this is helpful in lessening resistance and improving the flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients through the body.
  11. The polyphenols in black beans act like antioxidants in the bloodstream and prevent the cholesterol from getting oxidized by free radicals, It thereby makes it beneficial for individuals with elevated cholesterol levels.
  12. Consuming black beans is a good idea for people who are at a risk of iron deficiency, particularly menstruating women, as they assist in fulfilling the iron requirements. Furthermore, they help in providing sufficient iron quantities to pregnant or lactating women, growing children, and adolescents.
  13. A great source of the trace mineral manganese; black beans are necessary for energy production and antioxidant defenses.
  14. The presence of the antioxidant anthocyanins in black beans helps in fighting against cancer and the effects of aging.
  15. The soluble fiber of black beans is exceptionally useful in preventing constipation and enhancing the stool volume. Besides that, the insoluble fiber aids in curing certain digestive disorders, like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis.
Black Beans Nutrition FactsAmount: 1 cup
Total Weight: 194 g


Nutrients Amount
Basic Components
Proteins 42 g
Water 21.4 g
Ash 7 g
Total Calories 662
Calories From Carbohydrate 492
Calories From Fat 23
Calories From Protein 145
Total Carbohydrates 121 g
Dietary Fiber 29 g
Sugar 4.1 g
Fats & Fatty Acids
Total Fat 2.8 g
Saturated Fat 710 mg
Monounsaturated Fat 239 mg
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.2 g
Omega-3 Fatty Acids 539 mg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids 644 mg
Vitamin E 407 mcg
Vitamin K 11 mcg
Thiamin 1.7 mg
Riboflavin 374 mcg
Niacin 3.8 mg
Vitamin B6 555 mcg
Folate 861 mcg
Pantothenic Acid 1.7 mg
Choline 129 mg
Calcium 239 mg
Iron 9.7 mg
Magnesium 332 mg
Phosphorus 683 mg
Potassium 2.9 g
Sodium 9.7 mg
Zinc 7.1 mg
Copper 1.6 mg
Manganese 2.1 mg
Selenium 6.2 mcg

How many calories in black beans (per 100 gm)
Black beans have about 341 calories per 100 gm of weight.
How to Buy Black Beans
  • Black beans are available in both dried and canned forms round the year. The dried beans can be found in prepackaged containers and bulk bins.
  • While purchasing black beans in bulk, buy only the required amount that can be consumed within one month.
  • When selecting packaged dried black beans, make sure that the packet is tightly sealed and does not contain any broken or shriveled beans.
  • Avoid buying dried black beans with tiny pinholes as they are an indication of bug infestation.
  • Canned black beans can also be purchased as they retain much of their nutritional value as compared to other canned vegetables that lose much of their nutritional value.
  • While buying canned black beans, pick up cans that do not contain extra salt or additives.
Black Beans Storage Tips
  • Dried black beans should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry and dark place, where they will easily last for up to 12 months.
  • Black beans stored at different times should be stored differently since they have varying stages of dryness and hence will require different cooking times.
  • Cooked black beans, when placed in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator, should be consumed within five days.
  • Cooked black beans can also be frozen to preserve for a longer duration. To freeze them, first drain them and place them in an airtight container. Freeze and use within six months to enjoy their freshness and taste.