Beans, Beans, They’re Good for Your Heart

The underrated kidney beans receive 5-stars for their heart healthy nutrients. They are a guilt-free addition to any soup or salad and also give your heart a boost. The dark red bean is packed with essential compounds that may improve heart conditions and prevent further damage. With half a cup of kidney beans only containing 110 calories and 0 grams of fat, what’s not to love?

In addition to being low in fat, half a cup of kidney beans contain 8 grams of fiber or 33% of your recommended daily intake! The soluble fiber may help lower cholesterol by preventing it from being absorbed by the body. Also, kidney beans contain 33% of your daily folate needs. Folate aids in lowering homocysteine in the blood, which in turn lowers your risk of heart disease.

Other heart healthy nutrients in kidney beans include magnesium and potassium. Magnesium helps your blood flow easier, allowing nutrients and oxygen to be carried throughout the body. Similar to magnesium, potassium helps regulate blood pressure.

When purchasing kidney beans, dried are the best option due to the high sodium content in canned beans. However, if you are in a time crunch, the low-sodium canned beans are an adequate choice, as long as you rinse them before consumption.

The next time you want to spruce up a side dish or entrée, give kidney beans a try. They assume the taste of their surrounding flavors, making them an easy addition. They won’t disappoint you (or your heart).

 By Laura Oliver, MS, RD

 

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