The World's Healthiest Foods are health-promoting foods that can change your life.

Try the exciting new recipe from Day 1 of our upcoming 7-Day Meal Plan.

The George Mateljan Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation with no commercial interests or
advertising. Our mission is to help you eat and cook the healthiest way for optimal health.
Why are black beans so popular? Is there anything nutritionally unique about them?

As more and more people begin to discover how uniquely delicious and nutritious black beans are, their popularity has begun to soar. Also called black turtle beans, Mexican beans, black Spanish beans, Tampico beans and Venezuelan beans, black beans have been a long time staple in Mexican, Central American and South American cuisines. They are now becoming very popular in the United States, appearing on grocery store shelves, salad bars and restaurant menus, as individuals discover that not only do they taste great but that they can also be an important part of a health promoting diet.

Black bean nutrition — focus on protein and fiber

When it comes to three basic categories of nourishment — protein, fiber and anti-oxidant related substances — few foods have as solid a nutritional profile as black beans. Black beans, like other beans, really pack a punch when it comes to protein and fiber. On average, each cup features about 15 grams of both protein and fiber. That amount of protein is about the same as contained in two 8-ounce glasses of milk, but in the case of milk, there is no fiber to be found.

Black bean nutrition — focus on flavonoid anti-oxidants

While all beans are exceptionally healthy foods when it comes to their protein and fiber content, it's the color coat on black beans that makes them particularly interesting in contrast to other beans. Researchers have found at least 8 different flavonoids in the black bean's color coat. Flavonoids are color-producing phytonutrients pigments that have great anti-oxidant potential. They work together with vitamins to help the body avoid oxygen-related damage.

Many other foods have been studied for their flavonoid content, and foods like red grapes or red wines are famous for their rich supplies of one flavonoid family, called anthocyanins. As it turns out black beans are an equally rich source of this flavonoid family, containing about 2.37 grams of anthocyanins per 100 grams of seed coat.

Black bean nutrition — focus on omega-3 fatty acids

Black beans also contain small amounts (about 180 milligrams per cup) of omega 3-fatty acids. This amount is about three times that available from many other beans, including kidney beans. While the amount of omega-3 fats in one cup of black beans is roughly equal to the amount in one ounce of a cold water fish like halibut, it's still a valuable addition to your meal plan since omega-3 fats are essential to protecting our health.

Black bean nutrition — focus on vitamins and minerals

In addition to the nutrients already discussed, black beans also feature concentrated amounts of other important vitamins and minerals. Based upon our nutrient rating system, black beans are an excellent source of one nutrient, a very good source of four nutrients and a good source of five nutrients (see table 1 below for more details).

Table 1: Profile of Concentrated Nutrients: Black beans (serving size = 1 cup cooked)

NutrientAmount%DVDensityQuality
Molybdenum129.0 mcg172.013.6Excellent
Folate256.3 g64.15.1Very good
Dietary fiber15.0 g59.84.7Very good
Copper0.4 g40.03.2Good
Manganese0.8 mg38.03.0Good
Vitamin B1 (thiamin)0.4 mg35.02.8Good
Phosphorus240.8 mg34.42.7Good
Protein15.2 g30.52.4Good
Magnesium120.4 mg30.12.4Good
Iron3.6 mg20.11.6Good

Practical tips

It's easy to incorporate black beans into your meal plans. Not only are they a versatile food, but they also make a great addition to many dishes because of their distinct rich, smoky flavor, velvety texture and a shape that holds well during cooking. To find recipes with black beans, use the website's Recipe Assistant. You can also find some quick serving ideas in the black bean article.

Printer friendly version

Send this page to a friend...

rss


Newsletter SignUp

Your Email:

Find Out What Foods You Should Eat This Week

Also find out about the recipe, nutrient and hot topic of the week on our home page.

 

Everything you want to know about healthy eating and cooking from our new book.
2nd Edition
Order this Incredible 2nd Edition at the same low price of $39.95 and also get 2 FREE gifts valued at $51.95. Read more


Healthy Eating
Healthy Cooking
Nutrients from Food
Website Articles
Community
Privacy Policy and Visitor Agreement
References
For education only, consult a healthcare practitioner for any health problems.

We're Number 1
in the World!

35 million visitors per year.
The World's Healthiest Foods website is a leading source of information and expert on the Healthiest Way of Eating and Cooking. It's one of the most visited website on the internet when it comes to "Healthiest Foods" and "Healthiest Recipes" and comes up #1 on a Google search for these phrases.

Over 100 Quick &
Easy Recipes

Our Recipe Assistant will help you find the recipe that suits your personal needs. The majority of recipes we offer can be both prepared and cooked in 20 minutes or less from start to finish; a whole meal can be prepared in 30 minutes. A number of them can also be prepared ahead of time and enjoyed later.

World's Healthiest
Foods
is expanded

What's in our new book:
  • 180 more pages
  • Smart Menu
  • Nutrient-Rich Cooking
  • 300 New Recipes
  • New Nutrient Articles and Profiles
  • New Photos and Design
privacy policy and visitor agreement | who we are | site map | what's new
For education only, consult a healthcare practitioner for any health problems.
© 2001-2017 The George Mateljan Foundation, All Rights Reserved