Black beans are included in just about every healthy eating plan and diet, and for good reason. These legumes are loaded with heart-healthy nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and protein. Knowing more about the nutrition breakdown of black beans will give you one more reason to incorporate these healthy veggies into your daily menus.
The nutrition content of black beans includes 113.5 calories in each 1/2 -cup cooked portion. If you're eating 1 cup of cooked black beans, you'll be getting 227 calories. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1 cup of black beans equals one serving from the vegetables group, and 1/4 cup of black beans counts as one serving from the protein foods group. The majority of the calories you'll get from black beans comes from carbohydrates and protein.
Carbohydrates and Fiber
Black beans are rich in carbohydrates, as these legumes are starchy vegetables. A 1-cup portion of black beans contains about 41 grams of carbs, including 15 grams of dietary fiber. A 1/2-cup portion of cooked black beans provides about 20.5 grams of total carbs and 7.5 grams of fiber. Because black beans are rich in carbs, these legumes help boost energy and are excellent sources of heart-healthy fiber, which aids in healthy weight management and keeps cholesterol levels (and heart disease risks) in check.
Protein and Fat
Black beans are a good source of protein, providing 15 grams in each 1-cup portion (7.5 grams of protein in a 1/2-cup serving size). The protein in black beans isn't classified as a complete protein because it doesn't contain all essential amino acids, however black beans can be combined with grains, such as brown rice, quinoa or corn, to form a high-quality complete protein. Protein-rich black beans aren't a significant source of dietary fat, containing less than 1 gram of fat per cup.
Vitamins and Minerals
Loaded with a variety of vitamins and minerals, black beans are packed with essential nutrients. They're rich in iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, and folate. These legumes are also a source of (in smaller amounts) B vitamins, calcium, vitamin E and vitamin K.
Choosing Black Beans
You can't go wrong when eating black beans, as these legumes are part of just about any meal plan and diet including vegetarian diets, vegan diets, Mediterranean diets, Weight Watchers diets, reduced-calorie diets, and many more. However, if you're following a low-carb meal plan, use caution when adding black beans to your menu, because black beans and other legumes aren't low-carb foods.