Nutritional Facts & Health Benefits of Kidney Beans

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Kidney beans are a member of the legume family. It offers a diverse collection of macro and micronutrients like starch, protein, minerals, dietary fibre, vitamins, and more. These beans largely comprise starchy carbohydrates, accounting for approximately 72% of the total calorie content and 25% to 45% of the dry matter.

Nutritional Value of Kidney Beans

Kidney beans provide a pack of health benefits, making them a versatile addition to various dishes. It offers an excellent source of protein, fibre, and complex carbohydrates. 

Also, they are certainly low in calories and fat, making them the right choice for weight management. A serving of 90g of cooked kidney beans usually contains:

  • 112 calories
  • 8g of protein
  • 4g of fat 
  • 20g of carbohydrates 
  • 7g of fiber

In addition to their nutritional value, kidney beans are rich in essential vitamins and minerals. These include folate, thiamin, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, manganese, copper, magnesium, potassium, and iron.

Health Benefits of Kidney Beans

Lowers Blood Pressure

Chronic diseases such as heart attacks may be more likely to occur with increased blood sugar levels. Managing a moderate level is important, and incorporating kidney beans into the diet can help, as they are high in protein and fibre. Including kidney beans in meals can help manage blood sugar levels because of their low glycemic index, potentially reducing the risk of diabetes.

Improves Heart Health

Eating beans instead of meat or other cholesterol-rich protein sources can result in better health outcomes. Lowering cholesterol levels is an effective strategy to minimise the risk of heart disease and improve overall heart health. 

Among the different types of beans, kidney beans stand out as a particularly nutritious protein source. They have slightly lower amounts of fat and saturated fat than other bean varieties while offering similar levels of fibre and protein.

Anti-Ageing Properties

Kidney beans provide a considerable amount of protein and carbohydrates in addition to being packed with antioxidants. These beans are well known for their ability to minimise cell damage and support longevity due to their anti-ageing qualities. Including kidney beans in your diet can increase the adverse effects of unhealthy foods on the body and skin.

Improves Cognitive Function

Kidney beans have high levels of Vitamin B1, which plays an essential role in optimising healthy cognitive functions. An adequate amount of Vitamin B1 aids in the generation of acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter that promotes optimal brain function, enhances focus, and improves memory. Also, Vitamin B1 helps in slowing down the advancement of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Cancer-Fighting Properties

Kidney beans have been found to have cancer-fighting properties because of their high manganese content and antioxidant effects. The antioxidants present in kidney beans help lower the free radicals in the mitochondria, while the presence of vitamin K helps protect cells from oxidative stress and lessens the risk of cancer. Incorporating kidney beans into our diet can also help prevent colon cancer.

Helps in Weight Loss

Kidney beans should be added to your diet to help weight loss because of their high protein content. These beans are not only rich in protein but also possess complex carbohydrates and fibre, which assist in stabilising blood sugar levels. 

This is highly advantageous for individuals with diabetes or insulin resistance. By eating kidney beans, the release of insulin by the pancreas is reduced, resulting in better blood sugar control and promoting healthy weight maintenance.

Boosts Energy

Manganese found in kidney beans plays a vital role in facilitating metabolism, which involves the nutrient breakdown to produce energy for the body.

Prevents hypertension

Kidney beans contain potassium, magnesium, soluble fibre, and protein; they help in preventing hypertension hypertension. By working together, these components help control blood pressure and promote healthy blood flow. The presence of potassium and magnesium assists in the dilation of arteries and vessels, ensuring a smooth circulation of blood throughout the body.

Storing Kidney Beans

It is recommended to store dried beans in a cool, dry, and dark place, away from any potential pest infestations. Under these conditions, dried kidney beans can remain edible for several years. 

Also, it is recommended to keep canned cooked beans as a staple in your pantry, as they have a similar shelf life and can serve as a convenient and versatile ingredient for different and delicious recipes.

Preparing Kidney Beans

Red kidney beans can be toxic if not boiled for 20 minutes when first cooked. It is important to never cook them in the water they were soaked in; alternatively, make sure to drain and rinse them completely before cooking them in fresh water. Soak water contains a significant amount of substances that can cause digestive problems.

Who Should Avoid Kidney Beans?

 Kidney beans contain a natural toxin known as lectin, which can lead to symptoms like vomiting and stomach pains if not cooked properly. It is vital to note that kidney beans should be avoided by individuals who have not cooked them properly.

To ensure safety, make sure to cook dried kidney beans by soaking, rinsing, and cooking them prior to consumption. Alternatively, tinned kidney beans are already cooked and only need a quick rinse before use.

Kidney Bean Curry (Rajma Masala)


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped, plus extra sliced onion, to serve
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 cm x 3 cm piece ginger, grated
  • 400 g can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small green chilli, sliced
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (Kasuri methi)
  • 2 x 400 g cans red kidney beans, drained
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped coriander, plus extra to serve cooked basmati rice to serve


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat vegetable oil on a medium flame. Once heated, add the cumin and cook until the seeds crackle. Then, add the onion and salt, cook, and stir for about 5 minutes until lightly golden. Lastly, add the garlic, ginger, and chilli, cooking for an additional minute until fragrant.
  2. After that, add the diced tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Then, add the garam masala, ground coriander, turmeric, and chilli powder, cooking for 2-3 minutes until thickened. Mix in the red kidney beans along with 1-2 cups of water. Cover and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Uncover the pan and mash a few of the softened beans. Let it simmer for another ten minutes to thicken. Stir in the dried fenugreek leaves and roughly chopped coriander. Finally, remove from heat and garnish the rajma masala with extra coriander and sliced red onion, and serve with basmati rice.


Kidney beans posses minerals, healthy proteins, and vitamins. Consuming them can assist in weight management, intestinal wellness, and managing blood sugar. However, you should always cook them properly before eating.


1. Can I eat rajma daily?

Consuming kidney beans every day can result in certain risks because of their high content of lectins and phytic acid. Consuming it immoderately can lead to digestive issues such as gas, bloating or discomfort. 
Furthermore, kidney beans have a compound known as phytohemagglutinin, which, if not cooked properly, can become toxic.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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