Today you'll learn all about a delicious, nutritious, and versatile legume, the pinto bean.
This bean is an excellent source of plant protein and fiber. It also offers an impressive array of vitamins and minerals, including several Foundation Supplements.
In addition to learning about how the mighty pinto bean can benefit your bones and overall health, you'll get a hearty pH-balanced soup recipe.
All About Pinto Beans
The pinto bean is easily recognized by its coloration. The light brown beans look as though they've been splattered with a darker brown color. But when cooked, they turn an even shade of light pink.
Pinto beans originated in Central and South America and are now the most popular bean by crop production in the American Southwest and Northern Mexico. You can get them dried or canned.
If you get canned beans make sure the cans are BPA free, because it is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that can have negative impacts on your thyroid and other bodily systems.1
If you buy dried beans then they should be rinsed and presoaked before cooking. You simply place the beans in a saucepan with a few cups of water. Then you can bring the beans to a boil for two minutes, remove the pan from heat, cover, and let it stand for two hours. Conversely, you can just let the beans sit in water for eight hours or overnight. Then drain and rinse before cooking.
These beans are great in chili recipes, sauteed with spices and mashed into a spread or dip, used as the base for a burrito or quesadilla, in soups, as part of a lunch bowl, or cooked with vegetables.
Pinto beans can be used in a wide variety of recipes, from burritos to soups, to spreads. If you buy them canned, make sure the cans are BPA-free. If you buy dried beans, then rinse and presoak before cooking.
Nutritional Breakdown Of Pinto Beans
Pinto beans are an excellent source of a variety of nutrients. In the list below you'll see that a single cup of pinto beans provides a whopping 285 percent of the daily recommended intake (DRI) of molybdenum, which is an essential component of the bone-protective antioxidant superoxide dismutase.
What you won't notice in this list is fat. That's because pinto beans are a naturally low-fat food, with only a single gram of fat per serving.
In one cup of pinto beans you'll get:
- Molybdenum – 128.25mcg – 285% DRI
- Magnesium – 85.50mg – 20% DRI
- Iron – 3.57mg – 20% DRI
- Copper – 0.37mg – 41% DRI
- Phosphorus – 251.37mg – 36% DRI
- Manganese – 0.77mg – 33% DRI
- Folate – 294.12mcg – 74% DRI
- B Vitamins – 0.33mg – 28% DRI
- Vitamin B6 – 0.39mg – 23% DRI
- Protein – 15.41g – 31% DRI
- Fiber – 15.39g – 55% DRI
Pinto beans contain a wide variety of nutrients and are nutritionally dense. They are a particularly good source of molybdenum, folate, and fiber.
Health Benefits Of Pinto Beans
The high nutrient density of pinto beans translates into significant and wide-ranging health benefits. Here are some of the major benefits of eating these powerful legumes.
Increase Your Longevity – A cup of pinto beans provides more than half of the fiber you need each day. A high fiber intake has been linked to lower mortality rates, and specifically helps to avoid an early death from heart disease, cancer, digestive conditions, and other inflammatory health issues.2
Stabilize Your Blood Sugar – The fiber content of pinto beans also makes them a great source of energy that won't spike your blood sugar levels. They have a glycemic load of just 10, making them a low glycemic food that will have little effect on your blood glucose levels.
Reduce Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease – In addition to their nutritional profile, pinto beans are a source of antioxidant flavonoids. A study of cardiovascular disease risk found that people who consumed more flavonoids were less likely to die of the disease. Even a small amount of flavonoids made a difference.3
Prevent Obesity – Replacing other energy-dense foods with legumes has been found to help prevent and manage obesity and related disorders, according to a study published in Obesity Reviews. Those researchers found that it also reduced obesity related comorbidities like diabetes and metabolic syndrome. 4
Making pinto beans a part of your pH-balance diet can help you live longer, stabilize your blood sugar, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and prevent obesity.
Pinto Beans And Bone Health
The bone health benefits of pinto beans are derived from many of the positive effects described above. Their surplus of molybdenum is an excellent example. By providing your body with plenty of this compound, you fuel the production of superoxide dismutase. This antioxidant prevents oxidation that can damage bone cells and interrupt the bone remodeling process.
The lifespan-lengthening benefits of fiber also help protect your bones. Fiber is anti-inflammatory, a quality that supports healthy aging including keeping your bones strong. A study on the relationship between dietary fiber intake and bone loss found that a high-fiber diet helped study subjects maintain their bone mass.5
Even though pinto beans are acidifying, they are an excellent addition to a pH-balanced diet due to the generous portions of Foundation Supplements that they provide. An excellent example is manganese. One cup (8 oz) of pinto beans provides a third of your daily recommended intake of this bone-building mineral, making pinto beans a Foundation Food as listed in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program.
Pinto beans help you maintain and protect your bones. Their molybdenum content supports the production of bone-protective antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory fiber helps maintain bone mass. Even though they're acidifying, they're a great source of Foundation Supplement manganese.
A Protein-Rich Soup Featuring Pinto Beans
This tasty soup contains many bone-healthy alkalizing vegetables that give it dimension and flavor. The addition of quinoa makes it a protein powerhouse. Quinoa is a complete protein, providing all the amino acids your body needs to build and maintain muscle. Of course, pinto beans– the only acidifying ingredient in this pH-balanced soup– are also an excellent source of plant protein.
Power Me Up Soup
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced small
- 1½ cups cauliflower florets, chopped
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 2 cups pinto beans, cooked and drained
- ½ cup quinoa, cooked
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
- 5 ½ cups vegetable broth or water (adjust to desired consistency)
- Lemon juice to taste
- Heat oil in a pot, and add the celery, onion, and squash. Saute on medium-high heat until soft.
- Add minced garlic and herbal seasoning. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the bell pepper, zucchini, tomato, and pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add water or vegetable broth, black pepper, and salt to taste, and mix well.
- Bring it to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until it reaches desired consistency.
- Add the cooked pinto beans and quinoa, then simmer for about 5 minutes.
What This Means To You
Make pinto beans a part of your diet. One of the great things about beans is that they are often easy to substitute for one another. So if you have another bean-based recipe you love, try it with pinto beans, or even a mixture of your favorite legumes.
Variety is an essential feature of a healthy diet. The Save Institute created Bone Appétit, our recipe book and meal planner, to help you continue to expand the ingredients you use and the dishes you prepare.
That expansiveness will give your body access to a wider variety of nutrients, antioxidants, and compounds that will keep your bones strong and your body youthful.