Healthy Eating

Black Beans Vs Pinto Nutrition: Which One Wins?

September 23, 2021

Beans are one of the most versatile, nutritious, and widely consumed legumes in the world. Even more, most bean varieties are very inexpensive. Beans are an awesome option for a number of reasons, one of which is that they are one of the best plant-based sources of protein, clocking in at an average of 15 grams per cup. There are many types of bean varieties and each one offers slightly different flavors and nutritional benefits. Today we are taking a closer look at two of the most popular, black beans and pinto beans.

Black beans

These small, black, oval-shaped legumes are a dense, hearty option to add to your next dish. Also known as the turtle bean, the black bean has a light cream-colored center, robust flavor and, depending on how it’s prepared, a slightly grainy taste.

Black beans are a common addition to many staple dishes popular in the Caribbean, Central and South America. They can also be found in the Cajun and Creole dishes of the Southeastern United States. Gumbo, jambalaya and chili recipes all typically call for black beans because they do an excellent job at taking on the flavor of the spices and herbs they are cooked with, without getting mushy or overcooked.

Health benefits of black beans

The most notable of all the nutritional benefits of black beans are the 15 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber in each 1-cup serving. This combination helps you feel fuller longer. In addition, consistent consumption of foods filled with fiber and protein will help keep you from feeling sluggish and lethargic, so adding black beans to your diet can help you power through your daily to-do list. Black beans also contain numerous other vitamins and minerals including calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, folate, copper, manganese, and B vitamins. A diet rich in black beans can do wonders for your health including:

  • Regulating blood sugar
  • Reducing risk of certain types of cancer
  • Improving eye health
  • Reducing risk of a heart attack
  • Helping in weight maintenance

chart explaining the health benefits of black beans

Pinto beans

into beans are slightly larger than black beans with a creamy, nutty, earthy flavor, making them a popular choice for mashed bean dips. “Pinto” is the Spanish word for “painted” which is a name that reflects the distinct brown and caramel coloring of the bean’s exterior. Pinto beans originated in Peru and eventually made their way into present day central America. Today, these popular beans are a staple in Southwestern American and Mexican cuisines and are commonly found in commercial food products, most popularly refried beans.

Health benefits of pinto beans

Like black beans, 1-cup of pinto beans is packed with 15 grams of protein and fiber along with many other vitamins and minerals. These beans boast high levels of thiamine (vitamin B1), iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and small amounts of other B vitamins, zinc, and calcium. So, what do all of these vitamins and minerals do for your health? When added to your diet, pinto beans can provide serious health benefits including:

  • Helping in weight maintenance
  • Improving heart health
  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Supporting glycemic control
  • Reducing risk of certain types of cancer

Pro tip: Beans contain a few compounds that make them harder to digest (and often lead to bloating and gas), but soaking them overnight and then rinsing them can help remove some of these compounds and make them easier to digest.
chart explaining the health benefits of pinto beans

Which one wins?

Both the black bean and the pinto bean are versatile options offering great nutritional benefits. To help you incorporate more beans into your diet, we’ve pulled together some of our favorite recipes that include beans.  At the end of the day, it boils down to which bean you prefer – the pinto bean with the nuttier, smoother texture, or the heartier black bean with the more robust flavor?

Choose one (or all!) to make this month and reap some of the amazing benefits that these magical beans have to offer!

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