Are White Beans Good for You?
White beans are just one of the many varieties common to North America. There are many “white beans”, the most common being, Cannellini Bean, Navy Bean and Great Northern. The Great Northern bean is the main ingredient in the popular recipe, Baked Beans. Many of us enjoy a good helping of baked beans during family cookouts and outdoor barbeques. But do we really know the reasons why it is a good thing to consume them? Besides their perfect texture and earthy/nutty flavor, they are full of health benefiting nutrition.
Are white beans good for you?
Here are 5 reasons why you should eat them:
- They are full of protein. When protein is consumed along with proper exercise, they can help promote muscle mass. The suggested intake of protein is .36 grams per pound of body weight (Healthline.com). This amounts to about 46 grams of protein for an average woman and 56 grams for the average man. White beans contain 17 grams of protein per 1-cup of cooked beans. That is sure jam-packed!
- Ample amount of fiber. Daily, women should be consuming 25 grams and men, 38 grams. That seems like a lot of fiber! However, white beans contain 11 grams of fiber per 1-cup of cooked beans. That is pretty impressive. A diet high in fiber is said to maintain bowel health, lowers cholesterol levels and helps in achieving a healthy weight (Mayoclinic.org).
- Impressive amount of copper. Copper is an essential nutrient for the body. Copper, together with iron, help the body form red blood cells. Copper aids the body’s ability to absorb iron and contributes to stronger bones, boosts immunity and increases bone density (Verywellhealth.com). Adults should consume around 900 micrograms (mcg) of copper per day. White beans contain 55% of that daily value in 1-cup of cooked beans.
- Essential iron. Iron helps preserve vital body functions, and can increase energy and focus, gastrointestinal processes and improve the immune system (Medicalnewstoday.com). Adults should consume around 19 mg a day of iron. White beans contain 36% of the daily value of iron in 1-cup cooked.
- Low in fat. At only .6 grams of fat per 1 cup of cooked beans, they are considered a low fat food. Eating beans as part of a low fat diet may help support a healthy weight and heart health.
White bean nutrition:
In addition to the nutrients listed above, they also contain antioxidants. Beans are said to be rich in polyphenols. Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant which are known to reduce the effects of free radicals. Free radicals can cause damage at the cellular level which can result in various diseases. Antioxidants help the body remove these free radicals.
White beans do contain a whole mix of additional nutrients not mentioned in this blog. But we can truly say that white beans definitely get 5 stars for being a healthy food people should consider adding to their diets. And in honor of National Baked Bean Month, now is a great time to start!