Many readers are interested in the following topic: Black Beans (Canned). We are happy to note, that our authors have already studied the modern research about the topic you are interested in. Based on the information provided in the latest medical digests, modern research and surveys, we provide extensive answer. Keep reading to find out more.
Alternatively, canned black beans are an easier, more convenient, and more accessible alternative to cooking dry black beans from scratch. This is because canned beans are precooked.
Are Black Beans Healthy? Nutrition, Benefits, and More
Black beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) are also known as the common bean. They’re among the most frequently consumed dry grain pulses or legumes, alongside chickpeas ( 1 ).
Black beans originated in South America and are a staple ingredient in Latin American and Caribbean cuisine.
In addition to being nutritional powerhouses, they offer numerous health benefits — including improved blood sugar control and reduced risk of developing certain chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes ( 1 ).
This article takes a closer look at black beans, their nutrition, their benefits, and how to prepare them.
Black beans are a legume, also known as a pulse — a food group with a unique nutritional profile ( 2 ).
One cup (172 grams) of boiled, unsalted black beans contains ( 3 ):
As you can see, black beans are exceptionally high in fiber and plant-based protein, two nutrients that help lower chronic disease risk and that many Westernized diets lack ( 1 ).
Their protein is highly digestible, with a digestibility of 79%. In fact, black beans are considered an ecologically sustainable protein source compared with animal-based sources ( 4 , 5 ).
This nutritious legume provides both soluble fiber, insoluble fiber, and resistant starch, all of which are associated with many of its benefits ( 4 ).
Black beans also provide calcium, selenium, and numerous B vitamins. However, their overall mineral content can vary greatly depending on the beans’ origin ( 4 ).
In addition, despite their high iron content, they contain certain antinutrients, which are compounds that may hinder the mineral’s absorption ( 4 , 6 ).
Black beans are rich in plant-based protein, fiber, and numerous vitamins and minerals. However, their mineral content may vary, and your body may not absorb their iron well due to the presence of antinutrients.
Black beans have several health benefits to offer, generally linked to their antioxidant and fiber content.
Rich in antioxidants
Black beans are rich in antioxidants. These are compounds that can neutralize free radicals to counteract oxidative processes linked to chronic diseases ( 4 ).
That’s why black bean antioxidants may help lower the risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer ( 4 ).
In particular, black beans offer a significant amount of polyphenols, especially anthocyanins ( 4 , 7 , 8 ).
Anthocyanins are linked to potential type 2 diabetes benefits. They’re primarily located in the beans’ seed coat and are responsible for their dark color. They’re also responsible for the color of red and pink bean varieties ( 4 ).
Another antioxidant group present in black beans is flavonoids, including catechin, quercetin, myricetin, and kaempferol. These have potential cancer-fighting and heart-protective properties ( 4 , 8 ).
Note that the beans’ antioxidant content may decrease with cooking and storage, with greater losses happening at higher temperatures. So, be sure to store them in a cool pantry ( 4 ).
May promote heart health
Adding black beans to your diet may help lower blood cholesterol and high blood pressure levels.
For example, saponin compounds in black beans act as antioxidants with cholesterol-lowering capacities. The beans’ fiber may also help reduce total cholesterol and triglyceride levels ( 4 ).
In fact, studies show that for every 10 grams of total fiber consumed, the risk of mortality from heart disease may decrease by 27%. Similarly, consuming 5–10 grams of soluble fiber per day may reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by 5% ( 4 , 9).
Other evidence shows that people who consume beans, including black beans, had an 11% lower risk of heart disease than those who did not consume beans ( 10 ).
However, another study found that consuming 1/2 cup (113 grams) of beans daily had no significant effect on cholesterol levels. So, it is possible that heart health benefits may only be seen if you eat more than this serving size of beans daily ( 10 ).
Research has also found an inverse correlation between bean fiber intake and blood pressure, specifically that higher fiber intakes result in lower readings ( 4 ).
In addition, flavonoids in black beans may help prevent platelet aggregation and encourage muscle relaxation, which further contributes to the blood-pressure-lowering effect ( 4 ).
Similarly, another study determined that consuming 3/4 cup (129 grams) of black beans had a vasorelaxant effect, meaning that it helped relax the muscles within blood vessels to lower blood pressure ( 11 ).
May help manage blood sugar levels
Antioxidants and fiber in black beans may support blood sugar control.
Firstly, their anthocyanidin content has been shown to boost insulin sensitivity, meaning that they improve how your cells respond to the hormone insulin. This can lead to lower blood sugar levels after a meal ( 7 , 8 ).
In addition, anthocyanidins may inhibit alpha-amylase, maltase, and sucrase activity — three enzymes that support carb digestion — which further promotes lower blood sugar levels after eating ( 7 ).
Secondly, the fiber in black beans may improve the glycemic index (GI) of a meal ( 1 , 4 ).
The GI measures how a food increases your blood sugar levels.
Black beans have a GI within the 29–38 range, so they are considered a low GI food. This means that they cause a small and steady rise in your blood sugar ( 4 ).
Studies show that consuming meals containing as little as 1/2 cup (86 grams) of black beans may reduce the GI of the meal, helping control blood sugar levels up to 120 minutes after eating ( 1 ).
This happens because the beans’ fiber increases stool volume and transit time along the intestine, allowing for slow glucose absorption. In addition, the fiber slows down the digestion rate, further slowing down the release of glucose into the bloodstream ( 4 ).
Black beans’ fiber and antioxidants help lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.
Like most legumes, black beans contain compounds known as antinutrients. They’re named this because they impair digestion and the absorption of certain minerals in the body ( 4 , 12 , 13 ).
Antinutrients found in black beans include ( 4 , 12 , 13 ):
- Lectins: resist digestion and may alter gut function
- Protease inhibitors: interfere with legume digestion
- Tannins: inhibit iron absorption and negatively impact iron stores
- Phytic acid:inhibits the absorption of calcium, iron, and zinc and decreases protein bioavailability
Conveniently, cooking reduces the beans’ antinutrient content. For example, soaking and boiling beans effectively reduces their antinutrient content. Germination and fermentation also help significantly ( 4 , 13 ).
It’s worth considering that although black beans are a rich source of plant-based protein, they’re not a complete protein source. That means they don’t contain all nine essential amino acids that your body needs from food ( 14 ).
For this reason, it is important to eat a balanced diet with a variety of plant-based foods that will provide all of the essential amino acids — as opposed to eating black beans only.
Black beans contain antinutrients that impair digestion and inhibit mineral absorption, but cooking methods can improve this. Since black beans are not a complete protein source, aim to eat a variety of plant-based foods to get all essential amino acids.
Pinto beans are another bean variety commonly consumed in Mexico. They share many similarities with black beans.
In terms of nutritional content, boiled pinto beans provide virtually the same amount of protein, carbs, fiber, and fat as black beans. They also offer a similar mineral content, with slightly higher amounts of folate, calcium, and copper ( 3 , 15 ).
Pinto beans have a high antioxidant content as well. So, they share many of black beans’ health benefits, including their cholesterol- and blood-sugar-lowering properties ( 16 , 17 , 18 ).
Because they are another type of bean, pinto beans also possess the same antinutrients as black beans ( 12 , 13 ).
This means you should feel free to choose pinto beans over black beans if you like them better — you’ll still enjoy the same health benefits.
Pinto and black beans have similar nutritional profiles and provide the same health benefits.
It’s best to soak dry black beans before cooking them to reduce their antinutrient content. This means that preparing black beans may be a bit time-consuming.
While covering the beans with water and letting them soak overnight is one approach, you can also do a quicker soak.
Here are the directions on how to quick-soak and cook dry black beans:
- Place the beans in a large pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and continue boiling for about 2 minutes. Then, remove the pot from the heat and let the beans sit in there for a couple of hours.
- Drain the beans and place them in a pot with fresh water. Once more, bring the water to a boil. Then, lower the heat and cover.
- Simmer the beans for 2 hours, adding more boiling water if needed. Stir the beans from time to time to prevent them from sticking together or to the pot.
- Once tender, drain the beans. Season with salt or seasoning of choice and enjoy.
Alternatively, canned black beans are an easier, more convenient, and more accessible alternative to cooking dry black beans from scratch. This is because canned beans are precooked.
However, while they’re also highly nutritious, they tend to be high in sodium. Eating too much sodium may contribute to high blood pressure in some people. Be sure to drain and rinse the beans before eating them to reduce their salt content (19).
Black beans make a great addition to salads, curries, and quesadillas. You can also serve them on corn tortillas, mixed with rice, or in chilies or stews.
Cooking black beans is easy but time-consuming. Remember to soak them beforehand to remove some of their antinutrients.
Black beans are among the most frequently consumed dry pulses around the world.
They’re considered nutritional powerhouses that are rich in plant-based protein, fiber, and antioxidants that help manage blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol levels.
Like most legumes, black beans contain antinutrients that may affect your digestion and mineral absorption. Soaking and boiling them before eating reduces their antinutrient content and makes them nice and tender.
Just one thing
Try this today: Black beans are an incredibly versatile ingredient that you can use to prepare both sweet and savory dishes. Though dry black beans are more nutritionally dense, the canned version may also be a good addition to your diet. Check this article on canned black beans nutrition and benefits for when cooking beans from scratch is not an option.
Last medically reviewed on March 23, 2022
Black Beans (Canned)
* The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Last updated: 07 May 20 09:27 PM
Source: FatSecret Platform API
* Based on a RDI of 2000 calories
Common Serving Sizes:
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Black Beans Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist.
Updated on October 03, 2022
Verywell Fit articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and nutrition and exercise healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.
Ayana Habtemariam, MSW, RDN, LDN, is a registered dietitian, nutrition therapist, certified intuitive eating counselor, and macro social worker.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Black beans are a readily available, inexpensive legume packed with protein. They can be enjoyed in many different ways as a tasty part of a nutritious eating plan. While black beans are high in carbohydrates, they are in the form of resistant starch and fiber, which are digested slowly and can provide health benefits.
Black beans are also a good source of iron, thiamin, folate, and other micronutrients. Enjoy black beans in all kinds of dishes, from burritos to brownies.
Black Beans Nutrition Facts
The following nutrition information is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for 1/2 cup of canned black beans (120g).
Black beans are rich in carbohydrates and they are also and excellent source of fiber (both soluble and insoluble). Black beans also do not contain sugar. Instead, they have slowly-digested carbohydrates and resistant starch. This means that the carbohydrates in black beans are slowly converted to glucose, and some are not digested at all.
The glycemic index of a food is an indicator of how much the food may affect your blood glucose level. The glycemic index of black beans depends on how they are prepared. If you soak and boil black beans, the average glycemic index is 20, which is moderately low. If you cook them with a pressure cooker or use canned beans, the glycemic index is approximately 30, which is also moderately low.
The glycemic load takes into account both the glycemic index and the serving size. A serving of 1/2 cup cooked black beans has a glycemic load of 7, which is considered low.
Black beans have very little fat, and most of the fat is polyunsaturated. A 1/2 cup serving of black beans has 90 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids and 108 milligrams of omega-6 fatty acids.
Black beans are protein powerhouses, with 7.3 grams of protein in a 1/2 cup serving. You can enjoy black beans in many dishes to help fulfill your daily protein needs.
Vitamins and Minerals
Black beans are a good source of folate. A half cup serving provides 73mcg or 18% of the daily value (DV). This nutrient is responsible for producing red blood cells and plays a role in preventing neural tube defects during pregnancy.
Black beans are a good source of iron, providing 2.3 mg or 13% of the DV. Additionally, black beans supply 0.28mg of manganese (12% DV), 42 mg of magnesium (10% DV), and 0.17mg of thiamin (14% DV).
If you’re a vegetarian who relies on beans as a source of iron, it is good to know that eating foods with vitamin C, such as citrus fruit and tomatoes, helps increase iron absorption.
Like other legumes, black beans are a good source of lean protein. They also have other nutritional advantages.
Help Regulate Blood Sugar
Research has shown that replacing rapidly digested carbohydrates (such as white rice) with legumes can improve glycemic control in people with diabetes. Resistant starch may even improve insulin sensitivity.
Improve Digestive Health
Foods high in resistant starch may also act as prebiotics, promoting healthy gut flora. Dried beans have more resistant starch than canned beans.
Provide Helpful Antioxidants
Black beans also contain some phytonutrients, mainly polyphenols in the coating. These may be beneficial as antioxidants.
Reduce Risk of Chronic Disease
Studies show that a fiber-rich diet can help maintain weight goals and aid in metabolic health. It can also reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
Provide Plant-Based Protein
For vegans and vegetarians who avoid eating animal proteins, black beans are a good source of protein, iron, and fatty acids.
Black bean allergies are not common but can be a concern for people who are allergic to peanuts or soy (all are legumes). Black beans are closely related to pinto beans, kidney beans, and green beans, so allergies to one may mean you are sensitive to others.
Canned black beans (and other types of beans) tend to be high in sodium. But research has found that simply draining and rinsing canned beans can reduce sodium significantly. Draining beans can reduce sodium up to 36%, whereas rinsing and draining can reduce sodium by 41%. Therefore, if 1/2 cup of canned beans contains about 460 milligrams of sodium, draining and rinsing the beans can reduce the sodium content to about 271 milligrams.
Most dried beans need to be soaked in water before use. Soaking softens and rehydrates the beans, reducing cooking time. In addition, soaking helps remove some of the substances that can cause digestive issues, such as flatulence and gas. Discard the water before cooking.
While most beans are high in FODMAPs (types of carbohydrates that can cause digestive symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome), recent research shows that canned beans are lower in FODMAPs than dried beans.
Black beans are a type of kidney beans, and there are many varieties of black beans, too. The most popular variety is black turtle beans.
Dried beans are inexpensive in comparison to canned beans and are easy to store in bulk. Dried beans have only 1 milligram of sodium in a 1/2 cup serving, while canned beans can have as much as 490 milligrams. Canning also reduces the amount of resistant starch in black beans. The drawback is that dried beans take longer to prepare.
Storage and Food Safety
When buying dried beans, look for whole (not cracked or broken), smooth, shiny beans. Tiny holes in dried beans could mean they are infested with insects. Store in a sealed container in a cool, dry place for up to a year. Once cooked, black beans will keep in the refrigerator for four or five days, and in the freezer for up to six months.
How to Prepare
You can find uses for black beans in every meal of the day. Beans can be puréed and used as a spread or left whole in soups and chilis. They can even be an addition to baked goods such as brownies to add protein and fiber.
Use black beans as a side dish, as a sandwich or potato topper, or blended into a dip for vegetables. You can also add beans to salads and stews for additional iron, protein, and fiber. You can swap black beans for other types of beans (such as pinto or great Northern) in recipes.
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN
Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist, counseling patients with diabetes. Barbie was previously the Advanced Nutrition Coordinator for the Mount Sinai Diabetes and Cardiovascular Alliance and worked in pediatric endocrinology at The Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center.