Nutrition Facts Proteins Print The Anti-Aging Benefits of Beans By Mark Stibich, PhD Updated July 17, 2019 Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman More in Nutrition Facts Proteins Dairy Fruit and Vegetables Water and Beverages Whole Grains Snacks While researching anti-aging foods, I was amazed to learn that beans can not only be a healthy part of your diet, but contain anti-aging properties as well. Like most people, I knew that beans were a good source of protein and that unlike animal protein sources (like meat and dairy), they do not contain any unhealthy fat. But what I learned in my anti-aging food research it that beans are extremely high in antioxidants. In fact, half a cup of dried red, kidney, or pinto beans contains some of the highest amounts of antioxidants in any food! Nutritional Value of Beans So beans are a great source of low-fat vegetarian proteins, but their nutritional benefits do not end there. Beans, like other legumes, also naturally contain fiber, a non-negotiable substance when it comes to gastrointestinal health. The fiber in beans also helps to satisfy you quicker, meaning you can feel full on less calories than a fiber-poor meal. Beans are also a great source of folate (also known as folic acid or vitamin B9), which is known for its ability to help repair damaged cells. All-in-all, beans can be a great addition to any healthy diet, assuming that they are prepared without excess sodium or fats. Just take look at some of this nutritional data for one of the most popular types of beans: Nutrition Facts: Kidney beans, raw (Serving Size: 1 cup) Calories 613 Total Fat 1.5 g 2% Daily Value Cholesterol 0 g 0% Daily Value Sodium 44 mg 1% Daily Value Potassium 2587 mg 73% Daily Value Total Carbohydrate 110 g 36% Daily Value Dietary Fiber 46 g 184% Daily Value Protein 43 g 86% Daily Value Calcium 25% Daily Value Vitamin C 13% Daily Value Iron 83% Daily Value Vitamin B-6 35% Daily Value Magnesium 64% Daily Value Though different types of beans carry slightly different stats (an equivalent serving of raw black beans, for example, has slightly less fiber and no vitamin C), all beans contain anthocyanin, a powerful flavonoid known for its antioxidant properties. The Importance of Antioxidants in Anti-Aging Antioxidants are especially important for anti-aging and longevity. Antioxidants are not actually substances in and of themselves as the marketers might have you believe. Rather, the term antioxidant refers to a substance's ability to remove damaging oxidizing agents in the body, which explains how so many different natural substances have been described as antioxidants. What's most important in anti-aging nutrition is that antioxidants found in healthy food sources fight off the damage caused by free radicals, which helps protect your organs and tissues from long-term problems caused by metabolism and unhealthy foods as you age. While you can certainly still get your antioxidant fix from certain supplements and vitamins like vitamin E and vitamin C, the best sources of all your nutritional needs are still whole foods. Try incorporating beans like black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans, into a few meals a week. Your body will thank you! Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Get nutrition tips and advice to make healthy eating easier. Email Address Sign Up There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. What are your concerns? Other Inaccurate Hard to Understand Submit Article Sources Lila, Mary Ann. "Anthocyanins and Human Health: An In Vitro Investigative Approach." Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology 2004.5 (2004): 306-13. Xianli Wu, Gary R. Beecher, Joanne M. Holden, David B. Haytowitz, Susan E. Gebhardt, and Ronald L. Prior. "Lipophilic and Hydrophilic Capacities of Common Foods in the United States." J. Agric. Food Chem., 52 (12), 4026-4037, 2004. Continue Reading 10 Foods for a Long and Healthy Life How Healthy Are Black Beans? Purslane: A Nutritional Powerhouse Why You Need to Add Pinto Beans to Your Menu This Week 10 "Superfoods" to Eat Daily for Optimal Health Why Beans and Legumes Are Great for a Low-Carb Diet Foods That Help You Burn Fat How (and Why) to Eat More Green Beans A Fast Vegan Take on Your Favorite Classic Tostada 15 Calcium Sources That Don't Require a Cow 8 Surprisingly Tasty Sources of Gluten-Free Fiber The Importance of Phytonutrients for Your Health Calories and Health Benefits of Blueberries Why You Should Always Eat Your Lima Beans The 20 Best Food Sources of Antioxidants What Is the Anti-Inflammatory Diet?