Beans are a culinary staple in most home and restaurant kitchens. There are cheap and easy to get. Not to mention they are known for providing essential sources of fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals. They are plenty of different beans out there to choose from. But which ones actually good for you? Keep on reading below as we cover 8 A-Z Healthiest Beans You Should Eat.
1) Black Beans
Magnesium, iron, vitamin B1, folic acid… you name it — these black beans pack an excellent punch of energy and fibre. Consuming these beans reaps plenty of benefits like improving brain health, reducing cholesterol level and even decreasing the chance of heart disease. Their textures are soft, making them versatile enough to pair with everything from salads to tong sui (dessert soup).
2) Black-Eyed Peas
We know what you’re thinking. But the name of the beans above has nothing to do with that famous American pop group. Despite bearing the name “peas” at the back, they actually belong to the beans family. They got the name “black-eyed” due to the little black spot in the middle of a pale-coloured bean that resembles an eye. Black-eyed peas packed with the likes of B-vitamins, potassium and iron. They are good for your digestion, as well as promoting eye health and lower blood pressure. You can add these beans to your favourite stews, salads and tong sui as well.
They also go by the name of garbanzo beans. Originated from the Middle East, chickpeas are a great source of protein and fibre. They help to control blood sugar levels, improve digestion and promote weight loss. Chickpeas are versatile beans that can be added in many dishes such as curries, stews and salads.
4) Kidney Beans
Most Malaysians often associated kidney beans with cendol. They are like a match made in heaven. Whereas in the Western culture, kidney beans are often synonymous with beef chilli. Kidney beans are low in fat and packed with vitamins, proteins and fibre. They help to reduce the risk of heart disease as well as blood sugar and cholesterol levels. If you do not want to cook them from scratch, you can always opt for canned kidney beans. They are equally beneficial but make sure not to pick the one with high-sodium content. Kidney beans are also great in soups and salads mixed with other types of beans.
5) Mung Beans
These tiny green-coloured mung beans are particularly a staple of Chinese dessert. They are usually added to tong sui otherwise known in Cantonese as luk dau sa (mung bean soup). Mung beans contain high sources of protein, fibre and magnesium. Some of the health benefits you can get from consuming mung beans are lower high blood pressure, increases immune system and improves digestion.
6) Navy Beans
They are arguably the most popular beans of all. After all, these plain-looking beans are widely used in most canned baked beans often found in supermarkets and grocery stores. While canned baked beans have their own health benefits like protein and energy, they are typically a victim of high-sodium content. So, insist on picking the low-sodium alternative or better yet, buy the dried varieties and cooked them from scratch. Other benefits you can get from eating navy beans are promoting heart health, stabilising blood sugar levels and boosting memory function.
7) Pinto Beans
Pinto beans are small in sizes but big in nutritional values. They are rich in folate, magnesium, protein and fibre. Consuming them regularly can help to keep blood sugar levels in check, reduces heart disease and even potentially preventing certain forms of cancer. You can add pinto beans to soups, stews, stuffings or pair them with rice as side dishes.
Soybeans are no stranger to Asian culture. They are typically used to make foods and drinks like tofu and soy milk. Soybeans contain an excellent source of protein, fibre and iron. They are particularly beneficial in aiding weight loss, improving heart health and promotes healthy digestion.