How often do you eat pinto bean? Are you aware of the reasons you need pinto bean in your diet? If you tick all the boxes to the above questions, then you would have been benefiting from all the remarkable benefits that this amazing pulse renders. If otherwise, then it is high time you started steering your attention towards this special legume.
Being an excellent source of protein, antioxidants and several essential minerals, legume has remained an inevitable part of our diets. Legumes tackle several diseases, nourish our bodies and facilitate the healthy functioning of our organs. To a larger extent, including legumes in our diet is a vital healthy lifestyle geared towards maintaining a stronger body.
The main types of legumes are tamarind, alfalfa, carob, clover, mesquite, peas, peanuts, lentils, soybeans and beans. There are several types of beans such as mung bean, runner bean, kidney bean, navy bean, ricebean, white bean, black-eyed bean, brown bean and pinto bean etc. Among these types of beans, the pinto bean is the most popular in the United States, Brazil and Mexico.
Pinto bean is botanically known as Phaseolus vulgaris and is originally from Peru before spreading to other parts of the globe. This bean cultivar is distinguished by its speckled, spotted and painted appearance and it is known by other names such as speckled bean, mottled bean, frijol pinto (Spain), painted bean, feijão catarino (Portugal), strawberry bean or poroto frutilla (South America) or carioca bean or feijão carioca (Brazil).
Nutritional values of Pinto Bean
Pinto bean is an excellent source of protein, dietary fibre, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, carbohydrate, manganese, iron, vitamin B-6, vitamin C, folate and calcium.
Benefits of Pinto Beans
Culinary Purposes
Pinto beans can be cooked and eaten plain or can be served together with pasta, rice, corn, yam, potatoes, tapioca and vegetables. Pinto beans can be cooked as beans porridge, refried or mashed and served with burritos or tortillas.
Reduces the Cholesterol Level
Pinto bean is a rich constituent of natural fibre thus plays an integral role in reducing the blood cholesterol levels. The ability of pinto bean to reduce the cholesterol level is due to the presence of the phytoestrogen coumestrol in it. As a result, the pinto bean is highly recommended for individuals suffering from cardiovascular diseases such as heart problems.
Reduces the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)
Winham et al., (2013) investigated the effects of daily consumption of half cup of pinto beans, black-eyed peas and carrots (placebo) on risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD) and diabetes mellitus (DM) in free-living, mildly insulin resistant adults. The randomized study was carried out over a period of 8 weeks using 16 participants (7 men, 9 women). Each participant was treated for 8 weeks with 2 weeks washouts.
Fasting blood samples of the participants were collected at the onset and end of the treatment and were analyzed for total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triacylglycerols, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, insulin, glucose, and haemoglobin. The results showed that pinto beans significantly impacted serum TC and LDL after eight weeks. Therefore, pinto beans consumption is highly essential for reducing the serum TC and LDL-C. This, in turn, inhibits the onset of coronary heart disease (CHD).
Ideal for Weight Loss
Pinto bean is essential for losing weight and for preventing excessive weight gain. This is attributed to its high constituent of protein and fibre with low calories. Once pinto bean is consumed, it releases a hormone known as leptin that makes someone fill up so easily thereby reducing more food intake while boosting the body’s metabolism. Furthermore, due to its high fibre content, pinto bean takes a longer time to digest thereby supporting a healthy digestive tract.
Protection against Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the major cause of mortality, especially in the Western world. Interestingly, deaths associated with cardiovascular disease can be avoidable through someone’s type of lifestyle such as healthy diet, reduced intake of saturated fat, smoke-free lifestyle, exercise and increased intake of cholesterol-reducing foods, such as legumes.
Anderson and Major (2002) carried out a meta-analysis of eleven clinical trials to examine the effects of pulses (excluding soybeans) on serum lipoproteins. The results show that regular intake of pulses is essential for protecting the body against the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Being a pulse, the pinto bean is highly recommended in our diets for inhibiting the onset of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, blood pressure and stroke.
Ideal for Balanced Blood Sugar The inclusion of pinto beans in your diets is essential for maintaining low blood sugar level, especially after meal consumption. As a result, this pulse is highly recommended for diabetes patients.
Livestock Fodder
Pinto bean leaves and straws can serve as animal fodder.
This post is for enlightenment purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional diagnostic and treatments. Remember to always consult your healthcare provider before making any health-related decisions or for counselling, guidance and treatment about a specific medical condition.
1] Anderson J. W. and Major A. W. (2002), Pulses and lipaemia, short- and long-term effects: potential in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Br Journal of Nutr. 88, pp.S263–71.
2] Finley J. W., Burrell J. B. and Reeves P. G. (2007), Journal of Nutrition, 137(11), pp.2391-8.
3] Ghassemi-Golezani, K., Chadordooz-Jeddi, A., Nasrullahzadeh, S. and Moghaddam, M. (2010), Influence of hydro-priming duration on field performance of pinto bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) cultivars, African Journal of Agricultural Research, 5(9), pp.893-897.
4] Winham, D. M., Hutchins, A. M. and Johnston, C. S. (2013), Pinto Bean Consumption Reduces Biomarkers for Heart Disease Risk, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, vol. 26, issue 3, pp.

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