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Are some beans (navy beans, northern beans, kidney beans) healthier than others (like lentils)?

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Edamame and Fava beans have amino acid balance more closely resembling animal protein than most other beans -- so they supply the most "complete protein".  In particular, they are higher than most other vegetable sources in methionine and other sulfur bearing amino acids.

  --  Saul

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I believe beans are ultra-healthy and it's good to eat a variety of them.    According to various studies,  beans with deeply-colored coatings (eg. red, purple, black) have greater amounts of phytochemicals with anti-cancer/anti-aging potential.

See for example:

Phenolic Composition and Antioxidant and Antiproliferative Activities of the Extracts of Twelve Common Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) Endemic Ecotypes of Southern Italy before and after Cooking (2016)


1. Introduction

Among legumes, common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) are widely consumed throughout the world. They play a significant role in human nutrition, being an important source of plant proteins, minerals, and certain vitamins and exhibit, for this reason, high nutritional value. In last years, bioactive effects, associated with the fibres, polyphenols, and other beans components related to human health have gained attention [1, 2]. Beans contain substantial amount of phenolic acids and flavonoids; some cultivars (red, black, and blue-violet coloured beans) show also anthocyanins, such as delphinidin and cyanidin, that overall attribute them a very strong antioxidant and antiradical activities [3]. Polyphenols are essentially present in the seed coats and in minor amount in cotyledons.

The beneficial effects of polyphenols on human health are expressed primarily through the reduction of the oxidative stress [4]. Some polyphenols are also able to exert antiapoptotic, antiaging, as well as anticarcinogenic activity, overall inhibiting the cell proliferation processes [5, 6].

Epidemiological studies have shown a strong link between the consumption of legumes and prevention of cancer risk, as well as the reduction of diabetes and cardiovascular risk through a normalization of the blood lipid and glucose profile [7]. Wedick et al. (2012) demonstrated that, among flavonoids, higher intakes of anthocyanins could be significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes (risk: 0.85) [8].  [...]


4. Conclusions

Common beans are a key food of the Mediterranean diet, representing an important source of proteins, fibres, some minerals, vitamins, and bioactive compounds. We evaluated the antioxidant and antiproliferative effects of polyphenolic extracts obtained from old twelve varieties of endemic bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), of some rural countries of Southern Italy. Our findings confirm that the speckled, red, and black coloured varieties of beans are more active than the nonpigmented ones. Interestingly, cooking of beans, despite causing a certain loss of bioactive molecules, did not negatively affect in marked way their biological properties. [...]


Edited by Sibiriak
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