If you are someone who tries to eat healthy food, you might like to include kidney beans in your diet. There are many health benefits for you to enjoy.
Background for kidney beans
Kidney beans are reddish-brown kidney-shaped pulses with a soft, creamy flesh. You can buy them dried or if necessary, in cans. Remember that the dried version need to be soaked and I have set out different methods below while for occasional convenient use, canned beans just need draining, rinsing (thoroughly because they are often canned in sweetened or salted water which firstly is not healthy and secondly whose flavor could overpower you) and reheating. You can use in a mixed bean salad, in stews and in soups.
Soak dried kidney beans for at least eight hours before draining and rinsing the beans (discard the soaking water). You can speed up the soaking process, add a teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda to the soaking water or bring the beans to the boil in a pan, then turn the heat off and soak the beans for about an hour, covered.
To cook, place the soaked kidney beans in a pan and cover with a fresh change of cold water, then bring to the boil. The beans must boil for ten minutes to destroy the toxin. After this, simmer until cooked (for about 45 to 60 minutes) until the beans have an even, creamy texture throughout. Do not add salt as it toughens the beans' skins. Once soaked and cooked the beans will at least double in weight.
Some of those health benefits
– kidney beans are an abundant source of manganese and vitamin K. Manganese is important in the chain for disarming free radicals while the vitamin K in kidney beans has been shown to protect cells from oxidative stress, reducing chances of cancer.
- the importance of vitamin K in kidney beans has another function, offering outstanding benefits for the brain and nervous system. Kidney beans are also a good source of thiamin, which is critical for brain cell and cognitive function and the lack of which could be a significant factor in senility and Alzheimer's disease.
- the soluble fibre in kidney beans decreases the metabolism rate of the bean's carbohydrates, preventing blood sugar levels from rapidly rising after a meal. The high protein presence in kidney beans will also help with blood sugar.
- sulfates are a preservative often added to processed and convenience foods. Kidney beans will help to detox the presence of sulfates in the system because they, like other beans, contain high levels of the trace mineral molybdenum, a key component of the enzyme sulfate oxidase. Kidney beans in their diet will help those who suffer from sulfite allergies where they experience the symptoms of headaches
or a rapid heartbeat.
Digestive tract health
- the insoluble fiber in kidney beans helps to maintain bowel regularity by increasing stool bulk. Regular bowel movements are associated with a lower risk of colon cancer plus the avoidance of hemorrhoids
and anal fissures
and their often painful and uncomfortable symptoms.
- the high fiber content of kidney beans is responsible for their cholesterol-lowering power while the folate in kidney beans helps in lowering levels of homocysteine, which is associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and peripheral vascular disease. In addition, the high content of magnesium found in kidney beans contributes to a healthy cardiovascular system.
- kidney beans are high in iron helping to increase your energy levels. Iron is also needed for the body's metabolism and energy production and to help move oxygen throughout the body. The manganese in kidney beans is also an important contributor to the body's energy production.
High in protein
- kidney beans are a great source of protein on a par with the protein levels found in meat or dairy. When beans are combined with brown rice, they form a complete protein.
- the manganese and calcium in kidney beans work hand-in-hand to maintain strong bones and, along with other trace minerals, may even help prevent osteoporosis. Vitamin K has also turned out to be a critical nutrient for bone health. People who are vitamin K deficient have a greater risk of suffering bone fractures. Vitamin K has been also been shown to help stop fractures in women who have passed through menopause and have already started to experience bone loss. An excellent way to strengthen bone would be to regularly make and consume a bone and kidney bean broth.