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5 Ways Pinto Beans Boost Your Health—Plus 6 Delicious Recipes to Experiment With

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The unassuming pinto bean possesses remarkable power beyond its appearance. Widely prevalent in the United States and Mexico, these small beans are densely packed with nutrients. Their rich interior and pale hue render them indispensable in various recipes, offering versatility to substitute other legumes.

With a creamy consistency, pinto beans effortlessly blend into creations like bean dip. Their neutral, earthy flavor enhances a plethora of comfort dishes across different culinary traditions. Available both dry and canned, pinto beans are incredibly common and warrant inclusion in a well-rounded diet for numerous reasons. Below, we delve into some of the top health benefits they offer.

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Pinto Bean Health Benefits

Just how nutritious are pinto beans? Check out some health benefits below.

Pinto beans are good for the gut, heart, and muscles 

Looking to enhance your gut health? Incorporating pinto beans into your diet can be a beneficial step. According to Megan Meyer, PhD, who states, “Pinto beans primarily offer protein, carbohydrates, and fiber, thus promoting gut, heart, and muscle health.” Adopting a purposeful diet is a simple strategy for enhancing gut health, and integrating fiber-rich foods can positively impact your microbiome.

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Pinto beans are rich in potassium

“Pinto beans serve as valuable sources of essential vitamins and minerals, including potassium,” Meyer explains. “Potassium plays a vital role in muscle function and regulating blood pressure.” A 100-gram serving of pinto beans (approximately ⅓ of a can) contains around 275 milligrams of potassium, a substantial amount comparable to other potassium-rich foods like spinach, sweet potatoes, and avocados.

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Pinto beans are rich in essential nutrients

“Pinto beans serve as an excellent source of phosphorus, a vital mineral,” notes Meyer. “Phosphorus contributes to the development of teeth and bones and plays a role in ATP production, a crucial molecule for the body’s energy.” Additionally, pinto beans are rich in iron. “Iron is essential for producing hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells responsible for oxygen transport throughout the body,” Meyer further explains. “It is also involved in hormone synthesis.”

Consuming Pinto Beans can enhance energy levels

Feeling low on energy? Give pinto beans a try. Not only does their protein content provide fuel, but the magnesium they contain might also help boost your energy levels. “Magnesium is crucial for muscle and nerve function, as well as energy production,” explains Meyer. Pinto beans also contain thiamine, a B vitamin known for providing energy to the body. “Additionally, it aids in the production of new cells,” Meyer points out.

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Pinto beans are a good source of antioxidants

“Pinto beans contain antioxidants like polyphenols, which include catechin, kaempferol, and quercetin,” explains Meyer. These antioxidants combat free radicals in the body, shielding your cells from harm and potentially lowering the risk of cancer.

Delicious Ways to Enjoy Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are incredibly versatile and easy to incorporate into various dishes, thanks to their neutral flavor profile. These small, light tan beans adapt well to any cuisine and can seamlessly replace other beans of similar size in recipes. To reduce sodium content, it’s advisable to thoroughly drain and rinse canned beans or cook dried pinto beans on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker to manage flavor and salt levels, which is often more cost-effective.

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However, don’t let the time-consuming process of soaking and slow-cooking beans deter you from enjoying pinto beans. “If you prioritize convenience and time-saving, canned beans may be the better choice, as preparing dried beans can take anywhere from several to 24 hours,” suggests Meyer, highlighting the minimal nutritional difference between dried and canned pinto beans. Incorporating pinto beans into your weekday meals can be as simple as opening a can and relishing in their numerous health benefits.

Spicy Chorizo and Pinto Bean Soup

A blend of chili and soup, this flavorful and hearty dish is quick to make, taking only 20 minutes, making it ideal for chilly days. For those avoiding meat, consider using a vegan chorizo alternative and vegetable broth as a substitute for chicken broth.

Sweet and Tangy Baked Beans 

These baked beans are sticky, savory, and bursting with flavor, making them the perfect accompaniment to any barbecue. Pintos are just the right size to soak up the tangy sauce, and this recipe ensures plenty of delicious leftovers for days to come.

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Refried Bean and Cheese Melts

This delightful molle, a traditional Mexican toast, begins with a baguette or roll infused with garlic and then adorned with layers of delectable goodness and flavor. Pintos are an excellent choice in the refried beans for this recipe, perfectly complemented by melted cheese.

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes 

Enhance your pinto bean routine by incorporating them into these twice-baked sweet potatoes. Once the sweet potatoes are tender and baked, they’re filled with a blend of pinto beans, cheese, and spices, creating a nutritious and flavorful center that’s baked again within the potato.

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People also ask

Q: What do pinto beans do for your body?

A: Pinto beans offer a rich source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, all of which contribute to several health benefits such as enhanced blood sugar regulation and improved heart health. Additionally, their abundance of antioxidants can potentially reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Q: Is it OK to eat pinto beans every day?

A: If you eat about ½ cup of beans every day, you’ll meet the weekly Dietary Guidelines for beans.

Q: Are pinto beans a Superfood?

A: Beans are considered a “superfood”

Q: Do pinto beans burn belly fat?

A: Recent research indicates that individuals consuming higher levels of protein and fiber tend to have healthier BMIs,” explains the expert. A 2023 study published in Nutrients, involving 15,185 participants, revealed that bean consumers experienced lesser weight gain, including reduced belly fat, over a decade compared to those who did not consume beans.


This article is purposive for intended general information and does not mark individual circumstances. It is not an alternative to professional advice or help. It should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. A licensed physician must be consulted to diagnose and treat any medical condition. Any action you take due to the information on this page is entirely at your own risk and responsibility!

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Rishi Govind is a nutritionist and nutrition counselor in New Delhi, India. He is a Postgraduate and passionate about his work. Rishi has over 3 years of experience helping people change their relationship with food and their bodies. He specializes in helping people with chronic dieting issues, food allergies and sensitivities, and digestive problems. Rishi's approach is rooted in the belief that everybody is unique and deserves individualized attention. Rishi is passionate about helping his clients feel their best. He is committed to helping them find peace with food and their bodies so they can live their lives to the fullest.

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