Kidney Beans: Health Benefits, Nutrition Facts & Side Effects

The kidney bean is scientifically known as phaseolus Vulgaris; it is a common bean in the family of Fabaceae. This family is also known as a pea or legume family. The name of this bean is for the visual resemblance in the color and shape of the kidney. The native of the kidney bean is Mexico and Central America. This bean is a significant source of protein, and also it is an important food crop around the world. They have excellent health benefits, and no other grains are equalizing these health benefits. This kidney bean is used to prepare various traditional dishes. 

Usually, people eat a well-cooked bean because the raw or improperly cooked beans may have toxic, but well-cooked bean has a healthy component for the well-balanced diet. The cooked beans have a mild taste, but it can easily absorb the flavors of the seasoning cooked food. This bean has a high quality of calcium, folic acid, fiber, carbohydrate, and protein. These beans have all essential nutrients, which is more important for the proper functionality of the body. These beans also come with different colors and shapes, such as cream, white, red, black, purple, striped, spotted, and mottled.

Common Names of Kidney Beans

Botanical Name: Phaseolus vulgaris

Tamil Name: தட்டை பயிறு – Taṭṭai payiṟu

Hindi Name: राजमा – raajama

Malayalam Name: അമര പയർ – amara payar

Telugu Name: కిడ్నీ బీన్ – Kiḍnī bīn

Bengali Name: কিডনি মটরশুটি – Kiḍani maṭaraśuṭi

Gujarati Name: રાજમા – Rajama

Kannada Name: ಕಿಡ್ನಿ ಬೀನ್ಸ್ – Kiḍni bīns

Urdu Name: لال لوبیہ

Benefits of Kidney Beans

Good for diabetics

Kidney bean has a low amount of glycemic index so that it is one of the healthy choices for people with diabetes.

Consuming the kidney bean helps to balance the blood sugar level in the body. It also helps to reduce the risk of diabetes development.

Lowers bad cholesterol

The kidney bean has a high amount of dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates, which helps to lower the bad cholesterol level in blood.

The soluble dietary fiber of the kidney beans is formed as a gel-like substance in the stomach that surrounds the bad cholesterol to prevent the reabsorption in the body.

Due to this property, it helps to reduce the bad cholesterol level in the blood so that you can reduce the risk of heart problems.

Boost Energy

The kidney bean has a good amount of manganese, which is more important for the metabolism level of your body. Basically, it will break down the nutrients for the production of the energy of our body.

Consuming the kidney bean will help to get a sufficient amount of manganese to our body; it helps to increase the metabolism level so that you can feel energetic for a long time.

Helps to improve memory

Kidney beans are rich in vitamin B1, which plays an important role in healthy cognitive functions. A sufficient amount of vitamin B1 helps to synthesize acetylcholine; it is an important neurotransmitter.

It ensures the proper functionality of the brain and improves memory power and concentration. It is also good for slowing down the performance of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Natural Detoxifier

Nowadays, most of the foods are loaded with preservatives that have sulfites. The high amount of sulfite is known as toxic to the body. The kidney bean has the molybdenum, which acts as the detoxifier to the body.

Due to this property, it will be detoxifying to sulfites in the body. It is also suitable for the people who have sulfite allergies because the allergies symptoms are quickly decreased after the regular consumption of kidney beans.

Anti-oxidative properties

The kidney beans are rich in polyphenols; it is a type of antioxidant. Antioxidants effectively fight against free radicals; it is a damaging chemical that is produced by the body at the time of metabolism and other processes.

The free radicals of the body will cause cell damage that will result in different diseases. Antioxidants help to remove the free radical from the body. The food has high-level anti-oxidant, such as kidney beans, which helps to protect the body from diseases.

Helps in weight loss

Obesity and excess weight gain is one of the major health problems that will increase the risk of different chronic diseases. Several studies prove that consuming the kidney bean helps to reduce the risk of obesity and excess weight gain.

A 2-month study conducted with the 30 obese adults proves adding the kidney beans in their weight loss diet for 4 days per week will show the greater result than the bean-free diet.

The kidney bean has the protein, fiber, and antinutrients; these various mechanisms of the kidney bean give beneficial effects on weight loss.

The recent study says the antinutrient of the raw kidney bean is the starch blockers, and the protein will help to delay the digestion process and reduce the absorption of carbs from the digestive tract.

The white kidney beans are highly extracted starch blocker, which helps to demonstrate some potential weight loss supplement. 

Prevent hypertension

Kidney bean is an excellent source of magnesium, potassium, protein, and soluble fiber, which helps to reduce hypertension.

The combination of these minerals helps to maintain the normal blood pressure level. The magnesium and potassium help to widen the blood vessels and arteries and it ensures the smooth blood flow.

Boost immunity

The antioxidant property of the kidney beans helps to strengthen the immunity system. It will effectively fight against the free radicals and protect the cells of our body so that it helps to improve the immunity power of our body.

Improves gut health

Some researches prove that some types of beans, especially black beans, will improve the intestinal barrier function so that it enhances gut health, and also it increases the number of good bacterias in the bowel.

It may help to avoid bowel-related diseases. The good bacterias in the bowel will support the functionality of the immune system, and also it may promote weight loss. The nutrients in the kidney bean feed the healthful bowel bacteria colonies.

Cleanses Stomach

Consuming the kidney bean every day at the moderated level will help to clean the digestive tract, and it ensures the removal of toxins from the body. The kidney bean also reduces the risk of colon cancer.

Anti-aging property

The antioxidant property of the kidney beans helps to fight against the free radicals so that it slows down the aging of cells. This helps to reduce wrinkles, healing acne, and also nourishing nails and hairs.

Improves Heart Health

The people who are consuming the kidney beans regularly may reduce the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. People replacing fat animal meat protein with the bean is one of the reasons to reduce cardiovascular risk.

The 2013 review and meta-analysis found the connection between consuming beans and lower risk of coronary heart problems. Other research said that the nutrients in the kidney bean would help to reduce cholesterol levels.

High cholesterol level also leads to heart attack and other heart problems. The high level of dietary fiber helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

A half-cup of black beans has 14 gm of fiber, which is more than half the amount of daily requirement of fiber for adults. It also helps to reduce the blood pressure level.

Improve bone health

The kidney bean has a high amount of calcium and manganese that helps to strengthen the bone, and also it helps to prevent osteoporosis. The folate in the kidney bean also helps to maintain joint and bone health; it will reduce the risk of fractures and other bone diseases.

Helps in tissue repair

Vitamin B6 is an important mineral for tissue growth and the repair of the hair and skin. The kidney bean has a good amount of vitamin B6 so that it helps the tissue repair. It also helps to prevent any degeneration of eyes. Due to the vitamin B6, it helps to stop hair falling.

Reduce Migraine

Due to the magnesium present in the kidney bean, it helps to prevent the awful migraine headaches. It also stabilized the blood pressure level.

Reduce Cataracts

The deficiency of vitamin B3 is one of the reasons for cataracts. The kidney bean has a good amount of vitamin B3; it helps to cure cataracts. 

Helps to relieve asthma

The presence of magnesium in the kidney bean contains a bronchodilator effect, and it ensures the smooth air passage in the lungs.

Some studies prove the deficiency of magnesium will lead to asthma. The magnesium in the kidney stone will compensate for magnesium deficiency so that it helps to cure asthma.

Relieve rheumatoid arthritis

The kidney bean has a high amount of copper, which helps to reduce the inflammation in the body. The copper will ensure the flexibility of the joint and ligaments.

Control Appetite

The healthful starches and fiber in the kidney bean will help to create a feeling of satisfaction and fullness. Consuming the kidney bean will provide the long-term dietary strategy, it helps to prevent overeating so that it may lead to weight loss.

Reduce the risk of cancer

Some study proves that the kidney bean acts as the anti-inflammatory and antioxidants agents. Due to these properties, it effectively reduces the risk of cancer.

The antioxidant property of the kidney bean effectively fights against intestinal cancer. The black bean has the highest antioxidant activity.

The 2016 study proves the chemical in the northeast china black beans may help to prevent the cancer cell so that it slows down the growth of colorectal cancer. 

Prevent fatty liver

When the fat is increased in the liver it will lead to the fatty liver. It may cause obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other problems of metabolic syndrome.

The treatment of the fatty liver is based on controlling blood sugar, weight loss, and reducing the cholesterol level in the blood, such as LDL and triglycerides. Replacing the higher fat animal protein with the bean helps to better liver health.

Rich in Nutrients

Nutritional Facts of Kidney Beans

The various nutritional contains and the value of 1 cup (177 gm) of kidney beans.

Protein15.35 gm
Carbohydrates40.36 gm
Total Fat0.88 gm
Dietary fiber11.33 gm
Total Sugars0.57 gm
Vitamin B10.28 mg
Vitamin B20.10 mg
Vitamin B34.09 mg
Vitamin B60.21 mg
Choline53.98 mg
Folate230.10 mcg
Pantothenic Acid0.39 mg
Vitamin E0.05 mg
Vitamin K14.87 mg
Calcium61.95 mg
Copper0.38 mg
Iron3.93 mg
Magnesium74.34 mg
Manganese0.76 mg
Molybdenum132 75 mcg
Phosphorus244.26 mg
Potassium716.85 mg
Selenium1.95 mcg
Sodium1.77 mg
Zinc1.77 mg
Omega-3 Fatty Acids0.30 gm
Omega-6 Fatty Acids0.19 gm


Kidney beans are rich in protein. The 100 gm of boiled kidney beans approximately has 9 gm of protein, and also it has 27% of total calories.

Moreover, the protein quality of the bean is generally lower than the animal protein. This kidney bean is a great alternative affordable option for many people. The bean is one of the richest plants with a high source of protein.

Sometimes it is also referred to as “poor man’s meat.” Most of the studies say the protein in the kidney bean is phaseolin; it may cause some allergies for some people. Kidney beans also have other proteins, such as protease inhibitors and lectins.


Kidney beans are rich in fiber. It has an essential amount of resistant starch, and it plays an important role in weight management. The insoluble fiber of the kidney bean is known as alpha-galactosides, which may cause flatulence and diarrhea for some people.

The alpha-galactosidase and resistant starch function as prebiotics. The prebiotics are moved in the digestive tract until it reaches the colon, and the beneficial bacteria will ferment in the colon.

The fermentation of the healthy fiber of these kidney beans will provide short-chain fatty acids, such as acetate, butyrate, and propionate; it will help to improve the colon health and also helps to reduce the risk of colon cancer.


The main component of the kidney bean is starchy carbs; the value of these carbs is 72% of the total calorie. Starch is mainly made up of glucose in the form of amylopectin and amylose.

The kidney bean has a higher amount of amylose than the other dietary source of starch. Amylose is not a digestible component, just like amylopectin. Due to this reason, the starch in the kidney bean is a slow-release carb.

It takes a long time to digest, and it will lower and gradually raise the blood sugar level than the other starches so that this kidney bean is more beneficial for the people who have type 2 diabetes.

The starch of the kidney bean is more beneficial and effectively acts for balancing the blood sugar level than other high-carb foods.

Minerals and Vitamins

Kidney bean is rich in various minerals and vitamins, such as 

Copper: It is an antioxidant trace component; this element is mostly lower in western foods. Apart from the kidney bean, the best dietary source of the copper is seafood, meats, and nuts.

Iron: It is an important mineral for the normal function of our body. The kidney bean has the phytate component so that it may poorly absorb the iron from beans.

Potassium: It is an important nutrient; it may help to maintain a healthy heart.

Manganese: This mineral is present in most of the foods, especially in legumes, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.

Vitamin K1: It is also known as phylloquinone. Vitamin K1 is an essential component of the blood coagulation.

Floate: It is also known as vitamin B9 or folic acid, and it is considered as an important mineral during pregnancy.

Molybdenum: Kidney bean has a high amount of molybdenum; this element is mostly found in grains, seeds, and legumes.

Other Plant components

Kidney bean has a lot of bioactive plant components, such as

Anthocyanins: It is the family of colorful antioxidants that are present in the skin of kidney beans. The red color in the kidney bean is mainly caused by anthocyanin. It is also known as pelargonidin.

Isoflavones: It is a type of antioxidants; it is highly present in the soybeans. The isoflavones are classified as phytoestrogens because of its similarity of the estrogen and female sex hormone. 

Phytic acid: This acid is commonly found in all edible seeds. This phytic acid damages the absorption of various minerals, such as zinc and iron. It can be reduced by soaking, sprouting, and fermenting of the beans.

Phytohaemagglutinin: This is a toxic protein that highly presents in the raw kidney beans, especially in red kidney beans. It can be eliminated by cooking the kidney bean. 

Starch Blockers: It is a type of lectins and it is also known as alpha-amylase inhibitors. The starch blockers delay and damage the absorption of carbs from the digestive tract, but it can be inactive in cooked beans.

Risks and Side Effects of Kidney Bean

The kidney bean has a lot of health benefits but the raw and inadequate cooked beans have some toxicity. Moreover, some people may wish to consume limitedly because of flatulence and bloating.

Antinutrient in kidney bean

The raw and improperly cooked kidney bean has a lot of antinutrients, which reduces the nutritional value by damaging the absorption of nutrients from the digestive tract. Moreover, the antinutrients may sometimes be beneficial. In developing countries, this kidney bean is one of the staple foods.

The important antinutrients of the kidney beans are

Protease inhibitors: It is also known as trypsin inhibitors; this protein inhibits the main reason for the various digestive enzymes, and it damages the protein digestion.

Phytic acid: It is also known as phytate, it will damage the absorption of minerals, such as zinc and iron.

Starch blocker: This component is sometimes called alpha-amylase inhibitors; it will damage the absorption of carbs from the digestive tract.

The protease inhibitors, phytic acid, and starch blockers are partially or entirely removed when the kidney bean is properly cooked.

The sprouting and fermenting can also reduce the antinutrients of the bean.

Raw kidney bean has toxicity

Kidney beans have a huge amount of toxic known as phytohaemagglutinin. This component is commonly found in many grains, but it is high in red kidney beans. The kidney bean is reported as a poison for both humans and animals.

The main symptoms for the human are vomiting and diarrhea, sometimes you need hospitalization for these problems. The soaked and cooked kidney bean will remove most of this toxin. The properly cooked kidney bean is harmless, safe, and nutritious.

You have to soak the kidney bean for 5 hours and cook at 100°C for 10 minutes before the consumption of the kidney bean.

Bloating and Flatulence

The kidney bean may cause some irritating effects for some people, such as flatulence, bloating, and diarrhea. The insoluble fiber in these beans called alpha-galactosidase are the reason for these effects.

This belongs to the group of fiber called FODMAPs, which inflames the symptoms of IBS. But this insoluble fiber will be partially removed in soaked and sprouted beans.

Few quick serving ideas about kidney beans

  1. Mixing the kidney bean with the black and white bean can prepare a healthy three bean salad
  2. Blend the cooked kidney beans with the garlic for the seasoning of the healthy and delicious spread that used for sandwiches.
  3. Mix this kidney bean with the onions, tomatoes, and dressing it using the black pepper and lemon for one of the healthiest options for breakfast.
  4. Serve the cooked kidney bean over the multigrain toast with a lot of paneers.

You can regularly add this kidney bean in your healthy diet that helps to get the proper nutrients to ensure your healthy body. You can use the kidney bean in different ways, such as boiled, baked, and mashed, all these methods help to get the amazing health benefits.

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