From Mexican cookery: tacos, burritos, etc to our very own rajma chawal, red kidney beans are used expansively all over the world. They are called ‘kidney beans’ due to their shape which look like the human kidney. They are one of tastiest beans and belong to lentils food group. Red kidney beans are known as ‘rajma‘ in India and they form an important part of the vegetarian diet due to their outstanding protein content. But the protein they contain is incomplete and they should always be paired with the cereal or carbohydrate to enhance their biological value, in other words improve the quality of protein. Read about reasons to eat rajma.
Nutrition in rajma (Nutritive value per 100g)
- Energy : 340 kcals
- Protein : 24g
- Carbohydrates : 56g
- Fat : 1g
- Magnesium : 184 mg
Let us have a look at health benefits of rajma or red kidney beans:
Red kidney beans fall in category of low glycemic index foods and they do not spike blood glucose levels post meal in the diabetics. In other words, they raise blood glucose levels very slowly. Also, they contain the good quality carbohydrates and bend protein which makes them the healthy option. And cherry on the cake is that they are low in fat too. Also, the 2 amino acids which normalize the insulin levels arginine and leucine are present in abundance in red kidney beans.
Lowers the cholesterol levels
Rajma is a wonderful source of soluble fibre which helps to lower the cholesterol levels. Soluble fibre forms the gel when it comes in contact with stomach contents and this binds the cholesterol and prevents its re-absorption back into system, thus lowering the blood cholesterol levels.
Nutritious red kidney beans are also a very good source of the potassium and magnesium along with the soluble fibre and protein which helps in maintaining the blood pressure within normal range and protects over-all heart health. Potassium and magnesium open the blood vessels and arteries thus promising the smooth blood flow.
Helps to lose weight
These fibre-rich beans when consumed, occupy the lot of space in stomach thus providing the feeling of fullness for the longer period of time and they are low in the fat too. This makes it an suitable pre-workout option as it will provide continued energy throughout.
Strengthens immune system
The health benefits of rajma are not only just limited to its fibre and protein content as it is full of antioxidants too. These antioxidants enhances our immune system and protect it from the harmful effects of free radicals by searching them and limiting the damage. Antioxidants are also believed to have anti-ageing properties.
Combine rajma with the vegetables in form of salads or soups to make it more nutritious. Eating red kidney beans every day can become boring or monotonous, here is another interesting way to include it in your daily diet. Red kidney bean flour or powered beans can be added to wheat flour to make more nutritious chapattis or Indian flat bread, khakra, wraps, chilas, dosas, pancakes, etc.