There is a huge interest by most people in the health benefits and nutritional value of the foods they eat and to get equally healthy substitutes for what they have always eaten. Beans is a common protein source for many people as an alternative to beef, accordingly, we shall look into the best substitutes for kidney beans.
People are no longer just eating food just because it’s edible; they are eating what they are sure will be beneficial to the health. This is great and should be highly encouraged so as to promote healthy living and getting people to eat the right food.
As we delve into the alternatives we have for kidney beans, we will also enlighten you the health benefits of kidney beans which should be provided by the substitutes in equal measure.
What are Kidney Beans?
This is a type of bean that is very common all over the world and its scientific name is Phaseolus Vulgaris. They have earned the name kidney beans because of their shape and color which is similar to that of a kidney.
There are different classes of kidney beans. These include:
- Red kidney beans which are the most common variety.
- White kidney beans which are similar to red kidney beans except for the color.
- Red speckled kidney beans which have a longer shape and they have some red speckles on them.
- Light speckled kidney beans which also have a longer shape than normal red kidney beans and also have some speckles.
Health Benefits of Kidney Beans
The following are some of the benefits we stand to gain if we consume kidney beans on a regular basis:
1. They Help Prevent Cancer
Studies have shown that the kidney beans can be used to fight cancer. The fiber contained in the kidney beans helps to prevent excessive weight gain. This is beneficial as the bacteria in the gut would feed on this fiber instead of the colon cells.
Foliate in the kidney beans also helps to control the growth of cells in the gut which helps to lower the risk of getting cancer. Kidney beans also contain antioxidants that have been proven to be effective in fighting cancer cells during the early stages.
2. Helps in Diabetes Treatment
Kidney beans have a low glycemic index which makes them very effective in treating diabetes. The extracts from white kidney beans have been known to lower the amount of sugar in the blood thus preventing one from getting diabetes as well as helping diabetic patients avoid getting worse. The starch contained in the kidney beans release carbohydrate very slowly which takes them longer to digest thus avoiding a rapid rise in blood sugar.
3. Kidney Beans Can Help With Weight Loss
If you are looking to lose a few pounds then kidney beans are the food for you. These beans have very low fat and calories content and the extract from the white kidney beans help to inhibit alpha-amylase which is very important when it comes to digestion of food. These beans also contain a lot of protein and fiber which makes you feels fuller for much longer thus preventing you from overeating.
4. They Improve Your Cognitive Health
Kidney beans have been proven to increase a person’s memory. This is because kidney beans contain a lot of vitamin B1 which is associated with a person’s ability to remember things. Vitamin B1 also increases acetylcholine levels in your brain which works as a neurotransmitter thus ensuring that you have a healthy memory.
5. They Reduce Migraines
One of the most common factors that cause migraines is having fluctuating sugar levels in your body. Kidney beans have a lower glycemic index compared to other foods which help them give you a slower rise in your blood sugar levels. This helps to reduce your chances of getting a migraine as they also release very little energy at a time.
6. They Improve Your Cardiovascular Health
What you eat will determine how healthy you will be. Kidney beans offer us very many benefits when it comes to general health as well as our cardiovascular health. The folate content in kidney beans has been known to regulate the level of homocysteine in the body and thus reduce your risk of getting a heart attack or paralysis.
Diabetes also increases your risk of getting heart attacks and kidney beans can effectively treat diabetes and prevent you from suffering a heart attack.
7. Helps Improve Metabolism
Kidney beans contain high amounts of iron which are believed to increase the body’s rate of metabolism. This is because they increase the energy level in your body which causes faster digestion of food as well as burning of fats.
8. They Are Used in the Treatment of Kidney Stones
Kidney beans contain very little sodium which is believed to be how they are able to cure kidney stones. They also have high fiber which helps them in the treatment of diabetes which is related to kidney stones thus preventing you from getting this disease.
9. They Help in Improving Your Sleep
Kidney beans contain tryptophan which is an amino acid that is converted into serotonin once ingested. The serotonin gets converted into melatonin which is a hormone helps to maintain your regular sleep/wake pattern.
This will help increase the quality of sleep you get during the night. This will help to improve your productivity during the day and help you wake up feeling energized and happy. Getting quality sleep will also help in preventing depression and thus give you a happier outlook on things.
Kidney beans also contain magnesium, calcium and vitamin B6 which are also responsible for ensuring that you get better quality sleep on a regular basis.
The Best Substitutes for Kidney Beans
The following are some great ingredients you can use in place of kidney beans in the event that you don’t have them in your house or if you are looking to try something else:
Black beans will add a little bit of Latin flavor to your food. They are rich in fiber as well as protein and are a great alternative for kidney beans on your plate.
Red beans are a great replacement for kidney beans as they have almost the same amount of proteins and other nutrients as those contained in kidney beans. They can be used in making your chili stew instead of kidney beans and can also be incorporated in your soups or salads.
White beans are normally referred to as cannellini beans and they have a subtle nutty flavor. They are great to use in salads, soups or in white chilies in place of kidney beans. They are very nutritious and add a lot of value to your health.
Kidney beans are really beneficial to your health. These beans have low sodium and fat content and thus can be consumed on a daily basis without any major side effects. These beans come in a wide variety of shapes and colors that can greatly compliment your dishes.
Kidney beans have been proven to help in the treatment of a number of diseases including diabetes and heart problems. They can also be used to prevent hypertension as they contain very little sodium.
Another great fact about kidney beans is that they can help us to get better sleep. As you well know by now, quality sleep is important in maintaining our health as well as keeping a great social life.
If you don’t get enough sleep, you will feel tired throughout the day and your mood will be sour which will interfere with how you interact with people throughout the day. Getting good quality sleep will also help to improve your health as you will avoid unnecessary headaches and feeling dizzy and nauseous when you wake up.
Although kidney beans can be easily bout from stores either as dried cereals or in cans, you can use the substitutes for kidney beans that we have given you to change up your diet or even if you find that you have run out of kidneys beans.
These substitutes also contain a lot of proteins as well as fiber which will be beneficial to you. They also add their own individual flavors to your food which is great in changing up your pallet and ensuring your food remains exciting.