Variety is always a good idea when it comes to food! This is also the case for beans. They are known for their human and environmental health benefits, but not all beans are created equal.
Nutritional Differences Among Beans
A recent study by Carbas and colleagues (2020) assessed factors such as the protein content and antioxidant activity of several bean cultivars. Ultimately, they found that protein and antioxidants in beans varied among cultivars (i.e., types of beans).
This is exciting! Why?
Because it provides an opportunity to incorporate a wide variety of beans in your dietary pattern and reap diverse benefits. In this study, the particular cultivars of navy and pink eyed beans tested had higher protein levels than other cultivars. Then, beans like red kidney had higher antioxidant activity.
This means that enjoying a wide variety of beans and other pulses can provide the most health benefits for you. It’s also a great chance for the food industry to use different cultivars for unique purposes. For example, cultivars with higher protein may be ideal for enriching plant-based products. Or, cultivars with high antioxidant activity can be used as functional ingredients to improve the health-promoting qualities of foods.
Of course, I’m biased – I still think it is the most fun to take this into your own hands. Make it a culinary adventure and have fun experimenting with different beans in the kitchen! And if you’re looking for recipes, you know where to go! 😉