Black Beans Vs Kidney Beans | Which is Healthier?

Even the cavemen under the rocks must have known the amazing health benefits that beans provide. For vegans or those who heavily prefer having vegetarian food, the importance of beans as one of the key sources of protein cannot be dismissed.

Generally, beans come from the family of a flowering plant Fabaceae, which is also interchangeably called Leguminosae. There is a decent variety of beans (read the difference between black beans and pinto beans) one may find in their local markets. However, beans do alter a bit in terms of their nutrients profile and taste from one type to another. 

So, what is the point of comparing the type of beans? Well, owing to the region of their origin and the climate that majorly favor their production, beans have a lot to contribute to the tastes that we grow up with. Different beans have different textures and tastes, which decides if you should use them in a particular dish or not. Comparing the two most popular varieties of beans: Black beans and red kidney beans- here is a detailed guide.

Red Kidney Beans vs Black Beans Origin:

Black Beans vs Red Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are not only popular but also the most commonly found bean. As the name suggests, kidney beans are shaped like kidneys and are larger than black beans. They are typically red in color, but the tone of the red varies from dark brownish red to light red. Not only are these beans prominent, but they are also quite more turgid than the other beans with a lighter shade.

Being one of the most anciently known beans, the red kidney beans were discovered by European explorers in Peru. Thereafter the bean was propagated to other parts of the globe. Even today, red kidney beans are essential to the diet of Central America, India, and Mexico.

Black Beans are also popularly known as turtle beans and frijoles negros (Spanish). Scientifically named Phaseolus vulgaris, they have been a part of the North American diet as a staple for over 7000 years now. Black Beans are added to a number of recipes for improving their nutritional value, details of which have been discussed ahead. 

What Makes The Black Beans vs The Red Kidney Beans Popular?

Health Benefits of Black Beans:

Health Benefits of Black Beans

Black beans have been associated with improving cardiovascular health for a longer time in history. The quercetin and saponin content of the black beans are known to protect the heart. While quercetin acts as a natural and organic anti-inflammatory substance to reduce the risk of artery plaquing and other potential damages due to LDL cholesterol, saponins keep the levels of blood lipid and cholesterol under check. Combined, the benefits of these two are made for your heart! 

The balance of minerals in beans also makes it one of the most valuable foods for your overall growth and development. Alpha-linolenic acid of black beans is useful in maintaining brain functions and preventing the hardening of blood vessels. Calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, manganese, and zinc present in black beans are essential for the health and protection of the skeletal structure. 

Not just the skeletal system, black beans are also extremely useful in improving the gut flora of the digestive system besides aiding bowel movement. The antioxidants properties of black beans reduce the risk of intestinal cancers besides vitalizing immunity action in the body. Black beans also assist in reducing fat accumulation in the midsection.

Health Benefits of Kidney Beans:

Health Benefits of Kidney Beans

Kidney beans, on the other hand, are also rich in antioxidants and safeguard your colon from potential risks of developing cancer. The red coloring pigment in kidney beans is called anthocyanin, which can empower you in fighting aging, diseases, and oxidative stress. The low calorie and high fiber nutritional profile of kidney beans makes them essential in aiding weight loss. 

They keep you full for a longer time which helps in controlling unnecessary cravings throughout the day. Not just weight loss, kidney beans can also help consumers in the everyday maintenance of lean body mass. It is possible due to two reasons- generous protein content and assistance in reducing blood sugar spikes. 

Moreover, red kidney beans are a vital source of vitamin B1, which is cursory in developing a healthy cognitive response. Through the synthesis of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, B1 plays an important role in improving cerebral memory and focusing capabilities. Kidney bean is a superfood for your brain. 

The manganese present in red kidney beans acts as a cofactor in various internal body activities like development, energy production, regulation of cranial function, and immunity. Kidney beans are also a reliable source of folate that checks the level of homocysteine in the body. Higher levels of homocysteine have been mostly identified in causing severe heart diseases. Therefore, consumption of kidney beans ensures good heart health as well.

Black Beans vs Kidney Beans Taste and Texture 

Though the two beans are siblings from a common plant family, their taste and textures vary significantly. 

Black Beans are quite firm and have an “earthy” texture. The turtle beans look medium in size and are black in tone with an oval shape. You may chiefly find black beans in several Caribbean dishes. However, they are also evidently famous in Central and South American cooking. The beans take around one to 1 ½ hour to cook and deliver a smoother, earthier, and heartier taste.

They make the food healthy besides adding a mild and sweet taste to it. Dishes cooked with black beans have a creamier consistency because black beans acquire a softer and floury texture when cooked. They make for a great addition to salsas, dips, stews, soups, and boiled veggie salads. Moreover, one can prepare burritos, tacos, and tostadas of black beans as well.

Kidney beans are lighter in color and softer than black beans. They do not have a prominent flavor of their own as black beans do. Generally, they soak up the flavor of the dish that they are added to. Eating them without seasoning or spice-based cooking may taste typically bland to mention. However, their plain taste makes them one of the most versatile beans to add to your food, especially those having a contrastingly spicy or salty tone. If you visually inspect the kidney bean, it appears larger and plumper than the medium-sized black bean.

Kidney beans are about ¾ inch large and maroon in shade. They take 30 mins longer than black beans to cook but despite the longer duration, they do not lose their shape in the pan. Kidney beans can be served with rice, cereals, salads, and bread

Black Beans Vs Kidney Beans Nutritional Value 

Macronutrients in Kidney Beans vs Black Beans:

ParticularKidney BeansBlack Beans
Serving size 100 grams 100 grams 
Calories121 91
Protein 8.1 grams 6 grams 
Saturated fat0.33 grams 0.08 grams 
Carbohydrates20.8 grams16.6 grams
Fibers6 gram6.9 grams

As you must have grasped an understanding of the macronutrient values of both the beans, it is important to measure and balance your portions according to the diet plan you are following. Another key ingredient in the beans is the natural sugar content. Per 100 grams serving of black bean has 0.23g of sugar whereas kidney bean has no significant amounts.  The two siblings are virtually similar in what they have to offer to your diet except for the texture they add to your dishes. 

Speaking of Micronutrients in Kidney beans Vs Black Beans, most of them are approximately the same in concentration. However, the beans do vary in typical reserves of certain vitamins and minerals. Black beans have greater Thiamin, Folate, and magnesium than kidney beans, whereas the latter has more Vitamin K, Vitamin B6. Calcium, Iron, Potassium, and Copper than black ones.

Protein Content in Black Bean Vs Kidney Beans

As we have tabulated above, per 100 gram serving of kidney beans offers 8.1 grams of protein whereas black beans offer 6 grams. But the quality of protein is decided by the amino acid profile of each bean. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. 

Of the 20 amino acids that build protein, nine are categorized as essential and need to be consumed through diet. Five of the remaining eleven amino acids can be made in the human body and the other six have conditional usage as essential only till a certain stage of growth. 

The essential amino acids are isoleucine, leucine, histidine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, valine, threonine, and tryptophan. 

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Let’s have a look at the amino acid profile of black beans vs kidney beans. 

Name RDA (mg)Kidney Beans Black Beans
For a 70kgs personmg per 100 g serving mg per 100 g serving 
Tryptophan 280 270260
Threonine 1050950910
Isoleucine1400990950
Leucine 273018001730
Lysine210015501480
Methionine1050340330
Phenylalanine 175012201170
Valine 182011801130
Histidine 700630600

About 150-200 grams of Kidney beans as well as black beans can meet the daily amino acid needs of a 70 kgs person quite well. Methionine content in all beans and legumes is significantly lower, therefore you need to team it up with more sources to accomplish your RDA. 

Final Words

From a fair judgment- taste and texture mark the significant difference between black beans vs red kidney beans. As for nutritional values, back beans have slightly greater amounts of fats and sugars whereas kidney beans have more fiber and potassium.

To lower the oligosaccharide content in black beans, you can soak and sprout them. So technically, even the cooking of the beans generates a difference in nutrition. That being said- remember- do not eat kidney beans without cooking- it could be harmful.

My life literally revolves around optimum health and sustainable living by being a devotional vegan. My mission is to create a community of like minded vegans to go forth in creating a better and brighter world for humans, animals and the planet. Just like Gandhi once said: “The greatness of a nation and it’s moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Gandhi

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