Pinto Beans: Nutrition & Benefits

by John Staughton last updated -

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Pinto beans are popular around the globe and are densely packed with nutrients that can result in a number of health benefits.

What are Pinto Beans?

Pinto beans are a variety of the common bean and have been cultivated for more than 5,000 years in some parts of the world. Popularly included in Mexican cuisine within burritos and chili con carne, these are the most widely consumed beans in North America. These beans are more versatile than other varieties, as they can be eaten whole or cooked, mashed, and refried. While they do come in five different varieties, they are very similar in terms of nutrient density and appearance.


When it comes to nutrition, pinto beans contain approximately 140 calories per 100 grams, as well as 9 grams of both protein and dietary fiber. There is a very small amount of fat in these beans, but very high levels of B vitamins, as well as moderate amounts of magnesium (14% of DV), sodium (16%), phosphorous (21%), vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc (10%), iron (16%), potassium (9%), and calcium (5%). This nutrient profile may change if the beans are young or mature, cooked, boiled, salted or unsalted, but these are the basic nutrients.

pinto beans

Benefits of Pinto Beans

There are many benefits to eating pinto beans, including their ability to lower the risk of diabetes and breast cancer, as well as detoxify the body, among others.

Pinto Beans Substitute

If you don’t have any pinto beans on hand for a recipe or a snack, there are plenty of substitutes that can work just as well. Beans rarely have a strong, recognizable taste, so these alternatives will work in the majority of recipes:

How to Store Pinto Beans

When you buy dried pinto beans in bulk, you may want to store them for months at a time as you gradually include them in your meals. Following these simple instructions will ensure that you have fresh and delicious beans for up to a year.

  • Step 1: Remove the dried beans from the bag you purchased them in; transfer them to an airtight storage container.
  • Step 2: Remove all broken beans from the mixture.
  • Step 3: Store the container away from direct sunlight in a cool, dry place.

Side Effects

There are some side effects of eating these beans, particularly when you consume an excessive amount, including intestinal discomfort and flatulence. With high levels of dietary fiber and certain gas-causing elements, beans can eventually help your gastrointestinal health, but initially, it could make some of your symptoms worse. Furthermore, if you have certain health conditions, such as thyroid cancer or a thyroid disorder, pinto beans can impact your iodine levels, which may interfere with treatment or exacerbate symptoms.

About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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