The red kidney bean is a versatile legume used in everything from salads, chilies and soups to the classic red beans and rice. Kidney beans are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients, which may help prevent certain chronic diseases and also help relieve gastrointestinal symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome.
Red kidney beans have phosphorus, potassium, zinc, iron and phytonutrients, all of which may help prevent certain types of diseases. Phytonutrients, such as beta-carotene, are naturally occurring chemical compounds that play an important role in human health. Red kidney beans also contain vitamins B, B6 and C, riboflavin, thiamine, pantothenic acid and choline, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database. Red kidney beans are also a good source of protein and are low in calories. One cup of cooked red kidney beans has approximately 225 calories and 11 grams of fiber.
According to MayoClinic.com, consuming red kidney beans may help prevent the occurrence of chronic conditions such as heart disease and cancer. A 2010 study conducted by the Department of Science and Technology at the Food and Nutrition Research Institute in the Philippines found that regular kidney bean consumption significantly reduced a person's low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol. The study also concluded that kidney beans have potential hypocholesterolaemic effects. Hypercholesterolemia is a risk factor for atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Foods with hypocholesteolemic effects can significantly reduce the risk for developing atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease by controlling cholesterol levels, explains the Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Rhode Island.
Digestive Tract Aid
Irritable bowel syndrome is a group of symptoms related to abdominal pain, bloating and discomfort in the digestive tract. It is a disorder that causes the bowels to work improperly. The high fiber in red kidney beans can reduce constipation associated with IBS, notes the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.
- red kidney beans image by GeoM from Fotolia.com
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