Legumes of all kinds provide robust nutritional benefits for societies around the world, but some beans definitely provide more nutrients and minerals than others. While people may differ on their preferences of which beans they like best, science can tell us definitively which legume has the highest nutritional content and provides our bodies with the most benefits.
In this article, we are going to compare the nutritional data of black beans (a common and popular legume) to that of black gram, and see which comes out on top in terms of nutrient density and health benefits. Are you ready to explore the nutrition of beans?
Black Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris)
These shiny, jet-black beans are native to the Americas, where they have been grown and consumed for thousands of years. Spanish explorers were impressed with the legume, and carried them back to Europe in the 1400’s; from there, black beans quickly made their way around the world.
Also known as turtle beans, black beans are a staple in many Latin American dishes, as well as Creole cuisine in some of the southern United States. Annual global production and consumption of black beans sits at around 1.4 million tons, with Brazil holding the majority of production. Due to their mild and pleasant flavor, black beans are served in many ways, including in soups and, commonly, with rice.
Black Gram (Vigna mungo L.)
Native to South Asia, black gram is deeply woven into the rich history of ancient India, not only as food, but also as a valuable medicinal tool to alleviate all forms of maladies and illnesses. Today, this lentil is popular throughout most of Asia, and into Africa as well. Classified as a lentil, black gram is used to make Vedas (fried bread), dals, and other traditional Indian foods.
How Do They Compare with Each Other?
Let’s take a look at some of the most important nutrients people are looking for in legumes; things like protein, iron, fiber, etc. Beans and lentils are an important source of protein and B vitamins for those who follow vegetarian and vegan diets, but these nutrients are very important for anyone who desires to live a healthy life. So how do black gram and black beans compare with each other on the nutritional scale? Based on the content of 100g of mature raw seeds, let’s take a look!
We need protein to maintain every single cell in our bodies. Without it, our muscles waste away, our bones weaken, and we may feel the need to overeat, causing a risk of obesity. Simply stated, our health will decline without sufficient protein. Children and pregnant women especially need to make sure that there is enough protein in their diets to support development and growth. As seen below, black gram packs more protein per serving than black beans.
Black beans – 21.6 g per 100 g of mature raw seeds
We can’t say enough about how essential fiber is to good health! Most people know that fiber is good for the digestive system, but did you know that there is a direct connection between the digestive and immune systems? In fact, 70% of the immune system is located in the intestines. Don’t underestimate the beneficial effects of dietary fiber; a healthy digestive track will help bring health and wholeness to the entire body! As you can see below, black gram is a significant source of fiber — containing even more than black beans which, for some, are synonymous with fiber!
Black beans – 15.2 g per 100 g of mature raw seeds
Black gram – 18.3 g per 100 g of mature raw seeds
This mineral is responsible for healthy blood, especially the red blood cells. Our red blood cells need iron in order to create hemoglobin, the agent that carries life-sustaining oxygen throughout the body. This gives us energy and helps our muscles (including the brain) work efficiently.
We know how important oxygen is to our lungs; the transportation of oxygen from the lungs to the rest of our body is also important to our wellbeing, and this is what iron does for us. As seen below, a serving of black gram contains 50% more iron than the same serving of black beans:
Black gram – 7.57 mg per 100 g of mature raw seeds
Over 300 biochemical reactions in the body require the assistance of magnesium; clearly, it’s an important mineral! It is not advised, however, to routinely get your magnesium through supplements. Instead, it is best to consume magnesium through its most bio-available sources, such as leafy vegetables, and of course, legumes such as black gram. As you can see below, black gram handily beats black beans when it comes to magnesium content:
Black beans – 171 mg per 100 g of mature raw seeds
Black gram – 267 mg per 100 g of mature raw seeds
This is yet another essential mineral that our bodies depend on for good health, including strong teeth and bones, nerve signals, muscle function, blood clotting, and more! Dairy products are well known sources of calcium, but legumes can provide a good amount of the mineral as well! Legumes (and black gram, specifically) are thus a great option for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant to get their daily supply of calcium:
Black beans – 123 mg per 100 g of mature raw seeds
Black gram – 138 mg per 100 g of mature raw seeds
Black Gram Tips the Scale
We can see that, when compared side by side, black gram provides more nutritional benefits than black beans in these five key areas. And to be honest, there may not be a bean or lentil out there that, on a whole, provides as much depth and variety of nutritional benefits as black gram; that’s why it has become our all-time favorite. We hope you have come to agree too!
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