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PUMPKIN SEEDS

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1. Full of Valuable Nutrients

Pumpkin seeds are the edible seeds of a pumpkin. They are also known as “pepita”—a Mexican Spanish term.

Unlike the hard white seeds from a carving pumpkin, most pumpkin seeds bought from the supermarket do not have a shell.

These shell-free seeds are flat and oval in shape and have a green color.

This is what whole (white) and shell-free (green) pumpkin seeds look like:

There are roughly 151 calories in an ounce (28 grams) of shell-free pumpkin seeds, mainly from fat and protein.

In addition, a 1-oz (28-gram) serving contains (1):

Fiber: 1.7 grams.
Carbs: 5 grams.
Protein: 7 grams.
Fat: 13 grams (6 of which are omega-6s).
Vitamin K: 18 percent of the RDI.
Phosphorous: 33 percent of the RDI.
Manganese: 42 percent of the RDI.
Magnesium: 37 percent of the RDI.
Iron: 23 percent of the RDI.
Zinc: 14 percent of the RDI.
Copper: 19 percent of the RDI.

They also contain lots of antioxidants and a decent amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids, potassium, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and folate.

Pumpkin seeds and seed oil also contain many other nutrients that have been shown to provide health benefits (2, 3).

Bottom Line: Pumpkin seeds are rich in antioxidants, iron, zinc, magnesium and many other nutrients. An ounce (28 grams) contains about 151 calories.

2. High in Antioxidants

Pumpkin seeds contain antioxidants like carotenoids and vitamin E (4, 5, 6).

Antioxidants can reduce inflammation and protect your cells from harmful free radicals. Because of this, consuming foods rich in antioxidants can help protect against many different diseases (7).

It is thought that the high levels of antioxidants in pumpkins seeds are partly responsible for their positive effects on health.

In one study, inflammation was reduced when rats with arthritis were given pumpkin seed oil. Rats given an anti-inflammatory drug experienced negative side effects, whereas rats given pumpkin seed oil had no side effects (8).

Bottom Line: Pumpkin seeds are full of antioxidants that may help protect against disease and reduce inflammation.

3. Linked to a Reduced Risk of Certain Cancers

Diets rich in pumpkin seeds have been associated with lower levels of stomach, breast, lung, prostate and colon cancers (5).

A large observational study found that eating them was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women (9).

Others studies suggest that the lignans in pumpkin seeds may play a key role in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer (10).

Further test-tube studies found that a supplement containing pumpkin seeds had the potential to slow down the growth of prostate cancer cells (11, 12).

Bottom Line: Some evidence suggests that pumpkin seeds may help to prevent certain cancers.

4. Improve Prostate and Bladder Health

Pumpkin seeds may help relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition where the prostate gland enlarges and can cause problems with urination.

Several studies in humans found that eating these seeds reduced symptoms that are associated with BPH (13).

A study of over 1,400 men looked at the effects of consuming pumpkin seeds on BPH. After one year, men receiving them reported reduced symptoms and a better quality of life (14).

There is also research to suggest that taking pumpkin seeds or their products as supplements can help treat symptoms of an overactive bladder.

One study found that taking a supplement of 10 grams of pumpkin seed extract daily improved urinary function in 45 men and women with overactive bladders (15).

Bottom Line: Pumpkin seeds may reduce symptoms of benign prostate enlargement and an overactive bladder.

5. Very High in Magnesium

Pumpkin seeds are one of the best natural sources of magnesium. This is important, since magnesium deficiency is common in many Western countries.

In the US, around 79 percent of adults had a magnesium intake below the recommended daily amount (16).

Magnesium is necessary for more than 600 chemical reactions in the body. Adequate levels of magnesium are important for:

Controlling blood pressure (17).

Reducing heart disease risk (18).

Forming and maintaining healthy bones (19).

Regulating blood sugar levels (20, 21).

Bottom Line: Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of magnesium. Healthy magnesium levels are important for your blood pressure, heart health, bone health and blood sugar levels.

6. May Improve Heart Health

Pumpkin seeds are a good source of antioxidants, magnesium, zinc and fatty acids, all of which may help keep your heart healthy (22).

Animal studies have also shown that pumpkin seed oil can help reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.

These are two important risk factors for heart disease (23, 24).

A study involving 35 postmenopausal women found that pumpkin seed oil supplements reduced diastolic blood pressure by 7 percent and increased the “good” HDL cholesterol by 16 percent over a 12-week period (25).

Other studies suggest that it may be the nitric oxide enzymes contained in pumpkin seed oil that are responsible for its positive effects on heart health (26).

Nitric oxide helps expand blood vessels, improving blood flow and reducing the risk of plaque growth in the arteries.

Bottom Line: Nutrients in pumpkin seeds may help keep your heart healthy by reducing blood pressure and increasing good cholesterol.

Read page 1

7. Can Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Animal studies have shown that pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed powder and pumpkin juice can reduce blood sugar (27, 28).

This is especially important for people with diabetes, who may struggle to control their blood sugar levels.

Several studies have found that supplementing the diet with pumpkin juice or seed powder reduced blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes (28).

The high magnesium content of pumpkin seeds may be responsible for its positive effect on diabetes.

An observational study involving over 127,000 men and women found that diets rich in magnesium were associated with a 33 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes in men and a 34 percent lower risk in women (29).

More research is needed to confirm this beneficial effect on blood sugar levels.

Bottom Line: Pumpkin seeds may help reduce blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes. However, more research is needed.

8. Very High in Fiber

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of dietary fiber. Whole seeds provide 5.2 grams of fiber in a single 1-oz (28-gram) serving.

However, pumpkin kernels with the shell removed contain 1.7 grams of fiber per ounce. These are the green pumpkin seeds available in most supermarkets.

A diet high in fiber can promote good digestive health.

In addition, high-fiber diets have been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity (30).

Bottom Line: Whole pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of fiber. Diets high in fiber are associated with many health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

9. May Improve Sperm Quality

Low zinc levels are associated with reduced sperm quality and an increased risk of infertility in men (31).

Since pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc, they may help improve sperm quality.

Evidence from one study in mice suggests they may also help protect human sperm from damage caused by chemotherapy and autoimmune diseases (32).

Pumpkin seeds are also high in antioxidants and other nutrients that can contribute to healthy testosterone levels and improve overall health.

Together, all these factors may benefit fertility levels and reproductive function, especially in men.

Bottom Line: The high zinc content of pumpkin seeds may help improve sperm quality and fertility in men.

10. May Help Improve Sleep

If you have trouble sleeping, you may want to eat some pumpkin seeds before bed. They’re a natural source of tryptophan, an amino acid that can help promote sleep.

Consuming around 1 gram of tryptophan daily is thought to help improve sleep (33).

However, you would need to eat around 7 oz (200 grams) of pumpkin seeds to get the necessary 1 gram of tryptophan.

The zinc in these seeds can also help convert tryptophan to serotonin, which is then changed into melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep cycle.

In addition, pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium. Adequate magnesium levels have also been associated with better sleep (34).

Some small studies have found that taking a magnesium supplement improved sleep quality and total sleep time in people with low magnesium levels (35, 36).

Bottom Line: Pumpkin seeds are a good source of tryptophan, zinc and magnesium, all of which help promote good sleep.

11. Easy to Add to Your Diet

If you’d like to experience the benefits of pumpkin seeds, they’re easy to incorporate into your diet.

In many countries, they’re a popular snack that can be eaten either raw or roasted, salted or unsalted.

As well as eating them alone, you can add them to smoothies or to Greek yogurt and fruit.

You could incorporate them into meals by sprinkling them into salads, soups or cereals. Some people use pumpkin seeds in baking, as an ingredient for sweet or savory bread and cakes.

However, as with many seeds and nuts, they contain phytic acid, which can reduce the bioavailability of some nutrients you eat.

If you eat seeds and nuts regularly, you may want to soak or sprout them to reduce the phytic acid content. Roasting them may also help.

Bottom Line: Pumpkin seeds can be easily incorporated into the diet as a snack or as an additional ingredient in meals or baking.

Do Pumpkin Seeds Have Any Other Benefits?

The rich nutrient content of pumpkin seeds means they may provide many other health benefits, such as improved energy, mood and immune function.

Eating them can help solve dietary deficiencies and may protect against various health problems.

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DescriptionBuy Pumpkin seek at ECOFOODLLC.COM To buy Pumpkin seek in Bulk, please send us a quote request by filling out the form. We provide a wide range of logistics options in transporting your products from the factory warehouse to your desired destination. Our Shipping rates are determined by the distance between storage warehouse and your delivery point, plus any additional taxes imposed by local authorities. The total shipping & handling cost will be listed under Order SummaryBuy Sunflower Seeds at ECOFOODLLC.COM To buy Kidney Beans in Bulk, please send us a quote request by filling out the form. We provide a wide range of logistics options in transporting your products from the factory warehouse to your desired destination. Our Shipping rates are determined by the distance between storage warehouse and your delivery point, plus any additional taxes imposed by local authorities. The total shipping & handling cost will be listed under Order SummaryBuy Soybean Seeds at ECOFOODLLC.COM To buy Soybean Seeds in Bulk, please send us a quote request by filling out the form. We provide a wide range of logistics options in transporting your products from the factory warehouse to your desired destination. Our Shipping rates are determined by the distance between storage warehouse and your delivery point, plus any additional taxes imposed by local authorities. The total shipping & handling cost will be listed under Order SummaryBuy Kidney Beans at ECOFOODLLC.COM To buy Kidney Beans in Bulk, please send us a quote request by filling out the form. We provide a wide range of logistics options in transporting your products from the factory warehouse to your desired destination. Our Shipping rates are determined by the distance between storage warehouse and your delivery point, plus any additional taxes imposed by local authorities. The total shipping & handling cost will be listed under Order Summary
Content1. Full of Valuable Nutrients Pumpkin seeds are the edible seeds of a pumpkin. They are also known as “pepita"—a Mexican Spanish term. Unlike the hard white seeds from a carving pumpkin, most pumpkin seeds bought from the supermarket do not have a shell. These shell-free seeds are flat and oval in shape and have a green color. This is what whole (white) and shell-free (green) pumpkin seeds look like: There are roughly 151 calories in an ounce (28 grams) of shell-free pumpkin seeds, mainly from fat and protein. In addition, a 1-oz (28-gram) serving contains (1): Fiber: 1.7 grams. Carbs: 5 grams. Protein: 7 grams. Fat: 13 grams (6 of which are omega-6s). Vitamin K: 18 percent of the RDI. Phosphorous: 33 percent of the RDI. Manganese: 42 percent of the RDI. Magnesium: 37 percent of the RDI. Iron: 23 percent of the RDI. Zinc: 14 percent of the RDI. Copper: 19 percent of the RDI. They also contain lots of antioxidants and a decent amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids, potassium, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and folate. Pumpkin seeds and seed oil also contain many other nutrients that have been shown to provide health benefits (2, 3). Bottom Line: Pumpkin seeds are rich in antioxidants, iron, zinc, magnesium and many other nutrients. An ounce (28 grams) contains about 151 calories. 2. High in Antioxidants Pumpkin seeds contain antioxidants like carotenoids and vitamin E (4, 5, 6). Antioxidants can reduce inflammation and protect your cells from harmful free radicals. Because of this, consuming foods rich in antioxidants can help protect against many different diseases (7). It is thought that the high levels of antioxidants in pumpkins seeds are partly responsible for their positive effects on health. In one study, inflammation was reduced when rats with arthritis were given pumpkin seed oil. Rats given an anti-inflammatory drug experienced negative side effects, whereas rats given pumpkin seed oil had no side effects (8). Bottom Line: Pumpkin seeds are full of antioxidants that may help protect against disease and reduce inflammation. 3. Linked to a Reduced Risk of Certain Cancers Diets rich in pumpkin seeds have been associated with lower levels of stomach, breast, lung, prostate and colon cancers (5). A large observational study found that eating them was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women (9). Others studies suggest that the lignans in pumpkin seeds may play a key role in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer (10). Further test-tube studies found that a supplement containing pumpkin seeds had the potential to slow down the growth of prostate cancer cells (11, 12). Bottom Line: Some evidence suggests that pumpkin seeds may help to prevent certain cancers. 4. Improve Prostate and Bladder Health Pumpkin seeds may help relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition where the prostate gland enlarges and can cause problems with urination. Several studies in humans found that eating these seeds reduced symptoms that are associated with BPH (13). A study of over 1,400 men looked at the effects of consuming pumpkin seeds on BPH. After one year, men receiving them reported reduced symptoms and a better quality of life (14). There is also research to suggest that taking pumpkin seeds or their products as supplements can help treat symptoms of an overactive bladder. One study found that taking a supplement of 10 grams of pumpkin seed extract daily improved urinary function in 45 men and women with overactive bladders (15). Bottom Line: Pumpkin seeds may reduce symptoms of benign prostate enlargement and an overactive bladder. 5. Very High in Magnesium Pumpkin seeds are one of the best natural sources of magnesium. This is important, since magnesium deficiency is common in many Western countries. In the US, around 79 percent of adults had a magnesium intake below the recommended daily amount (16). Magnesium is necessary for more than 600 chemical reactions in the body. Adequate levels of magnesium are important for: Controlling blood pressure (17). Reducing heart disease risk (18). Forming and maintaining healthy bones (19). Regulating blood sugar levels (20, 21). Bottom Line: Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of magnesium. Healthy magnesium levels are important for your blood pressure, heart health, bone health and blood sugar levels. 6. May Improve Heart Health Pumpkin seeds are a good source of antioxidants, magnesium, zinc and fatty acids, all of which may help keep your heart healthy (22). Animal studies have also shown that pumpkin seed oil can help reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. These are two important risk factors for heart disease (23, 24). A study involving 35 postmenopausal women found that pumpkin seed oil supplements reduced diastolic blood pressure by 7 percent and increased the “good" HDL cholesterol by 16 percent over a 12-week period (25). Other studies suggest that it may be the nitric oxide enzymes contained in pumpkin seed oil that are responsible for its positive effects on heart health (26). Nitric oxide helps expand blood vessels, improving blood flow and reducing the risk of plaque growth in the arteries. Bottom Line: Nutrients in pumpkin seeds may help keep your heart healthy by reducing blood pressure and increasing good cholesterol. Read page 1 7. Can Lower Blood Sugar Levels Animal studies have shown that pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed powder and pumpkin juice can reduce blood sugar (27, 28). This is especially important for people with diabetes, who may struggle to control their blood sugar levels. Several studies have found that supplementing the diet with pumpkin juice or seed powder reduced blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes (28). The high magnesium content of pumpkin seeds may be responsible for its positive effect on diabetes. An observational study involving over 127,000 men and women found that diets rich in magnesium were associated with a 33 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes in men and a 34 percent lower risk in women (29). More research is needed to confirm this beneficial effect on blood sugar levels. Bottom Line: Pumpkin seeds may help reduce blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes. However, more research is needed. 8. Very High in Fiber Pumpkin seeds are a great source of dietary fiber. Whole seeds provide 5.2 grams of fiber in a single 1-oz (28-gram) serving. However, pumpkin kernels with the shell removed contain 1.7 grams of fiber per ounce. These are the green pumpkin seeds available in most supermarkets. A diet high in fiber can promote good digestive health. In addition, high-fiber diets have been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity (30). Bottom Line: Whole pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of fiber. Diets high in fiber are associated with many health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. 9. May Improve Sperm Quality Low zinc levels are associated with reduced sperm quality and an increased risk of infertility in men (31). Since pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc, they may help improve sperm quality. Evidence from one study in mice suggests they may also help protect human sperm from damage caused by chemotherapy and autoimmune diseases (32). Pumpkin seeds are also high in antioxidants and other nutrients that can contribute to healthy testosterone levels and improve overall health. Together, all these factors may benefit fertility levels and reproductive function, especially in men. Bottom Line: The high zinc content of pumpkin seeds may help improve sperm quality and fertility in men. 10. May Help Improve Sleep If you have trouble sleeping, you may want to eat some pumpkin seeds before bed. They're a natural source of tryptophan, an amino acid that can help promote sleep. Consuming around 1 gram of tryptophan daily is thought to help improve sleep (33). However, you would need to eat around 7 oz (200 grams) of pumpkin seeds to get the necessary 1 gram of tryptophan. The zinc in these seeds can also help convert tryptophan to serotonin, which is then changed into melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep cycle. In addition, pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium. Adequate magnesium levels have also been associated with better sleep (34). Some small studies have found that taking a magnesium supplement improved sleep quality and total sleep time in people with low magnesium levels (35, 36). Bottom Line: Pumpkin seeds are a good source of tryptophan, zinc and magnesium, all of which help promote good sleep. 11. Easy to Add to Your Diet If you'd like to experience the benefits of pumpkin seeds, they're easy to incorporate into your diet. In many countries, they're a popular snack that can be eaten either raw or roasted, salted or unsalted. As well as eating them alone, you can add them to smoothies or to Greek yogurt and fruit. You could incorporate them into meals by sprinkling them into salads, soups or cereals. Some people use pumpkin seeds in baking, as an ingredient for sweet or savory bread and cakes. However, as with many seeds and nuts, they contain phytic acid, which can reduce the bioavailability of some nutrients you eat. If you eat seeds and nuts regularly, you may want to soak or sprout them to reduce the phytic acid content. Roasting them may also help. Bottom Line: Pumpkin seeds can be easily incorporated into the diet as a snack or as an additional ingredient in meals or baking. Do Pumpkin Seeds Have Any Other Benefits? The rich nutrient content of pumpkin seeds means they may provide many other health benefits, such as improved energy, mood and immune function. Eating them can help solve dietary deficiencies and may protect against various health problems.

Amount Per 100 grams

Calories 584 % Daily Value* Total Fat 51 g 78% Saturated fat 4.5 g 22% Polyunsaturated fat 23 g Monounsaturated fat 19 g Cholesterol 0 mg 0% Sodium 9 mg 0% Potassium 645 mg 18% Total Carbohydrate 20 g 6% Dietary fiber 9 g 36% Sugar 2.6 g Protein 21 g 42% Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 2% Calcium 7% Iron 29% Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 65% Cobalamin 0% Magnesium 81% *Per cent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Health benefits of sunflower seeds

  1. Delicious, nutty, and crunchy sunflower seeds are widely considered healthy foods. They are high in energy; 100 g seeds hold about 584 calories. Nonetheless, they are one of the incredible sources of health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins.
  2. Much of their calories come from fatty acids. The seeds are especially rich in poly-unsaturated fatty acid linoleic acid, which constitutes more than 50% fatty acids in them. They are also good in mono-unsaturated oleic acid that helps lower LDL or "bad cholesterol" and increases HDL or "good cholesterol" in the blood. Research studies suggest that the Mediterranean diet which is rich in monounsaturated fats helps to prevent coronary artery disease, and stroke by favoring a healthy serum lipid profile.
  3. Like in other seeds and nuts, sunflower also is an excellent source of proteins loaded with fine quality amino acids such as tryptophan that are essential for growth, especially in children. Just 100 g of seeds provide about 21 g of protein (37% of daily-recommended values).
  4. Also, sunflower seeds contain health benefiting polyphenol compounds such as chlorogenic acid, quinic acid, and caffeic acids. These compounds are natural anti-oxidants, which help remove harmful oxidant molecules from the body. Further, chlorogenic acid helps reduce blood sugar levels by limiting glycogen breakdown in the liver.
  5. Further, the seeds are indeed a very rich source of vitamin-E; contain about 35.17 g per 100 g (about 234% of RDA). Vitamin-E is a powerful lipid-soluble antioxidant required for maintaining the integrity of cell membranes of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
  6. Sunflower kernels are one of the finest sources of the B-complex group of vitamins. They are very good sources of B-complex vitamins such as niacin, folic acid, thiamin (vitamin B1), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), pantothenic acid, and riboflavin.
  7. Sunflowers are incredible sources of folic acid. 100 g of kernels contains 227 µg of folic acid, which is about 37% of recommended daily intake. Folic acid is essential for DNA synthesis. When given to anticipant mothers during the peri-conceptional period, it may prevent neural tube defects in the baby.
  8. Niacin and pyridoxine are other B-complex vitamins found abundantly in the sunflower seeds. About 8.35 mg or 52% of daily required levels of niacin are provided by just 100 g of seeds. Niacin helps reduce LDL-cholesterol levels in the blood. Besides, it enhances GABA activity inside the brain, which in turn helps reduce anxiety and neurosis.
  9. The seeds are incredibly rich sources of many essential minerals. Calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and copper are especially concentrated in sunflower seeds. Many of these minerals play a vital role in bone mineralization, red blood cell production, enzyme secretion, hormone production, as well as the regulation of cardiac and skeletal muscle activities.
Nutrition facts Soybeans are mainly composed of protein but also contain good amounts of carbs and fat. The nutrition facts for 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of boiled soybeans are (1Trusted Source): Calories: 173 Water: 63% Protein: 16.6 grams Carbs: 9.9 grams Sugar: 3 grams Fiber: 6 grams Fat: 9 grams Saturated: 1.3 grams Monounsaturated: 1.98 grams Polyunsaturated: 5.06 grams Omega-3: 0.6 grams Omega-6: 4.47 g Protein Soybeans are among the best sources of plant-based protein. The protein content of soybeans is 36–56% of the dry weight (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source). One cup (172 grams) of boiled soybeans boasts around 29 grams of protein (5Trusted Source). The nutritional value of soy protein is good, although the quality is not quite as high as animal protein (6Trusted Source). The main types of protein in soybeans are glycinin and conglycinin, which make up approximately 80% of the total protein content. These proteins may trigger allergic reactions in some people (4Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source). Consumption of soy protein has been linked with a modest decrease in cholesterol levels (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source). Fat Soybeans are classified as oilseeds and used to make soybean oil. The fat content is approximately 18% of the dry weight — mainly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, with small amounts of saturated fat (11Trusted Source). The predominant type of fat in soybeans is linoleic acid, accounting for approximately 50% of the total fat content. Carbs Being low in carbs, whole soybeans are very low on the glycemic index (GI), which is a measure of how foods affect the rise in blood sugar after a meal (12). This low GI makes soybeans suitable for people with diabetes. Fiber Soybeans contain a fair amount of both soluble and insoluble fiber. The insoluble fibers are mainly alpha-galactosides, which may cause flatulence and diarrhea in sensitive individuals (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source). Alpha-galactosides belong to a class of fibers called FODMAPs, which may exacerbate the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (15Trusted Source). Despite causing unpleasant side effects in some people, soluble fibers in soybeans are generally considered healthy. They are fermented by bacteria in your colon, leading to the formation of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which may improve gut health and reduce your risk of colon cancerBoth dried and canned kidney beans are available throughout the year. Dried beans are generally available in prepackaged containers as well as in bulk bins. True to their name, these popular beans are kidney shaped and are especially good in simmered dishes where they absorb the flavors of seasonings and the other foods with which they are cooked.

Health Benefits

Kidney beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other beans. In addition to lowering cholesterol, kidney beans' high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. When combined with whole grains such as rice, kidney beans provide virtually fat-free high quality protein. But this is far from all kidney beans have to offer. Kidney beans are an excellent source of the trace mineral, molybdenum, an integral component of the enzyme sulfite oxidase, which is responsible for detoxifying sulfites. Sulfites are a type of preservative commonly added to prepared foods like delicatessen salads and salad bars. Persons who are sensitive to sulfites in these foods may experience rapid heartbeat, headache or disorientation if sulfites are unwittingly consumed. If you have ever reacted to sulfites, it may be because your molybdenum stores are insufficient to detoxify them.

A Fiber All Star

Check a chart of the fiber content in foods and you'll see legumes leading the pack. Kidney beans, like other beans, are rich in soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract that binds with bile (which contains cholesterol)and ferries it out of the body. Research studies have shown that insoluble fiber not only helps to increase stool bulk and prevent constipation, but also helps prevent digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis.

Lower Your Heart Attack Risk

In a study that examined food intake patterns and risk of death from coronary heart disease, researchers followed more than 16,000 middle-aged men in the U.S., Finland, The Netherlands, Italy, former Yugoslavia, Greece and Japan for 25 years. Typical food patterns were: higher consumption of dairy products in Northern Europe; higher consumption of meat in the U.S.; higher consumption of vegetables, legumes, fish, and wine in Southern Europe; and higher consumption of cereals, soy products, and fish in Japan. When researchers analyzed this data in relation to the risk of death from heart disease, they found that higher legume consumption was associated with a whopping 82% reduction in risk!
A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine confirms that eating high fiber foods, such as kidney beans, helps prevent heart disease. Almost 10,000 American adults participated in this study and were followed for 19 years. People eating the most fiber, 21 grams per day, had 12% less coronary heart disease (CHD) and 11% less cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared to those eating the least, 5 grams daily. Those eating the most water-soluble dietary fiber fared even better with a 15% reduction in risk of CHD and a 10% risk reduction in CVD.
Kidney beans' contribution to heart health lies not just in their fiber, but in the significant amounts of folate and magnesium these beans supply. Folate helps lower levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that is an intermediate product in an important metabolic process called the methylation cycle. Elevated blood levels of homocysteine are an independent risk factor for heart attack, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease, and are found in between 20-40% of patients with heart disease. It has been estimated that consumption of 100% of the daily value (DV) of folate would, by itself, reduce the number of heart attacks suffered by Americans each year by 10%. Kidney beans are a very good source of folate. Kidney beans' good supply of magnesium puts yet another plus in the column of its beneficial cardiovascular effects. Magnesium is Nature's own calcium channel blocker. When there is enough magnesium around, veins and arteries breathe a sigh of relief and relax, which lessens resistance and improves the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Studies show that a deficiency of magnesium is not only associated with heart attack but that immediately following a heart attack, lack of sufficient magnesium promotes free radical injury to the heart. Want to literally keep your heart happy?

Kidney Beans Give You Energy to Burn While Stabilizing Blood Sugar

In addition to its beneficial effects on the digestive system and the heart, soluble fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels. If you have insulin resistance, hypoglycemia or diabetes, kidney beans can really help you balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy. Studies of high fiber diets and blood sugar levels have shown the dramatic benefits provided by these high fiber foods. Researchers compared two groups of people with type 2 diabetes who were fed different amounts of high fiber foods. One group ate the standard American Diabetic diet, which contained 24 grams of fiber/day, while the other group ate a diet containing 50 grams of fiber/day. Those who ate the diet higher in fiber had lower levels of both plasma glucose (blood sugar) and insulin (the hormone that helps blood sugar get into cells). The high fiber group also reduced their total cholesterol by nearly 7%, their triglyceride levels by 10.2% and their VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein—the most dangerous form of cholesterol) levels by 12.5%.

Iron for Energy

In addition to providing slow burning complex carbohydrates, kidney beans can increase your energy by helping to replenish your iron stores. Particularly for menstruating women, who are more at risk for iron deficiency, boosting iron stores with kidney beans is a good idea—especially because, unlike red meat, another source of iron, kidney beans are low in calories and virtually fat-free. Iron is an integral component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to all body cells, and is also part of key enzyme systems for energy production and metabolism. And remember: If you're pregnant or lactating, your needs for iron increase. Growing children and adolescents also have increased needs for iron.

Maintain Your Memory with Thiamin (Vitamin B1)

Thiamin participates in enzymatic reactions central to energy production and is also critical for brain cell/cognitive function. This is because thiamin is needed for the synthesis of acetylcholine, the important neurotransmitter essential for memory and whose lack has been found to be a significant contributing factor in age-related impairment in mental function (senility) and Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease is clinically characterized by a decrease in acetylcholine levels.

Manganese for Energy Production and Antioxidant Defense

Kidney beans are a good source of the trace mineral manganese which is an essential cofactor in a number of enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defenses. For example, the key oxidative enzyme superoxide dismutase, which disarms free radicals produced within the mitochondria (the energy production factories within our cells), requires manganese.

Protein Power Plus

If you're wondering how to replace red meat in your menus, become a fan of kidney beans. These hearty beans are a good source of protein, and when combined with a whole grain such as whole wheat pasta or brown rice provide protein comparable to that of meat or dairy foods without the high calories or saturated fat found in these foods. And, when you get your protein from kidney beans, you also get the blood sugar stabilizing and heart health benefits of the soluble fiber provided by these versatile legumes. A cup of kidney beans provides over 15 grams of protein.

Description

Just as its name suggests, the kidney bean is shaped like a kidney. Since these dark red beans hold their shape really well during cooking and readily absorb surrounding flavors, they are a favorite bean to use in simmered dishes. Kidney beans that are white in color are known as cannellini beans.

History

Kidney beans and other beans such as pinto beans, navy beans and black beans are known scientifically as Phaseolus vulgaris. They are referred to as "common beans" probably owing to the fact that they all derived from a common bean ancestor that originated in Peru. They spread throughout South and Central America as a result of migrating Indian traders who brought kidney beans with them from Peru. Beans were introduced into Europe in the 15th century by Spanish explorers returning from their voyages to the New World. Subsequently, Spanish and Portuguese traders introduced kidney beans into Africa and Asia. As beans are a very inexpensive form of good protein, they have become popular in many cultures throughout the world. Today, the largest commercial producers of dried common beans are India, China, Indonesia, Brazil and the United States.

How to Select and Store

Dried kidney beans are generally available in prepackaged containers as well as bulk bins. Just as with any other food that you purchase in the bulk section, make sure the bins are covered and that the store has a good product turnover rate. Whether purchasing kidney beans in bulk or in a packaged container, make sure there is no evidence of moisture or insect damage and that the beans are whole and not cracked. Canned kidney beans can be found in most markets. Unlike canned vegetables, which have lost much of their nutritional value, there is little difference in the nutritional value of canned kidney beans and those you cook yourself. Canning lowers vegetables' nutritional value since they are best lightly cooked for a short period of time, while their canning process requires a long cooking time at high temperatures. On the other hand, beans require a long time to cook whether they are canned or you cook them yourself. Therefore, if enjoying canned beans is more convenient for you, by all means go ahead and enjoy them. We would suggest looking for those that do not contain extra salt or additives. (One concern about canned foods is the potential for the can to include a liner made from bisphenol A/BPA. To learn more about reducing your exposure to this compound, please read our write-up on the subject). Store dried kidney beans in an airtight container in a cool, dry and dark place where they will keep for up to 12 months. Cooked kidney beans will keep fresh in the refrigerator for about three days if placed in a covered container.

Tips for Preparing and Cooking

Tips for Preparing Kidney Beans
Before washing kidney beans, spread them out on a light colored plate or cooking surface to check for and remove stones and damaged beans. After this process, place the beans in a strainer and rinse them thoroughly under cool running water. To shorten their cooking time and make them easier to digest, kidney beans should be presoaked (presoaking has been found to reduce the raffinose-type oligosaccharides, sugars associated with causing flatulence.) There are two basic methods for presoaking. For each, start by placing the beans in a saucepan with two to three cups of water per cup of beans. The first method is to boil the beans for two minutes, take pan off the heat, cover and allow to stand for two hours. The alternative method is to simply soak the beans in water for eight hours or overnight, placing the pan in the refrigerator, so the beans will not ferment. Before cooking the beans, regardless of pre-soaking method, drain the soaking liquid and rinse the beans with clean water.

The Healthiest Way of Cooking Kidney Beans

To cook the beans, you can either cook them on the stovetop or use a pressure cooker. For the stovetop method, add three cups of fresh water or broth for each cup of dried beans. The liquid should be about one to two inches above the top of the beans. Bring the beans to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, partially covering the pot. If any foam develops, simply skim it off during the simmering process. Kidney beans generally take about one and one-half hours to become tender using this method. They can also be cooked in a pressure cooker where they take about one-half hour to prepare. Regardless of cooking method, do not add any seasonings that are salty or acidic until after the beans have been cooked. Adding them earlier will make the beans tough and greatly increase the cooking time.

How to Enjoy

A Few Quick Serving Ideas
  • Combine cooked kidney beans with black beans and white beans to make a colorful three bean salad.
  • Mix with tomatos and scallions and dress with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and black pepper.
  • Serve cooked kidney beans over a piece of cornbread and top with grated cheese for a twist on the traditional tamale pie.
  • In a food processor or blender, combine cooked kidney beans with garlic, cumin and chili peppers for a delicious spread that can be used as a crudité dip or sandwich filling.
  • Make a pot of chili, the hearty Mexican soup that traditionally features kidney beans.
  • Make tacos with a vegetarian twist by using kidney beans in place of ground meat.

Individual Concerns

Oxalate Content

Kidney beans have consistently been determined to have high oxalate content. Oxalates are naturally occurring organic acids found in a wide variety of foods, and in the case of certain medical conditions, they must be greatly restricted in a meal plan to prevent over-accumulation inside the body. Our comprehensive article about oxalates will provide you with practical and detailed information about these organic acids, food, and health.

Kidney Beans and Phytohemagglutinin

In raw form, kidney beans can contain excessively high amounts of a potentially toxic substance called phytohemagglutinin. This substance is classified as a lectin glycoprotein, and in sufficiently high amounts it has been shown to disrupt cellular metabolism. The amount of this toxin in beans is usually measured in terms of hemagglutinating units, or hau. In their raw form, red kidney beans can contain 20,000 to 70,000 hau. This number drops down to 200 to 400 hau with fully cooked red beans. White kidney beans start off with about 1/3rd less hemagglutinin than red ones.

Nutritional Profile

Kidney beans are an excellent source of molybdenum. They are a very good source of folate, dietary fiber and copper. Kidney beans are a good source of manganese, phosphorus, protein, vitamin B1, iron, potassium and magnesium.
Weight24
DimensionsN/A170 × 22 × 67 cmN/AN/A
Additional information
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Weight 24 kg
Dimensions 170 × 22 × 67 cm
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