Ingredient Spotlight: Pinto Beans
Pinto beans are a variety of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), which is frequently used in Mexican cuisine. These tasty beans are beige with reddish-brown specks when dried but become a solid light brown or pale pink when cooked. They have an earthy, almost nutty flavor and are delicious in our Chef Soraya Chile Lime Bowl! But we don't just love these beans because of their lovely taste . . . we also love how nutritious they are! Pinto beans are full of vitamins and minerals and also offer several impressive health benefits, which we will discuss in this blog post.
Pinto beans are primarily comprised of carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. This is the nutritional breakdown of pinto beans per cup:
- Calories: 245
- Carbs: 45 grams
- Fiber: 15 grams
- Protein: 15 grams
- Fat: 1 gram
- Thiamine: 28% of DV
- Iron: 20% of DV
- Magnesium: 21% of DV
- Potassium: 16% of DV
As you can see, pinto beans are relatively high in thiamine (vitamin B1), iron, and magnesium! Thiamine is essential for helping your body convert food into energy. Iron is essential for making hemoglobin (and can be hard for plant-based eaters to get enough of), and most adults don't get enough magnesium, which is a mineral involved in every bodily function.
Excellent Source Of Fiber
Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate found in plant foods! It's super important for our digestive health and helps to feed the good bacteria in the gut. Unfortunately, most individuals don't meet their daily recommended fiber intake. Ideally, women should aim for 25 grams of fiber a day, and men 38 grams. In fact, an adequate intake of fiber-rich foods (like pinto beans) can promote heart health, blood sugar control, gut health, and even weight loss. Did you know that the Chef Soraya Chile Lime Bowl contains 8 grams of dietary fiber? Whoop, whoop!
Antioxidants help to protect your cells from free-radical damage. Fortunately, pinto beans contains many antioxidants, including polyphenols and flavonoids. Pinto beans are particularly rich in kaempferol, which is a flavonoid associated with reducing inflammation. It's even been linked to repressing cancer growth in animal test-tube studies!
Blood Sugar Regulation
While pinto beans have a high carb content, they don't spike blood sugar levels, as they're low glycemic index means that they get digested slowly, aiding blood sugar regulation. Additionally, the high fiber and protein content in pinto beans also helps to slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream.
Eating pinto beans on a regular basis can help decrease total and LDL (bad) cholesterol. High levels of LDL are linked to an increased risk for heart disease. Studies have also shown that eating pinto beans regularly can encourage propionate production. Propionate is a short-chain fatty acid that also helps to lower blood cholesterol levels. Additionally, pinto beans are rich in magnesium and potassium, which help prevent high blood pressure!
Protein and fiber are key nutrients that help you feel fuller for longer -- AKA satiated. Multiple studies have linked bean consumption to increased fullness. This means, you won't be as likely to keep eating, or need to snack as frequently to keep your appetite at bay! We're all about satiety, which is why our bowls are filled with satiating ingredients and incredible flavor, to help you enjoy a wonderful meal that will keep you full until the next mealtime!
Easily Reap The Benefits
Pinto beans are easy to incorporate into your diet. For instance, you can enjoy pinto beans on salads, in stews, dips and more. Of course, our favorite way to eat pinto beans is with a Chef Soraya Chili Lime Bowl! The Chili lime Bowl is zesty and flavorful and contains high quality long-grain rice, quinoa, hemp seeds, in addition to those oh-so-healthy pinto beans. Together, these healthy ingredients create a macronutrient-rich meal that only requires hot water to make. Try a pack of our Chili Lime Bowls today!