The Anti-Aging Benefits of Beans

Kidney beans in a bowl

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Beans can be a healthy part of your diet, and they contain anti-aging properties. Beans are a good source of protein. Unlike animal protein sources (like meat and dairy), they do not contain any unhealthy fat. They're also extremely high in antioxidants.

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.

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1/2 cup (90g) of red kidney beans that have been cooked without added fat.

  • Calories: 113.5
  • Fat: 0.5g
  • Sodium: 198mg
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Fiber: 6.7g
  • Sugars: 0.3g
  • Protein: 7.8g

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. While beans are a good source, the antioxidant effect of beans depends on availability of absorption as well as cooking method.

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.

Get Your Antioxidants From Whole Foods, Including Beans

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.

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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Chávez-Mendoza C, Hernández-Figueroa KI, Sánchez E. Antioxidant capacity and phytonutrient content in the seed coat and cotyledon of common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) from various regions in MexicoAntioxidants (Basel). 2018;8(1):5. Published 2018 Dec 25. doi:10.3390/antiox8010005

  2. Red kidney beans, dry, cooked, fat not added in cooking. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published April 1, 2020.

Additional Reading
  • 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.