Rajma (Kidney Beans): The Best Vegetarian Protein Food For Weight Loss, Manage Blood Sugar Levels, Improve Heart Health

Red Beans (Rajma): The Best Vegetarian Protein Food for Weight Loss, Manage Blood Sugar, Improve Heart Health | Photo credit: Getty Images


  • Kidney beans are one of the richest sources of vegetable protein
  • Rajma May Help Lose Weight, Improve Blood Sugar Control, and Support Heart Health
  • Here’s why you should add beans and legumes to your diet

New Delhi: Kidney beans are a popular ingredient in a variety of dishes – from chili peppers and curries to salads and stews. They are one of the richest sources of vegetable protein. Known as ‘Rajma’ in Hindi, these antioxidant-rich beans are one of the best foods for vegetarians whose diet might be lacking in protein. Kidney beans are also a super food for people with diabetes because the carbs in rajma have a low glycemic index. The nutrient richness of kidney beans provides many health benefits, including weight loss.

Kidney beans are low in fat but high in protein, fiber, iron, copper, manganese, vitamin K1, and potassium. They are a healthy part of a well-balanced diet. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, 1 cup of cooked red kidney beans can give you 15.35g of protein, 13.10g of fiber, 5.20mg of iron. And here are some benefits of adding this nutrient-dense food to your diet.

What Are the Health Benefits of Eating Kidney Beans?

Health Benefits of Kidney Beans (Rajma)

Rich in protein: Often referred to as “poor man’s meat,” beans are one of the richest vegetable proteins. They are readily available and affordable, making them a great alternative for vegans and vegetarians. Protein is one of the three macronutrients that your body needs to stay fit and healthy.

Weightloss: Kidney beans are a great source of protein and fiber, the two main nutrients that provide weight loss benefits. Research suggests that a high protein diet may help reduce appetite, boost metabolism, and promote weight loss. Numerous observational studies have shown that beans can help people lose weight and reduce the risk of obesity. For example, a 2 month study involving 30 obese adults showed that consuming beans and other legumes (4 times per week) with a low-calorie diet resulted in greater weight loss than a calorie-restricted diet without legumes.

Blood sugar control: Kidney beans are an incredible source of soluble fiber which can slow the absorption of sugar and improve blood sugar control. The carbohydrates in kidney beans have a low GI, which means that they don’t cause significant spikes in blood sugar after eating them. Studies suggest that beans are better at controlling blood sugar compared to most food sources of carbohydrates. Eating beans and legumes can also lower your risk for type 2 diabetes.

In good heart health: Just like other beans, kidney beans are a great source of soluble fiber that lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases good cholesterol (HDL). The significant amounts of folate and magnesium in kidney beans also contribute to heart health. For example, folate helps lower levels of homocysteine, a common amino acid in your blood that you get mainly from eating meat. High levels of homocysteine ​​are linked to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease. A study published in the Internal Medicine Archives confirms that consuming foods high in fiber like kidney beans can help prevent heart disease.

Cancer prevention: Beans, including kidney beans, are loaded with nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants that have anti-cancer properties. The American Institute for Cancer Research notes that kidney beans contain health-promoting compounds such as lignans and saponins that may protect against cancer. Additionally, the resistant starch – undigested starch in the small intestine – contained in kidney beans is used by healthy bacteria in the colon to produce short chain fatty acids (SCFA), which may reduce the risk of colon cancer and protect colon cells.

The bottom line

Kidney beans are a source of vegetable protein, which becomes more important especially if you don’t eat meat or cut down on meat in your diet. They are also rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and other unique plant compounds that can improve health, promote weight loss, lower blood sugar, reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and many chronic diseases. Just make sure you cook them well as raw or undercooked beans are poisonous.

Disclaimer: The tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or dietitian before starting a fitness program or making any changes to your diet.

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Tanya S. Norvell

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