Benefits of Beans
Dry Beans are Nutritionally Rich
Dry beans vary considerably in flavor, size, color, and shape, their nutritional composition is remarkably similar. (Table 1 provides an example of the nutrient content of cooked dry beans.) They are packed with protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, and are low in fat. One half cup of cooked dry beans contains approximately 115 calories and provides 8 grams of protein. In addition to macronutrients, vitamins and minerals, dry beans contain several types of phytochemicals. They are rich in lignans, which may play a role in preventing osteoporosis, heart disease, and certain cancers. The flavonoids in beans may help reduce heart disease and cancer risk. The plant stanol esters, or phytosterols, contained in dry beans may help reduce blood cholesterol levels.