Latin name: Phaseolus vulgaris
What is a Kidney Bean?
Kidney shaped and red, kidney beans live up to their name. They are especially delicious in simmered dishes where they readily absorb the surrounding flavors of seasonings and other foods with which they are cooked.
Kidney beans and other beans such as pinto beans, navy beans, and black beans are varieties of the same species, Phaseolus vulgaris. These varieties are often called “common beans,” probably due to the fact that they all came from a common bean ancestor that originated in Peru. Common beans were subsequently spread throughout South and Central America, eventually making their way to Europe in the fifteenth century. Because these beans are a very inexpensive form of quality protein, they have become popular in many cuisines throughout the world, notably the Cajun cuisine of Louisiana.
What are the health benefits of Kidney Beans?
Like many other legumes, kidney beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering dietary fiber; they also contain insoluble fiber, which research studies have shown helps prevent constipation and also helps protect against digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulitis. Additionally, the kidney bean’s high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too quickly after a meal, making these beans an ideal food for anyone suffering from diabetes, insulin resistance, or hypoglycemia. Research has found that eating high-fiber foods also helps prevent heart disease. One cup of kidney beans will supply more than 45% of your daily value for dietary fiber.
Also contributing to heart health are the significant amounts of folate and magnesium that are found in kidney beans. Kidney beans are rich in iron, which helps increase your energy level.
If you’re wondering how to replace meat in your menus, kidney beans are a good choice. Kidney beans become a complete source of protein when combined with a whole grain, such as rice. With a whole grain counterpart, kidney beans provide protein that is comparable to that of meat or dairy foods, without the high calories or saturated fat. A cup of kidney beans will provide almost 30% of the daily value for protein.
Where can I find Kidney Beans?
Kidney Bean can be found in most grocery stores.
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