7 Health Benefits Of Kidney Beans (Rajma) During Pregnancy

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Most women consume kidney beans during pregnancy, especially towards the second and third trimesters. It is a healthy plant-based protein source rich in antioxidants and amino acids, besides other important nutrients (1). Several nutrients and compounds can also protect you and your baby from various diseases and health conditions. It is good to include these in your pregnancy diet in moderate amounts. You can prepare them in various ways, based on your preferences.

Read on to know more about these nutritious beans, including their benefits and side effects for pregnant women.

7 Benefits Of Eating Kidney Beans During Pregnancy

Kidney beans are nicknamed the superfood of pregnancy.

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If you are pregnant, make sure that your shopping cart has some packs of dried kidney beans in it, as it is loaded with many health benefits that are useful both for you and the baby.

  • Also nicknamed a “superfood of pregnancy,” this inexpensive bean is a must-have food item in your everyday diet.
  • You need to consume about 70 grams of protein per day, which can be obtained by eating one and a half cups of kidney beans. (2) (3).

Here are some of the most common health benefits of eating red kidney beans during pregnancy:

1. Increases Iron Content:

Kidney beans can help you replenish the hemoglobin levels.

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When you are pregnant, your body needs more iron to build red blood cells of your growing baby (4).

  • Kidney beans can help you by replenishing the levels of hemoglobin in your body (5). This helps eliminate iron deficiency and promotes the cognitive development of your baby.
  • In addition, the iron in kidney beans helps in the development of your fetus, expands the blood volume, and helps the placenta (6).

2. Contains Amino Acids:

Kidney beans contain about 8 essential amino acids that can prepare protein in your body.

  • These amino acids are highly helpful for fighting many infections and diseases as it helps in developing a strong immune system.
  • The proteins created by these amino acids would form the building blocks of your baby’s body cells and yours too (7).

3. Rich In Antioxidants:

The anthocyanins or natural antioxidants present in these beans are helpful for the skin of both you and your baby.

  • Being a rich antioxidant source, kidney beans can prevent the risk of diabetes (8).
  • Choosing a dark colored variety of kidney beans would offer a higher amount of antioxidants.

4. Eliminates Bile Acids:

Kidney beans reduce the bile acids that can cause nausea.

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The presence of dietary fiber in kidney beans enables you to maintain your cholesterol levels while you are pregnant.

  • Kidney beans have the ability to improve cholesterol levels.
  • Intestinal bile acids bind with the dietary fiber of the beans and flush away the excess fat from your body.
  • Consuming kidney beans every day can help you overcome feeling ‘queasy’ every morning as it reduces the bile acids that can cause morning sickness or the feeling of nausea. (9).

5. Flushes The Sulfites:

If you love delicatessen salads and other such foods, there are chances that your body might have sulphite traces, as it is a preservative added in these foods.

  • Kidney beans contain good levels of a trace mineral known as molybdenum, which is a major component of sulfite oxidase enzyme that helps in detoxifying the sulphite (10).
  • Consuming kidney beans regularly would help you stay away from sulphite related allergies such as headache or fast paced heartbeat while you are pregnant.

6. Contains Copper:

Kidney beans maintain the elasticity of your joints.

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The presence of copper in kidney beans helps to reduce inflammation in your body (11).

  • Copper found in the kidney beans is highly helpful to enhance the enzymatic activity in your body.
  • This action helps to maintain the elastic nature of your joints, blood vessels and ligaments that would be helpful while delivering a baby.

7. Offers Energy:

Kidney beans have abundant amounts of magnesium that enable it to relieve tiredness during your pregnancy.

  • It relieves fatigue by relaxing blood vessels, nerves and the muscles.
  • It also prevents adverse medical conditions like migraine headaches, soreness in muscles and asthma, which makes it highly beneficial during your pregnancy.(12).

With so many benefits to celebrate, it’s no wonder that kidney beans are a super food for women who are pregnant.

Remember

Excess consumption of kidney beans may cause kidney stones.

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While they sure are healthy, make sure you remember a few things while eating kidney beans during pregnancy.

  • Do not overindulge while you are craving it, as it can cause some serious side effects. Kidney beans have a natural substance called purines. Too much consumption of the same might lead to gout or kidney stones.(13).
  • Kidney beans also have phytohemagglutinin, which, if taken in huge amounts, can affect cellular metabolism, which can be harmful for your health (14).

Kidney beans are placed under the category of superfoods of pregnancy, owing to their health benefits, including high iron, copper, and amino acid content. Therefore, you may include these energy-dense beans in your pregnancy diet at lunchtime or in your snacks and salads. However, be sure to follow certain precautions, such as washing them thoroughly before consuming and avoiding canned beans due to their high sodium content. Also, do not over-consume kidney beans during pregnancy, as it may put you at risk of gout, kidney stones, and digestive problems.

References:

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Sadiya Qamar

Sadiya is a writer and editor with a passion for writing about parenthood and children. Her focus areas are health, wellness, and beauty. For MomJunction, she writes on kids’ health and nutrition.  Sadiya believes in doing in-depth research and providing accurate information to help parents with concerns on their children’s growth and development.

Jenny Champion

(MS, RD, CPT)
Jenny is a registered dietitian, personal trainer and mother of three who is passionate about teaching women how to stop yoyo dieting, have healthy pregnancies and get back in shape after childbirth. After suffering from eating disorders and weight problems herself, she’s helped over 1,000 women change their lives by eating more of the right foods and less of the...
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