Whether it’s in a taco, burger, or salad, black beans are consumed around the world due to their versatility, flavor, and rich nutrient profile. But are black beans a vegetable? Let’s find out.
Are Black Beans a Vegetable?
Black beans, and beans in general, belong to a group of plants known as legumes. However, beans are often classified together with vegetables for the sake of simplicity.
For example, the USDA program MyPlate places beans in the vegetable subgroup.
Most legumes (such as peanuts, peas, and soybeans) form pods that contain seeds, and black beans are no exception.
There are different types of black beans, such as the black adzuki beans, Kenyan black beans, and turtle black beans.
Turtle black beans are one of the most popular types of black beans and are widely consumed in Latin America and part of the United States.
Some popular dishes made with black beans include Cuban riche and beans, black chicken soup, and a wide array of Mexican specialties, such as enchiladas and sopes.
If you are interested in finding an easy way to tell whether a food is a fruit or a vegetable, be sure to check out our previous post on the topic.
What Are the Nutrients Found in Black Beans?
Just like other legumes, black beans are appreciated everywhere for their low cost and rich nutrient profile.
For example, just one cup (172 g) of boiled black beans contains the following nutrients:
- Protein: 15.2 g (30% of DV)
- Thiamin: 0.4 mg (28% of DV)
- Magnesium 120 mg (30% of DV)
- Phosphorus: 241 mg (24% of DV)
- Manganese: 0.8 mg (38% of DV)
- Dietary fiber: 15.0 g (60% of DV)
All these compounds play essential roles within our bodies. Thiamin helps us turn carbohydrates into energy. Magnesium, for its part, supports many important functions such as energy production and nerve impulses.
Phosphorus is key to maintaining and repairing tissues, and manganese is involved in bone building and the healing of wounds.
In addition to providing an abundant dose of nutrients, black beans also offer the benefit of containing only a very small amount of saturated fat (0.2g, or 1% of DV) and no cholesterol.
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