White Kidney Beans’ Nutrition
White kidney beans are also known as cannellini beans or fazolia beans. They are available dry or canned and are featured in traditional Italian recipes. The beans are a protein-rich starchy vegetable, full of vitamins, minerals and an excellent source of dietary fiber, yet low in fat. Adding them to your diet offers a variety of health benefits, such as promoting digestive health and preventing heart disease.
Vitamins and Minerals
A 228 g serving of cooked white kidney beans offers 704 mg or 29.4 percent of the daily value for sodium, 15.5 percent of the daily value for iron and 8.1 percent for calcium. The serving also contains 564 mg of potassium, 214 mg of phosphorus, 64 mg of magnesium and trace amounts of other minerals including zinc, copper, selenium and molybdenum. Beans are also a good source of B vitamins including folate, niacin, pantothenic acid and thiamin. One serving of white products contains 4.8 percent of the daily value for vitamin C.
Kidney beans, like other beans and legumes, are rich in both types of dietary fiber; soluble and insoluble. A 1 cup serving of them, cooked, meets roughly 45 percent of the Recommended Daily Intake for fiber. Both forms of fiber offer health benefits. In the digestive tract, soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance that binds with cholesterol-containing bile and carries it out of the body. Insoluble fiber may also help to prevent common digestive disorders such as diverticulosis and irritable bowel syndrome. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, helps to prevent constipation and improves laxation by increasing stool bulk.
Carbohydrates and Protein
Fiber-rich diets help promote healthy cholesterol levels and lower cholesterol. According to a meta-analysis published in the “Journal of the American Medical Association” in October 2002, if all Americans consumed folate-rich diets, or those that met 100 percent of the DV for this nutrient, it would reduce the number of heart attacks by 10 to 11 percent each year due to the reduction in circulating homocysteine. In addition to offering benefits for the digestive and cardiovascular systems, the soluble fiber found in white kidney bean helps stabilize blood sugar levels.
According to the FDA, white ones contain about one-third the levels of hemagglutinin found in red ones, but still enough to pose a concern. Cooked white kidney beans are a nutritious food, but soaked raw or undercooked beans present a health risk. Kidney beans contain high levels of a chemical called phytohaemagglutinin, which causes a form of food poisoning characterized by nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.