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Black beans: useful properties and recipes

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There are about 90 varieties of beans today. One of these species is the black bean, which is considered a unique and sparsely distributed plant. In terms of nutritional and medicinal properties, this product differs in many ways from the usual varieties.

So, this plant is characterized by black pods and fruits. Outwardly, they look like dirty or spoiled. The taste of such beans is slightly sweet, a slightly smoky flavor is a peculiarity. Black beans are widely used in cooking and are a great addition to meat, vegetable, fish dishes and soups.

How Black Beans Differ from Regular Beans

Black beans, unlike white beans, have a softer texture and a sweeter flavor. They are a source of protein. For example, white beans have about 7 g of protein per 100 g of product, while black beans have almost 9 g per the same amount of fruit.

The benefits and harms of black beans

According to nutritionists, the composition of black beans is the closest to the food of animal origin, so it is a great substitute for people who for certain reasons do not use meat products.

Also, black beans have more carbohydrates than the white variety. This means that such a product satiates the body better. Such complex carbohydrates are slower to be broken down and enter the bloodstream gradually, which does not lead to the secretion of insulin, as with confectionery.

This suggests that even with the daily use of black beans in the diet there is no gain of excess weight. This variety is enriched with coarse vegetable fiber, which contributes to normal intestinal function.

Black beans contain components that stop the development of atherosclerosis, a major cause of strokes and heart attacks. For example, just 200 grams of black beans can provide the body with a daily allowance of potassium, manganese, iron, magnesium and zinc.

White beans are characterized by large amounts of fiber. This product is the least caloric and is quickly absorbed by the body. One cup of these beans is enough to satisfy a person’s need for fiber.

Composition and Calories

Most studies have proven that black beans are among the most useful plant-based foods. It contains a large number of trace elements, the list of which exceeds twenty substances. The main elements are zinc, potassium, phosphorus, iron and magnesium.

Potassium protects against the development of edema, helps to strengthen the vascular walls, reduces the load on the cardiovascular system. Black beans cleanse the body of toxins, remove cholesterol, and take part in the dissolution of kidney stones. Regular consumption of this product improves brain function and protects against premature aging.

The shell of the beans contains flavonoids, omega-3 fatty acids, and B, E, PP, and K vitamins.

Some of the elements in black beans are members of the heavy metal group, which can be harmful to the body. Therefore, it is important to heat treat it before consuming it. This will help to remove harmful substances.

However, heat treatment reduces the caloric value of the product, as well as reducing the number of useful elements.

This plant is high in calories compared to other varieties. There are 315 kcal in 100 g of black beans.

Useful properties of black beans

General benefits

Black beans are high in protein. For example, a cup of this product has 35% of the protein needed to consume in a 24-hour period. Due to its calcium content, the product supports the health of hair, nails, bones, and muscle fibers. Due to the presence of amino acids, the product is recommended for the elderly, women while carrying a baby, and athletes.

Useful properties of black beans

Black beans are widely used in the field of dietetics. This crop is excellent for people who want to get rid of excess weight. It promotes metabolic processes, has a relatively low glycemic index. Therefore, it can be used by people who suffer from obesity or such a disease as diabetes.

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The composition of this plant controls the balance of carbohydrates, due to this sugars are converted into energy, not into fat, which is deposited on the waist and hips.

In addition, black beans are excellent in the fight against edema, helping to remove excess fluid from the body. Iron helps with heart disorders, cleanses blood vessels, and reduces the risk of blood clots.

For women

As already mentioned, black beans are very useful for women’s health, primarily because they help to get rid of excess weight.

The B vitamins in the composition of this product are of great benefit to the female body, they are a source of youth and beauty. In combination with certain vitamins and minerals, this product can improve skin tone, remove toxins, make skin and nails healthy, normalize the nervous system.

For Men

The benefits of eating black beans in men are also undeniable. Legumes of this variety help to improve male sexual function, increase potency, as well as the quality of sperm. This product is an important element for the prevention of prostatitis. In addition, black beans are considered an excellent product for gaining muscle mass.

In pregnancy

While carrying a fetus, it is important for a woman to eat a proper diet to ensure good health, normal growth and development of the baby. Beans can help replenish iron levels in a pregnant woman’s blood and maintain normal hemoglobin levels.

Since beans of this variety contain fiber, the body is better able to eliminate toxins, which reduces the occurrence of symptoms of morning sickness. Regular consumption of black beans in pregnant women normalizes the work of the intestines, so the body will be protected from such an unpleasant problem as constipation.

B vitamins will protect the nervous system of the future mother from unnecessary stress, and also help to alleviate the manifestations of cramps, which often occur in the third trimester.

Another important feature of black beans during pregnancy is the mild diuretic effect of the product. And this suggests that the body of a pregnant woman will be protected from the development of edema, which is especially common in the last months of pregnancy.

When breastfeeding.

Often legumes are not on the list of allowed foods during breastfeeding for the reason that the baby can get colic and bloating. If you stick to the correct introduction to the diet of dishes based on legumes, you can greatly diversify the menu of a nursing woman and at the same time enrich the body with many useful components.

Black beans help to strengthen the body in the postpartum period. In addition, this legume increases the production of breast milk, enriching it with a complex of vitamins and minerals. Beans in the diet of a breastfeeding woman should be introduced gradually, making sure that the baby does not have allergic reactions and problems with the digestive system.

The first tasting of this product is recommended 4 months after the birth of the baby, and to begin with the consumption of string beans.

For children.

Black bean proteins are very similar in composition to animal proteins, which is very important for children who do not eat meat and dairy. This product is the most caloric of all varieties, so its inclusion in a child’s diet will help the baby to recover faster after suffering illnesses. Black beans contain a lot of folic acid, which is required for hematopoiesis.

You can start introducing beans into your child’s menu from eight months of age. However, it is important to take into account the doctor’s recommendations and monitor your baby’s reaction. Young children do not have enough enzymes to digest the oligosaccharides contained in beans, so colic may occur when eating mature seeds. Older children may also experience such discomfort if they eat a large portion of the dish. You should not give such beans to children with a chronic course of gastritis with high levels of acidity, digestive ulcers, pancreatitis, as well as in the case of chronic cholecystitis.

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For weight loss.

Most women, wishing to get an ideal figure, resort to various diets. Using beans for weight loss will help to achieve the goal without torturing the body with hunger.

This product has in its composition many useful substances. This crop will not only help to get rid of excess weight, but also bring great health benefits. Beans contain components that are very important for weight loss and recovery. First of all, we are talking about a large amount of lean protein. In addition, it contains vitamins such as A, C, E, group B, amino acids and organic acids. Beans also have a rich mineral composition. Its components reduce glucose and cholesterol levels, which allows you to control weight.

One of the important benefits of this plant is the insoluble fiber. A cup of beans has a daily allowance of this ingredient. Fiber helps to improve digestion, helps get rid of constipation by clearing the intestines of toxins and toxic substances. In addition, black beans are characterized by a high content of folic acid, which fills the daily requirement of a person in this vitamin. This component is especially important for weight loss to protect the skin.

Black beans in medicine

Black beans in medicine
  • This variety of legume crop is a prophylactic for atherosclerosis.
  • Its plant fibers contribute to the removal of cholesterol, have a beneficial effect on the work of the liver due to choleretic action.
  • Black beans are included in some therapeutic diets. It is also useful for people with thin capillaries. The product makes the walls of blood vessels more dense and increases blood circulation. This quality is important for people who often have freezing extremities.
  • Folic acid and B vitamins in beans play an important role in the normal functioning of the nervous system and are a prevention of insomnia and apathy.
  • Black beans are used in lowering blood pressure. If you add fresh vegetables to such a dish, you can strengthen your immune system.
  • Certain components contained in beans are used in the manufacture of medicines used in the fight against tumors of the large intestine. The principle of action of such substances is based on the fact that with their help blood circulation is blocked and the destruction of cancer cells begins.

Nutrition for diseases what you can and can’t eat:

  • In cholecystitis.
  • In hemorrhoids
  • For colitis
  • For gout
  • for constipation
  • For gastritis
  • In pancreatitis
  • In diabetes mellitus

In diabetes mellitus
When blood sugar levels are high, it is especially important to include nutrients in the diet that are gradually broken down into glucose. Beans in this case are considered a source of vegetable protein and carbohydrates that are slowly broken down. Such properties of black beans are very necessary for people suffering from diabetes and having problems with excessive weight. For diabetes, beans can be eaten no more than three times a week. They can be included in the menu as a separate dish, or they can be eaten as a side dish or as a meat substitute.

To make bean dishes less time-consuming, it is advisable to soak them in cold water all day or leave them overnight. This procedure removes the oligosaccharides from the crop, which are unnecessary to the body and can cause gastrointestinal upset.

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Important: The glycemic index of black beans is 30 units.

Cosmetic applications

Black beans are widely used in the field of cosmetology as well. A mask with the addition of this product provides the skin with important enzymes that moisturize it and give a rejuvenating effect.

To prepare an effective remedy, it is necessary to grind a small amount of beans in boiled form using a blender. In the resulting mass should be added a little olive oil and a few drops of lemon juice. Ready mask should be applied to the skin and leave for 15-20 minutes. At the end of this time you need to wash off the remains with warm water. Before applying such a composition, the skin of the face should be cleansed in advance.

Such a mask is recommended to use several times a week. After a while you can notice a pronounced result. Wrinkles are smoothed, while the skin becomes even and beautiful tone. In addition, a mask based on black beans helps to get rid of various skin diseases.

Harm and contraindications

Despite the large list of useful properties, black beans still have some contraindications and can harm the human body.

  • You should not consume this bean crop for the elderly people who have diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Also, black beans should not be included in the menu of people who have gout, cholecystitis, and colitis.
  • Legumes are not recommended to introduce to children’s diet before the age of two years, otherwise their immature body will not be able to cope with the complex enzymes contained in beans. The daily rate should not exceed 100 grams.

Often beans cause gas and the development of flatulence. Therefore, you should not abuse this type of product. To protect the body from such unpleasant sensations, it is recommended to eat black beans with greens and soak them before cooking in a solution with added salt.

Black beans are very useful. It is a must in the diet of adults and children. However, it is important to first make sure that there are no contraindications to the use. It is also not worth abusing this product, otherwise there will be problems with the gastrointestinal tract.

How to choose and store black beans

How to choose and store black beans
  • When choosing beans on store shelves, it is important to make sure that the product is not damaged by insects.
  • Black beans should not have cracks.
  • Packaging must be airtight, protected from moisture.
  • High quality beans are easy to over-compound and do not stick together.
  • Particular attention should be paid to the shelf life of the packaged product. It is not necessary to buy over-dried fruits, as there is no use in them.

If you need to buy black beans in canned form, it is important to study the composition of the product. It is necessary to find out what additional substances, in addition to the beans themselves, are contained here. It is necessary to remember that from additives, except water and salt and sugar, nothing should be present in the jar.

It is necessary to look at the date of manufacture and duration of storage. It is important to assess the quality of the brine to identify low quality products. The brine should not be cloudy, and the beans should be intact.

If we are talking about store-bought beans, such products are stored in an airtight package that is protected from humidity, temperature jumps, and exposure to direct sunlight. In this form, the beans can be stored for about a year.

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If black beans are purchased at different times, leftover fruits should be stored separately from each other. It is recommended to use tightly closed containers or cloth bags for storage.

Cooked bean dishes should be stored in special dishes at low temperatures. The dish can be kept in the refrigerator for about three days. Black beans can be boiled and placed in the freezer for storage. In this form it can be stored for up to 6 months.

What you can make with black beans: Recipes


You can make a hearty, appetizing stew using black beans. It is prepared quite quickly if the beans are boiled in advance, as all the ingredients are fried for a few minutes.

So, you need to prepare green peas 100 g, one onion, 1-2 tomatoes, 200 g of black beans and the same amount of zucchini, sweet peppers about 80 g, 50 ml of sunflower oil and spices to taste (ground pepper, salt, paprika sweet), as well as several cloves of garlic.

It is important to boil the beans in advance until they are ready. Next, in a pan, fry the onion sliced in half rings, then add the zucchini and bell peppers, chopped in julienne. Fry each vegetable for about 4-5 minutes. After that, you need to add the peas. Now add boiled beans and tomatoes to the vegetables, and season the dish with spices. After 3-5 minutes of frying, the stew is ready.

Beans and Smoked Ribs

To prepare the beans with smoked ribs you must first soak 200 g of black beans for four hours. The same amount of smoked pork ribs will be needed. They should be cut into pieces. After that, you need to drain the water from the beans, add the ribs there, pour a liter of water and cook for an hour.

Meanwhile, wrap one onion and one bell pepper in foil and send it to the oven to bake for half an hour. In the meantime, fry the onion in the oil, add here the chopped garlic clove, red hot pepper, some parsley and paprika. After that, add the tomatoes and stew for five minutes.

Dice the vegetables from the oven. Drain the water from the beans, add the dressing and diced vegetables, salt and mix everything thoroughly. Put all these ingredients into the baking dish, pour the liquid in which the black beans cooked, and bake in the oven for another half hour.


To make black bean soup, you need 300 grams of beans, a liter and a half of beef broth, two tomatoes, one onion and one carrot, herbs, spices to taste.

The beans should be washed several times and soaked for several hours. Then it should be cooked in broth for at least an hour and a half. Then you need to add diced vegetables and cook the dish for about 20 minutes more.

After that, grind the ready mass with a blender until a homogeneous consistency is obtained. Add the greens 5 minutes before cooking. To make croutons cut the bread into cubes, salt, add spices to taste, drizzle with olive oil and place in the oven until dry. Serve the ready dish with croutons.


For a fresh, colorful black bean salad, you will need to prepare the following ingredients: two cans each of beans and sweet corn, a few bell peppers, a couple of tablespoons of chopped onions. We also need salt, a pinch of ground pepper, 2 teaspoons of sugar, half a cup of olive oil, 5 tablespoons of fresh lime juice, chopped herbs and avocado.

The beans and corn should be rinsed thoroughly and the water drained. Then add chopped bell peppers and onions. Mix the lime juice with olive oil. Avocado also cut into small pieces. After this, mix all the ingredients, parsley, spices, and then pour the oil and lime juice. Stir the salad thoroughly and leave in the fridge for half an hour.

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How to cook.

Before boiling the beans, it is necessary to soak them either in the evening with cold water, or for an hour or an hour and a half with boiling water. With the second method, the beans will take a little longer to boil, but this will not affect the taste of the dish. Of the ingredients, you will need only 2.5 cups of water, a glass of black beans and salt to taste. Soaked fruits should be placed in a pot and pour water so that the beans are covered with liquid. Cook the dish for about 1.5 hours with the lid open. If necessary, you can add more water. A couple of minutes before they are ready add salt.

Interesting facts about beans

Interesting facts about beans
  • According to some historians, Cleopatra used so-called face whitewash, for the manufacture of which dry white beans were crushed into a powder. A little warm water was added to the powder and a thin layer was applied to the face so as to fill in all the wrinkles. In fact, such a procedure was a nourishing face mask. The only disadvantage was that when the skin dried up, the mask began to crack.
  • As you know, beans are a nutritious product with a good shelf life, so they are often included in the diet of the military. This dish was especially prized by Napoleon. He claimed that beans made muscles stronger and increased brain activity.
  • There is a holiday in Bulgaria dedicated to bean day. On this day it is customary in the country to shoot a bean cannon and to prepare treats from different varieties of this crop.

Photo of black beans

Photo of black beans
Photo of black beans 2
Photo of black beans 3
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Photo of black beans 5
  1. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central. Beans, black turtle, canned.
  2. The University of Sydney. Glycemic Index Database. Black bean (Phaseolus vulgaris Linn), soaked overnight, cooked 45 min.
  3. The University of Sydney. Glycemic Index Database. Black beans.
  4. Atkinson FS, Foster-Powell K, Brand-Miller JC. International tables of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2008Diabetes Care. 2008;31(12):2281-2283. doi:10.2337/dc08-1239
  5. Crider KS, Devine O, Hao L, et al. Population red blood cell folate concentrations for prevention of neural tube defects: Bayesian modelBMJ. 2014;349:g4554. doi:10.1136/bmj.g4554
  6. Winham DM, Hutchins AM, Thompson SV. Glycemic response to black beans and chickpeas as part of a rice meal: a randomized cross-over trialNutrients. 2017;9(10):1095. doi:10.3390/nu9101095
  7. Włodarczyk M, Śliżewska K. Efficiency of resistant starch and dextrins as prebiotics: A review of the existing evidence and clinical trials. Nutrients. 2021;13(11):3808. doi:10.3390/nu13113808
  8. Reverri EJ, Randolph JM, Steinberg FM, Kappagoda CT, Edirisinghe I, Burton-Freeman BM. Black beans, fiber, and antioxidant capacity pilot study: examination of whole foods vs. Functional components on postprandial metabolic, oxidative stress, and inflammation in adults with metabolic syndromeNutrients. 2015;7(8):6139-6154. doi:10.3390/nu7085273

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