Navy Beans vs Pinto Beans – Nutrition Facts, Health Benefits, Side Effects

Navy bean, also referred to as haricot bean, Yankee bean, or Boston bean, is a variety of common beans (with the scientific name – Phaseolus vulgaris).

Haricot beans are small, pea-sized beans that are creamy white in color.

Nutrition Facts

They are a good source of vitamin C, niacin, zinc, vitamin K, thiamin, magnesium, folate, riboflavin, vitamin B6, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, and selenium. They are also very low in sodium, fat, and cholesterol-free.

Health Benefits

Lowers LDL and Total Cholesterol

One serving of cooked haricot beans contains about 9.6 grams of dietary fiber, which is 38% of the daily recommended intake. If you suffer from hypoglycemia, insulin resistance, or type 2 diabetes mellitus, these beans are very beneficial for you.

Moreover, research shows that consuming 10 grams of soluble fiber per day (which is the amount in half a cup of beans) reduces LDL cholesterol by 10%. Achieving and maintaining healthy LDL and total cholesterol levels is very important for people with arteriosclerosis (also known as hardening of the arteries).

Excellent Source Of Folate

Folate, a B-complex vitamin found in great amounts in haricot beans, reduces the levels of homocysteine (a hazardous precursor to neurodegenerative diseases, such as – Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease).

These beans also contain good levels of magnesium, which functions in a similar way as potassium, reducing stress and tension in the blood vessels to lower blood pressure and lessen exertion. Moreover, magnesium is essential in a variety of biochemical pathways in the human body, like – the creation of neurotransmitters and hormones (serotonin, melatonin, or epinephrine).

Better Sleep

Beans are high in tryptophan, an essential amino acid that is a precursor of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter. Actually, without this amino acid, we wouldn’t be able to control the sleep cycles or moods.

Boosts Energy Levels

These beans are one of the most concentrated food sources of molybdenum, an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in the human body’s biological functions. For example, molybdenum has a significant role in providing an active site for a few enzymes as well as it is required for helping the cells to produce energy – which is needed to carry out important processes in the body.

Side Effects

There are no known side effects if they are cooked correctly to reduce their lectin content.

Pinto Beans

This type of beans is also a variety of the common beans (botanical name – Phaseolus vulgaris). Popular known as mottled beans, they are highly nutritious foods that are thought to be native to Mexico and Peru. Once cooked, these beans lose their mottled appearance and become pinkish in color.

Nutrition Facts

They contain high amounts of vitamin C, magnesium, thiamin, calcium, dietary fiber, protein, vitamin E, folate, riboflavin, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, iron, and niacin. They are also cholesterol-free and salt-free, which is perfect for sodium-free diets.

Health Benefits

Cardiovascular Health

These beans are a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps to lower blood pressure by balancing out the negative effects of sodium. The potassium content in these beans also helps in fighting hair fall. A deficiency in potassium sets the stage for heart arrhythmia, hypertension, depression, fatigue, constipation, osteoporosis, and muscle spasms.

Improves Digestion

It is estimated that about 25 percent of American adults are deficient in vitamin B1, also referred as thiamin or the “energy vitamin.” Plus, approximately fifty percent of the people in the US have blood levels considered too low.

Vitamin B1 helps to produce hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which is important for healthy digestion of food. More importantly, thiamin is linked with proper brain function since having the necessary amounts in the regular diet is known to improve general cognitive performance, especially memory.

Antioxidant Properties

There are more than 8,000 different types of polyphenols, and they are commonly found in numerous types of foods, such as – red wine, green tea, nuts, cocoa, spices, and herbs. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, these beans also contain polyphenols, that may prevent some types of cancer. In addition, these antioxidants have a vital role in preventing type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Weight Loss

One cup of boiled mottled beans has around 15g of dietary fiber, which is about 60% of the recommended daily intake based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet. Consuming plenty of dietary fiber on a regular basis lowers the chances of developing diverticular disease and hemorrhoids. Additionally, fiber slows down digestion, which increases the levels of satiety, ultimately leading to a healthy weight loss.

Side Effects

There are no known side effects for human health if they are cooked properly to lower their lectin content.


If you prefer to consume canned beans, you can remove up to 40% of the sodium content by rinsing them in water.

Navy Beans vs Pinto Beans – Which Have A Better Nutritional Profile?

These legumes have a similar nutritional profile, but the balance is a little inclined in the favor of pinto beans due to their increased level of protein, folate, vitamin E, vitamin K, and vitamin B6.

Image credit – Shutterstock

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1 thought on “Navy Beans vs Pinto Beans – Nutrition Facts, Health Benefits, Side Effects”

  1. As I get older I seem to need beans in my diet. They somehow give me the feeling of having a good balance of protein. I also crave them more.


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