Beans are an excellent addition to your diet. They are a great protein substitute for meat, especially for vegans or anyone on a plant-based diet. This article shows you the Top 5 Best Beans to Eat to ensure you’re maximizing every potential benefit. 

Beans are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals that have been shown to improve digestive health, reduce inflammation, and maintain a healthy weight.

They come in various types, and each type may differ in its nutrient density. This makes some varieties more beneficial than others, and these are the types you should be eating more often.

This article shows you the best beans to eat. I know you will want to ensure you’re maximizing every potential benefit. 

You will also enjoy My Best Vegan Lentil Recipes and What Is The Best Vegan Milk?

Garbanzo beans

best beans, garbanzo beans in a wooden bowl on a black and white stripe napkin

Commonly known as chickpeas, garbanzo beans are a great source of fiber and protein. They also offer reasonable amounts of folate and manganese, an essential micronutrient needed to produce enzymes and antioxidants in the body and build strong bones and connective tissues.

On the other hand, folate is essential for red blood cell formation and improved cell function.

A cup of cooked garbanzo beans contains about 1.7 milligrams of manganese which provides up to 84 percent of your daily requirements. And 282 micrograms of folate, which provides 71 percent of your everyday needs.

Other nutrients in garbanzo beans include:

  • Protein: 14.5 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 12.5
  • Phosphorus: 28 percent of daily requirements
  • Copper: 29 percent of daily requirements
  • Magnesium: 28 percent of daily requirements
  • Iron: 26 percent of daily requirements
  • Thiamine: 13 percent of daily requirements
  • Zinc: 17 percent of daily requirements
  • Vitamin B6:11 percent of the daily requirement

Regular consumption of garbanzo beans has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity and regulate blood glucose levels, making them suitable for diabetes and insulin resistance.

A study that compared the effects of chickpea-based diet and wheat-based diets on insulin sensitivity over six weeks found that a single chickpea-based meal led to reduced glucose response and insulin concentration compared to a wheat-based meal.

Other benefits of garbanzo beans include early satiety, improved bowel transit, digestive health, healthy cholesterol, and weight loss.

Here are some easy ways to ensure adequate consumption of chickpeas:

  • Stuff them in sandwiches
  • Toss them with pasta
  • Whirl them into humus
  • Mix them with sautéed greens
  • Roast and eat them as a pre-dinner snack
  • Add them to curry
  • Use them as a taco feeling
  • Use them for soups
  • Make a stew
  • Toss them in salads

Black beans

black beans in a wooden bowl on a white background

Also known as turtle beans because of their hard and shiny shell-like appearance, black beans are a common ingredient in Central and South American cuisine.

They are loaded with fiber, protein, and folate but stand out because of their high levels of antioxidants.

They are also rich in other nutrients such as manganese, magnesium, and potassium.

A cup of cooked black beans contains:

  • Protein: 15.2 grams
  • Calories: 227
  • Carbohydrates:8 grams
  • Fiber: 15 grams
  • Fat:9 grams
  • Magnesium: 30 percent of daily requirements
  • Manganese: 38 percent of the daily requirement
  • Folate: 64 percent of daily requirements
  • Phosphorus: 24 percent of the daily requirement
  • Iron: 20 percent of daily requirements
  • Thiamine (vitamin B1): 28 percent of the daily requirement
  • Copper: 18 percent of daily requirements
  • Potassium: 17 percent of the daily requirement
  • Zinc: 1 percent of the daily requirement

The fiber in black beans can reduce total cholesterol and lower the risk for heart disease.

They also have a low Glycemic index, meaning they will not spike your blood glucose after a meal.

Eating black beans with rice has been shown to lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes than when they eat only rice.

Black beans can also improve digestion and boost satiety, thus preventing overeating with subsequent weight loss and healthy weight maintenance.

Black beans are easy to incorporate into your diet. You can enjoy them in soups, burritos, stew, or salads.

Pinto beans

pinto beans in a wooden spoon

Pinto beans are a common variety in the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico. They are often eaten whole or mashed and fried. They are also a common filling in tostadas, burritos, and tacos in Mexican cuisine.

Pinto beans are generally high in fiber, manganese, folate, phosphorus, and protein.

A cup of cooked pinto beans contains approximately:

  • Carbohydrates: 44.8 grams
  • Calories: 245
  • Fiber:4 grams
  • Fat:1 grams
  • Folate: 74 percent of the daily requirement
  • Manganese: 39 percent of the daily requirement
  • Phosphorus: 25 percent of the daily requirement
  • Thiamine: 21 percent of daily requirement
  • Potassium: 21 percent of daily requirement
  • Iron: 20 percent of daily requirement
  • Copper: 19 percent of daily requirement
  • Sodium: 17 percent of daily requirement
  • Selenium: 15 percent of daily requirement
  • Zinc: 11 percent of daily requirement

Eating pinto beans may help promote regularity, lower cholesterol, enhance weight loss, and reduce hunger feelings.

Enjoy them as a vegetable side-dish like sautéed greens, pair them with tortillas or cilantro-lime rice, or top them off with pickled onions or guacamole.

Kidney beans

kidney beans in a wooden spoon

Kidney beans resemble a human kidney in color and shape, hence the name “kidney beans.” It’s a common variety often eaten with rice. It’s rich in fiber, protein, and minerals such as iron, folate, manganese, and copper.

A cup of cooked kidney beans contains:

  • Carbohydrates:7
  • Protein:2
  • Calories: 219
  • Fat:2 grams
  • Folate: 33 percent of the daily requirement
  • Iron: 29 percent of the daily requirement
  • Manganese: 28 percent of the daily requirement
  • Copper: 26 percent of the daily requirement
  • Phosphorus: 24 percent of the daily requirement
  • Potassium: 21percent of the daily requirement
  • Magnesium: 21 percent of the daily requirement
  • Calcium: 10 percent of the daily requirement
  • Iron: 10 percent of the daily requirement

Regular consumption of kidney beans as part of a healthy diet will help lower your risk for anemia, enhance weight loss, stabilize blood glucose, improve digestive health, and promote heart health.

They make an excellent addition to pasta, hot and cold salads, and soups.

Navy beans

navy beans on a wooden spoon

Also known as haricot beans or white pea beans, navy beans are the highest in fiber, with a cup offering 19.1 grams out of the 25-38 daily recommendations.

They also provide good amounts of B vitamins and minerals.

Other nutrients in a cup of cooked navy beans include:

  • Calories: 255
  • Protein: 15 grams
  • Fat:1 grams
  • Carbohydrates:8 grams
  • Fiber:1 grams
  • Folate: 64 percent of daily requirements
  • Manganese: 48 percent of daily requirements
  • Thiamine (vitamin B9): 29 percent of daily requirements
  • Phosphorus: 26 percent of daily requirements
  • Copper: 19 percent of daily requirements
  • Calcium: 13 percent of daily requirements
  • Vitamin B6: 13 percent of daily requirements
  • Zinc: 12 percent of daily requirements

Navy beans’ benefits include reduced cholesterol, improved blood sugar, and weight loss.

Use them in soups, Turkish navy bean salad, stews, baked, or any other favorite recipe.

Try These Amazing Vegan Bean Recipes 

  1. Vegan Chickpea Stew
  2. Vegan Chickpea Curry
  3. Jamaican Stew Peas
  4. Red Peas Soup
  5. Vegan White Bean Soup
  6. British Baked Beans
  7. Instant Pot Pinto Beans
  8. Black Bean Burritos
  9. Black Bean And Millet Salad

In summary

Beans come with many health benefits, including controlled blood sugar levels, improved heart health, better digestive health, and improved weight loss.

However, not all bean varieties offer the same level of benefits. Kidney beans, pinto, navy beans, black beans, and chickpeas are the top 5 to ensure you enjoy your meal but also tap into the benefits beans have to offer

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