Black Beans Nutrition Facts

Calories and Their Health Benefits

Bowl of Black Beans
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Black beans are a protein and fiber packed source of carbohydrate that can help to contribute to meeting your daily fiber needs. In addition, legumes such as black beans are a very important food source in vegetarian diets, as they provide plant based protein and are a good source of iron.

Black beans can be purchased dried or canned and are available all year long.

Black Beans Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/2 cup canned (130 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 100 
Calories from Fat 0 
Total Fat 0.0g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 490mg20%
Potassium 420mg12%
Carbohydrates 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 4g16%
Sugars 1g 
Protein 6g 
Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 4% · Iron 8%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Canned beans can be part of healthy diet. However, they are rich in sodium. In comparison to dried beans, canned beans contain around 420mg of sodium in one-half cup serving versus only 1mg of sodium in dried varieties—that's extremely significant. In addition, according to the National Bean Institute, dried beans contain about 8 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein, a 30-50 percent increase as opposed to canned beans.

Health Benefits of Black Beans

Black beans are an excellent source of fiber (both soluble and insoluble). Fiber rich diets can help to keep weight at goal, aid in weight loss, and reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

Black beans, like other legumes, also contain resistant starch. This means that the carbohydrates in black beans are slowly converted to glucose, some of which is not digested in the large intestine at all. Research has shown that replacing rapidly-digested carbohydrates (such as white rice) with legumes can improve glycemic control in people with diabetes.

 Consuming foods high in resistant starch may also improve digestive health, including promoting healthy gut flora. Resistant starch may even improve insulin sensitivity. It is important to note that canned beans likely have less resistant starch then dried beans.

Black beans are a very good source of folate, which is responsible for producing red blood cells and plays a role in preventing neural tube defects.

They also are a very good source of manganese, magnesium, and thiamin, and a good source of potassium and iron. For those people who are vegetarians and rely on beans as a source of iron, it is good to know that eating foods with vitamin C, such as citrus fruit and tomatoes, helps to increase iron absorption.

Common Questions About Black Beans

Can you eat beans on a low carbohydrate diet?

Low carbohydrate diets is a loose term we use for people who are trying to reduce their carbohydrate intake. Your total daily carbohydrate requirements will vary on a variety of things, such as activity level, gender, weight, and perhaps blood sugar control (if you have insulin resistance, or diabetes). If you are looking to reduce your carbohydrate intake you can still eat beans, however, you should be mindful of your portion. Consider that a one-half cup serving of beans contains about 23 grams of carbohydrate. Therefore, you'll probably want to keep your portion to about one serving to keep carbohydrates low.

How much sodium is reduced when you wash beans?

Canned foods can serve as a convenient, inexpensive, and useful way to purchase food. But because canned foods do have a longer shelf-life, they are often rich in sodium, as sodium acts as a natural preservative. The good news is that simply draining and rinsing beans can reduce sodium significantly. Simply draining beans can reduce sodium of up to 36 percent, whereas, rinsing and draining can reduce sodium by 41 percent. Therefore, if one-half cup of beans contains about 400 mg of sodium, draining and rinsing the beans can reduce the sodium content to about 236 mg.

Picking and Storing Black Beans

Beans can be purchased dried or canned. It is more cost efficient and healthier to purchase dried beans when you can, but if you purchase canned beans, make sure to drain and rinse them thoroughly before use.

Most dried beans need to be soaked in water before use. Soaking softens and rehydrates the beans, reducing cooking time. In addition, soaking them helps to remove some of the substances that can cause digestive issues, such as flatulence and gas. Before cooking, discard the water.

Healthy Ways to Prepare Black Beans 

Beans can be used pureed as spread, in soups, as a base for protein, and even as an addition to baked goods such as brownies and breads to add protein and fiber. Use black beans to serve as a side dish, to spread on whole grain bread, as a sandwich or potato topper, or as a dip for vegetables. Add beans to salads, stews, and soups for additional iron, protein, and fiber. 

Recipes With Black Beans 

Black Bean, Avocado and Cilantro QuesadillaBlack Bean Hummus

Black Bean Veggie Chili with Bulgar

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

Sources:

Fernandes AC, Nishida W, da Costa Proenc RP et al. Influence of soaking on the nutritional quality of common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) cooked with or without the soaking water: a review. International Journal of Food Science and Technology 2010, 45: 2209–2218.

Shadix, Kyle. Reducing sodium in canned beans - easier than 1-2-3. Today's Dietitian. 2010; 12: 62. http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/011110p62.shtml

The Bean Institute. Bean Nutrition Overview. http://beaninstitute.com/bean-nutrition-overview/

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