What are the healthiest beans? Protein, fiber-filled options to try.

Black, pinto, kidney, lima, mung – the bean aisle at the grocery store has something for everyone. There are even beans that don’t sound like beans, like black-eyed peas and no, we’re not talking about the “I Gotta Feeling” group. 

America’s favorite bean is pinto beans, according to the U.S. Dry Beans Council, often used to make refried beans. Navy beans, Great Northern beans, red kidney beans and black beans round out the rest of the top five.

But is there one that’s best to consume? Here’s what an expert has to say.

Aside from being a good source of protein and fiber, black beans may have anti-inflammatory properties.

What are the healthiest beans?

It’s hard to go wrong with any kind of bean. Beans are a “nutrition powerhouse,” says registered dietitian Danielle Crumble Smith. They’re packed with fiber, protein, iron and resistant starch, a form of starch that improves gut health because it doesn’t raise glucose. They also contain polyphenols, which act as antioxidants and may protect against some cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and neurodegenerative disease.

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