Pinto beans is a member of Phaseolus vulgaris L. species other members are black beans and dark red kidney beans. Pinto beans are also known as dry beans are categorized under superfood because of having high protein content. This new world crop is originated almost 7000 years ago in North and South America (1 and 2). Pinto beans are mainly consumed by the Caribbean, Latin America, Middle East, and Mediterranean along with rice (3). Nowadays dry beans are one of the most consumed food mainly available in the form of unprocessed seeds, canned food and gluten-free wheat flour substituents (4).
Why do Pinto beans consider as a superfood?
Pinto beans are a nutrient-rich legume. These are considered as a superfood because of its high calorie, low fiber, and fat and low sodium content. According to a study of New Mexico State University around 118 calories and 5 g of fiber is present in half cup of cooked pinto beans with low sodium and low fat.
What are the components and health benefits of Pinto beans?
Pinto beans are classified under superfood because of its following components
Good source of Amino acids:
Per 100 g of pinto beans contain only 1.84 % fat. Pinto beans although contains all kind of amino acids among which aspartate, glutamate, glycine, leucine, lysine, and arginine are present in the highest amount (5).
- Low fat and high protein
- High fiber: High fibrous food provides many health benefits like lowering the blood pressure, solve heart-related problems and prevent constipation and slows down the absorption of sugar. 100 g of pinto beans provides around 16 g of fiber.
- Lowering the blood pressure
- Prevent heart disease
- Prevent constipation
- Prevent diabetes
- Prebiotic: Pinto beans acts as a prebiotic thus helps in nourishing the good bacteria which are present in our digestive system (4).
- Helps in digestion
- Vitamins rich: Along with proteins and high fiber, pinto beans are also rich in vitamins like vitamin B folate, thiamin, riboflavin and niacin (6).
- Helps in brain development during pregnancy
- Helps in proper nervous system function
- Rich in minerals: Pinto beans are rich in minerals like minerals iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus (4).
- Iron: maintain heamoglobine of blood
- Potassium: prevent heart disease, regulate blood pressure
- Magnesium: proper protein synthesis, muscle activity, and normal blood pressure
- Calcium: Strong bone
- High phenol: Pinto beans are rich in phenol content which acts as antioxidants. In a research, it was found that the phenolic contents of pinto beans inhibit two sugar absorbing enzymes alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase thus helps in management and regulation of type-II diabetes (7).
- Prevent Type-II Diabetes
- Prevent cancer
Side Effects of Pinto Beans
The side effects related to pinto beans are mainly because of eating excess or undercooked beans
- Gas problem
- Abdominal pain
- The Forum on Public Policy Web site. Available online: http://forumonpublicpolicy.com/ archive06/uebersax.pdf (accessed 29 November 2012).
- Landon, A. The “how” of the three sisters: The origins of agriculture in Mesoamerica and the human niche. NE Anthropol. 2008, 40, 110–124.
- Leterme, P. (2002). Recommendations by health organizations for pulse consumption. The British Journal of Nutrition, 88 Suppl 3, S239-42.
- Agriculture 2013, 3, 90-111; doi:10.3390/agriculture3010090
- DOI: 10.1002/fsn3.473