Red kidney beans are a common bean variety, scientific name Phaseolus vulgaris. These beans should not be confused with azuki beans, scientific name Vigna angularis. Now let's see the properties of this kind of beans and how to serve them!
Properties of red kidney beans
The anthocyanins give the beans a dark red color and, according to scientific studies (Akond et al, American Journal of Food Technology, May 2011), result in a higher quantity than amaranth, black sorghum and soy beans as well as other types of beans. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants able to counteract free radicals, aging processes, cancers and inflammations. Among the antioxidants of red kidney beans we also find catechins, compounds able to fight oxidative stress and inflammation. For example, catechins have proved to be useful in protecting the intestinal tract (Fei-Yan Fan et al, Molecules, Mar 2017). But red beans are also a precious source of proteins, carbohydrates and therefore energy, they provide calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron, group B vitamins and folate (from USDA Food Composition Database), that is an important substance in pregnancy for the proper development of the fetus but also to ensure cell renewal. In addition to this, red kidney beans are characterized also by a hypoglycemic effect, thus being an effective food to be included in the diet of those who are overweight or have to control blood sugar levels (Ganesan et al, Int J Mol Sci, Nov 2017). Finally, a diet rich in legumes, including red kidney beans, is linked to a lower risk of developing tumors, especially of the colon, as shown by an analysis published in the scientific journal PLoS One by a team of Chinese researchers (Wang et al, PLoS One, Jun 2013).
Are you looking for a tasty way to eat these delicious, healthy beans? Try the chili with beans and basmati rice, in the Healthy Food section. In any case, remember to soak and then cook well the beans because the kidney beans, if they result uncooked, can be toxic due to the presence of phytohemagglutinin, a lectin (Venter et al, S Afr Med J, Apr 1995). But this consideration applies also to the other types of dry legumes such as other varieties of beans or soy beans. However, soaking and cooking help to remove the effects of phytohemagglutinin.