Dark Red Kidney Beans

RED KIDNEY BEANS – Nutritional Profile

Red Kidney beans have a particularly complex nutritional composition. The soluble fibre found in 100g will provide 45% of recommended daily allowance (RDA).

They are a good source of heart supporting nutrients such as folate, magnesium, iron, and potassium as well as vitamins B1 and vitamin K. Magnesium, copper and iron are also present in significant quantities. A single 100g serving will also provide 31% of daily protein and 12% of the RDA for calories.

Kidney beans make a healthy alternative to meat as they are good sources of protein and iron yet lack the fat or cholesterol of meat and they are also salt free.

RED KIDNEY BEANS – Health Benefits

The health impact of the soluble fibre in Kidney beans should is significant. A diet with the correct amount of dietary fibre ensures the digestive tract handling cholesterol and moving food through the colon at the optimum speed. In addition, high levels of fibre will induce a feeling of being satiated, and progress of food through the digestive system will permit the optimum uptake of nutrients.

Soluble forms of fibre collect in the intestine where they form a gel like substance that traps LDL cholesterol before it enters the bloodstream where it becomes the source of plaque and cardio-vascular disease. This gel also traps unwanted bile acids leading to less chance of gall stones and less less likelihood of ulceration of the bowel. In addition, these processes trap undesirable LDL cholesterol without impacting levels of desirable HDL cholesterol which are free to move into the bloodstream and support the flexibility of blood vessels..
Beans also provide substantial insoluble fibre, which helps combat constipation by increasing water absorption into the food as it progresses through the colon leading to lower rates of colon cancer. Beans also contain phytochemicals that play a role in preventing osteoporosis, heart disease, and cancers. The flavonoids in beans may help reduce heart disease and cancer risk. Phytosterols, also in legumes, help reduce blood cholesterol levels.

Kidney beans also provide a number of nutrients and for are a rich source of fibre and can be used in a number of recipes. For vegetarians make a valuable source of iron and which is important in maintaining good levels of haemoglobin. They also contain quantities of copper, important in regulating blood and which is thought to play a role in minimising the impact of migraine attacks by keeping blood vessels healthy.

A 1 cup portion contains 58% RDA of folate which is important in cell production and in the processes of metabolism used to break down and utilise proteins. Potassium is an important electrolyte that needs to be present in the body to ensure metabolism processes are efficient enough to maintain normal electrical activity in the heart. A single cup serving will provide 20% of RDA.

RED KIDNEY BEANS – Product History

Kidney beans come from the same family of beans as pinto beans and black beans. They are thought to have stemmed from the same ancestor in the area around Peru.
Following a spread across Central America they were brought to Europe by explorers from where they were introduced into Africa and Asia.

Dried beans of this nature will keep indefinitely but it has been shown that prolonged storage can lead to nutritional content being lost and for preparation time to become longer. Providing they are not exposed to moisture dried beans will keep, in air tight storage almost indefinitely although a 12 month limit is best to ensure nutritional content is not compromised.

Dried beans benefit from soaking; leading to a more even texture once cooked and frequent changes of the soaking fluid removes sugars from the beans which cause flatulence. In Mexico, Central and Southern America beans are prepared with a spice called epazote which, as well as imparting a pungent, fennel like flavour, also reduces flatulence.

Dried bean producers cropped 18 million tons in 2007 with Brazil and India being the top two producers at 3.2 and 3 million tons respectively.

The kidney bean plant is an annual that can be either a bush or climbing variety. Depending on the species, after the appearance of blossoms, pods develop and grow to between 8 and 20 cm long. Each healthy pod will contain between 4 and 12 seed. The beans are picked after the plant’s leaves have fallen and before the pods open. The whole plant must be uprooted and left to dry in the fields for the beans to mature fully.

Kidney beans are one of the few pulses that are toxic if not heated at boiling point for at least 10 minutes.