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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Therapeutic Value of Different Foods >>  Beans and Legumes >>  Pinto Beans

Pinto Beans

Pinto beans have splashes of red or brown color on a beige background. The name ‘pinto’ is derived from a Spanish name which means painted. Like a magic, on cooking these beans become spotless and get a marvelous pink color. Dried and canned pinto beans are available throughout the year. Pinto beans are a good source of protein and when combined with whole cereals like provide negligible fat and high quality proteins.

Health benefits of pinto beans

  1. Pinto beans are rich in cholesterol lowering fiber that helps lower cholesterol by binding with bile and eliminating it from the body.
    Besides lowering cholesterol, fiber from pinto beans also helps to control blood sugar levels in people with irregular glucose metabolism like in diabetes, hypoglycemia or insulin resistance. Pinto beans may help to maintain the blood sugar levels by slowly burning the energy and providing steady amounts of glucose to the blood. The insoluble fiber content in pinto beans like navy beans helps to relieve constipation by increasing the stool bulk and may also prevent gastrointestinal disorders like diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome.
  2. Pinto beans lower the risk of getting a heart attack and death from other coronary heart diseases. Researchers found that including legumes as a part of a healthy diet is associated with 82 % reduction in the risk of heart diseases and especially pinto beans in diet significantly lowers both LDL and total cholesterol in the body.
  3. Folate along with magnesium helps to keep the levels of homocysteine in check, as an increase value is associated with a risk factor for heart disease. Magnesium is also a natural calcium channel blocker and helps improve blood flow throughout the body. A cup of cooked pinto beans provide 73.5% of the daily value for folate and 23.5% of the daily value for magnesium. Many studies prove that magnesium deficiency is not only related to heart attack but also promotes free radical damage to the heart following a heart attack.
  4. Potassium from pinto beans is important to maintain normal blood pressure as well as is involved in nerve transmission and contraction of muscles including heart.
  5. Molybdenum is an important component of sulfite oxidase, an enzyme required for detoxification of sulfites. Sulfites when consumed in higher amounts can cause headache, rapid heartbeat or disorientation. This reaction to sulfites is only possible when the body stores of molybdenum are low. Pinto beans are rich in this trace mineral and a cup of cooked pinto beans would provide 171 % of the daily value for molybdenum.
  6. Iron from pinto beans helps to replenish the low stores in the body and is especially important for menstruating women who are at high risk of anemia.
  7. Thiamin helps to maintain the memory as it is involved in various enzymatic reactions necessary for cognitive function.
  8. Manganese and copper from pinto beans are essential trace minerals and serves as a cofactor for superoxide dismutase, an oxidative enzyme.
Submitted on January 16, 2014