Black bean: Nutrition facts and health benefits

By:Times Foodie, Updated: Feb 17, 2022 | 17:13 IST

black bean

Black beans are a staple in many parts of the world where it's had commonly eaten with vegetables, meat and some form of carbs. In Korea, there's jajangmyeon, a noodle dish served with black-bean sauce. In Cuba, black beans are paired with rice. They are a fixture in American-Mexican cuisines, especially dishes like burritos and enchiladas.

Toothsome and meaty, black beans are also a treasure trove of important nutrients and have become a key ingredient in plant-based and vegan cuisines. Black bean patties have been fast replacing meat-based ones in vegan burgers these days.

Also Read: Moong dal benefits: All about mung beans and nutrition

What are black beans?

Black beans (also known as black turtle beans) are dark coloured lentils used in many different types of cuisines across the world. In Hindi, black beans are called kaale sem. In Marathi, it's called kala ghevada. In Tamil it's known as karuppu kaaraman and in Malayalam, black beans are called karutha payar.

Black bean nutrition facts

A cup of black beans (194 grams) contains the following nutrients:


Measure (Daily Value)




2.76 gm


30.1 gm


121 gm


41.9 gm


4.11 gm


239 mg


9.74 mg


332 mg


683 mg


2870 mg


9.7 mg


7.08 mg


1.63 mg


2.06 mg


6. 21 µg


1.75 mg


0.37 mg


3.8 mg

Pantothenic acid

1.74 mg

Vitamin B-6

0.5 mg


861 µg


129 mg

Vitamin E

0.407 mg

Vitamin K

10. 9 µg

Also Read: Sprouted moong: The many health benefits of mung bean sprouts

Black bean health benefits

Unlike other beans, black turtle beans are darker with their seed coat having a purple-black colour. This "black" colour is attributed to phenolic compounds and antioxidants, namely anthocyanins, which have anti-cancer benefits.

Black beans are also low on the glycaemic index and is rich in complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, protein, phytochemicals, resistant starch and bioactive ingredients. They have anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective benefits. Black beans also have more antioxidants than other beans.

Some health benefits of black beans:

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Prevents metabolic diseases
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Antioxidants anthocyanins promote eye health
  • Reduces oxidative stress
  • Good source of plant-based proteins
  • Improves immune health

Key health benefits of black beans:

  1. Improves heart health: Black beans are good for cardiovascular health, according to findings of multiple studies. Legumes can lower cholesterol, triglycerides, heart rate and blood pressure. They support the dilation of blood vessels so that blood can pass through easily and lower inflammation.
  2. Fights type 2 diabetes: Diabetics should include black beans in their diet since these legumes are anti-diabetic foods. They improve glycaemic control by improving insulin sensitivity. Moreover, black beans contain anthocyanins which prevent type 2 diabetes. They also improve insulin secretion and reduce inflammation in the body.
  3. Improves digestive health: If you have gut health issues like indigestion and constipation, black beans could be a good addition to your diet. These legumes also contain macronutrients like resistant starch, non-starch polysaccharides and proteins that do not break down easily in the stomach. These non-digestible components feed the good bacteria in the gut, preventing obesity and metabolic disorders. They improve colon health, support the growth of beneficial bacteria and improve the microbial composition in the gut. Black beans can also bring down inflammation and increase the production of the immune-boosting short-chain fatty acids by promoting good bacteria.
  4. Good for weight loss: Black beans can fight weight loss thanks to their high-fibre content. It keeps you full and satiated for longer, preventing binge eating and overeating. Studies have shown that the consumption of legumes can reduce waist circumference and body weight. Black beans, therefore, are a great weight-loss food.
  5. May prevent cancer risk: Black beans contain cancer-fighting antioxidants called anthocyanins, which give the beans their distinct purple-black colour. These legumes can also cause the death of breast cancer cells, according to the findings of a study. Animals studies also proved that a diet comprising of black and navy beans could prevent cancers of the stomach.
1. Clark JL, Taylor CG, Zahradka P. Black beans and red kidney beans induce positive postprandial vascular responses in healthy adults: A pilot randomized cross-over study. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2021 Jan 4;31(1):216-226. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2020.07.042. Epub 2020 Aug 2. PMID: 32917495.

2. Sánchez-Tapia, M., Hernández-Velázquez, I., Pichardo-Ontiveros, E., Granados-Portillo, O., Gálvez, A., R Tovar, A., & Torres, N. (2020). Consumption of Cooked Black Beans Stimulates a Cluster of Some Clostridia Class Bacteria Decreasing Inflammatory Response and Improving Insulin Sensitivity. Nutrients, 12(4), 1182.

3. Mullins, A. P., & Arjmandi, B. H. (2021). Health Benefits of Plant-Based Nutrition: Focus on Beans in Cardiometabolic Diseases. Nutrients, 13(2), 519.

4. Kumar S, Sharma VK, Yadav S, Dey S. Antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of black turtle bean extracts on human breast cancer cell line through extrinsic and intrinsic pathway. Chem Cent J. 2017 Jun 20;11(1):56. doi: 10.1186/s13065-017-0281-5. PMID: 29086840; PMCID: PMC5478552.

5. Tan, Y., Tam, C. C., Meng, S., Zhang, Y., Alves, P., & Yokoyama, W. (2021). Cooked Black Turtle Beans Ameliorate Insulin Resistance and Restore Gut Microbiota in C57BL/6J Mice on High-Fat Diets. Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 10(8), 1691.

6. Clark, J. L., Loader, T. B., Anderson, H. D., Zahradka, P., & Taylor, C. G. (2020). Regular Black Bean Consumption Is Necessary to Sustain Improvements in Small-Artery Vascular Compliance in the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat. Nutrients, 12(3), 685.

7. Reverri, E. J., Randolph, J. M., Steinberg, F. M., Kappagoda, C. T., Edirisinghe, I., & Burton-Freeman, B. M. (2015). Black Beans, Fiber, and Antioxidant Capacity Pilot Study: Examination of Whole Foods vs. Functional Components on Postprandial Metabolic, Oxidative Stress, and Inflammation in Adults with Metabolic Syndrome. Nutrients, 7(8), 6139–6154.

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