They’re three times cheaper than chicken, beef, or fish, and loaded with with fiber, folate, potassium, and protein. Black beans can fill you up without draining your wallet, and now they’re trendier than ever. (Thanks, Instant Pots!)
The United Nations even declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses, a.k.a. the dry, edible seed of beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas. Ever since, we’ve seen a major takeover in beans as a main ingredient in recipes, especially since they can replace less-nutritious refined grains. Here’s everything you need to know these health-boosting powerhouses.
Serving Size: 1 cup canned low-sodium black beans
- 218 calories
- 14.5 g protein
- 0.7 g fat
- 40 g carbohydrates
- 1 g sugar
- 16.6 g fiber
- 5 mg iron (28% DV)
- 84 mg magnesium (27%)
- 259 mg phosphorus (37%)
- 739 mg potassium (16%)
- 331 mg sodium (22%)
- 1.3 mg zinc (16%)
- 0.4 mg thiamin (33%)
- 0.3 mg riboflavin (27%)
- 146 µg folate (36%)
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Besides protein, black beans provide lots of soluble and insoluble fiber — both of which can decrease your risk of many chronic diseases and help you stay fuller, longer. Here are just a few other benefits that come with eating black beans:
- Less constipation and bloating: The fiber helps you stay regular.
- Lower “bad” cholesterol levels: Eating adequate fiber (at least 25 to 35 grams per day) can help decrease LDL cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Protection for your bones: The magnesium in black beans plays a role in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body including metabolism, and it’s key for bone health as well.
- Healthier blood pressure levels: The potassium in black beans can help improve your numbers.
Get the low-down on your other questions about black beans below:
Are black beans a good source of protein?
Yes! Just one cup contains 15 grams. In fact, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans counts black beans as both a vegetable and a protein — double duty! Beans provide some of the most protein compared to other plant-based foods. Plus, buying dry beans is extremely cost-effective compared to relying on chicken, beef, or fish.