Rajma is also known by the name of kidney beans or red kidney beans which derives its name due to its resemblance to human kidney shape. A variety of kidney beans are widely cultivated across the world andare popular in many regions of India as well as Central America. They are easily available throughout the year in canned and dried forms. Canned beans are safe to use if they do not have any unhealthy ingredientslike sugar, salt, or any other preservative. They are one of the healthiest and richest plant-based sources of protein.
Nutritional Facts of Rajma/Kidney beans -
Rajma/kidney beans are the powerhouse of nutrients including soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, high biological protein (all essential amino acids), carbohydrate, omega fatty acids, numerous antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Rajma is the best replacement for non-veg protein foods such as chicken, mutton, and red meat. Include any of these bean types at least 4-5 times in a week to reduce the risk of life-threatening chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, etc.
Health benefits of Rajma /Kidney beans -
Heart - Rajma contains cholesterol-lowering fiber and potassium which help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, atherosclerosis, stroke, etc. The impressive amount of potassium and a low amount of sodium in rajma help to promote heart health and maintain blood pressure levels.
Skin and hair - Rajma has anti-aging properties and contain high amounts of antioxidants that limit the cell damage, reduce acne and wrinkles, and helps maintain healthy glowing skin. Ample amounts of high-quality protein, iron, zinc, and biotin are also essential for the strengthening and growth of hair.
Digestive system - Rajma supports the digestive system as it contains a good amount of soluble and insoluble fiber which stimulates the production of gastric juice and promotes smooth bowel movement. Consuming properly cooked rajma in limited amounts helps to prevent indigestion and constipationwhile reducing the risk of hemorrhoids and ulcers.
Bones - Rajma beans are packed with many bone-friendly minerals including calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and copper, all of which contribute to enhance bone mineral density. Consumption of rajma on a regular basis helps in strengthening bones that lower the risk of developing osteoporosis and the anti-inflammatory properties manage the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis effectively.
Muscles - Rajma is a fat-free source of plant protein which is an excellent choice for vegetarians. They contain all the essential amino acids that are needed for energy production as well as for repairing and growth of muscle tissues.
Immune system - Rajma helps to boost immunity and improves the production of immune cells. The range of antioxidants present in rajma strengthens the immune system which helps to fight free radicals and protect the body cells from degeneration.
Diabetes - The goodness of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber in rajma helps to improve insulin sensitivity and prevents the risk of diabetes. Rajma is high in dietary fiber and very low on the glycemic index which helps to avoid the rapid rise of blood glucose levels just after a meal.
Brain - Rajma contains a rich amount of vitamin B1 (thiamine), B9 (folic acid), and omega fatty acids whichhelp to boost memory and slow down the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Vitamin B1 is extremely helpful for cognitive functions and proper functioning of the brain.
Birth defects -Rajma is a good option for pregnant women because rajma contains a high amount of folate or folic acid (Vitamin B9) which is useful for the growth and development of fetus. Deficiency of folate during pregnancy may cause miscarriage or neural tube defects.
Eye health - Bioflavonoids and zinc present in rajma are useful for eye health.They prevent night blindness, oxidative stress in retina and helps to prevent the development of macular degeneration and cataracts.
Weight loss - Rajma can be an ideal choice for a healthy weight loss diet as they are rich in fiber and protein content. They keep your stomach full for a longer time and boost satiety which reduces calorie consumption and helps in weight management.
Cancer - Rajma is one of the healthy beans with numerous essential antioxidants and dietary fiber which help to fight and reduce the formation of cancer cells. Fiber content in rajma is considered as an important nutrient in reducing the risk of colon or colorectal cancer.
Side effects of Rajma/ Kidney beans -
Cooked rajma is completely safe but certain people have reported some kind of disturbance in their digestion. Rajma contains phytohemagglutinin which is basically plant protein ‘lectin’. This plant protein,if consumedin raw form or in high quantity,can cause digestive distress such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting.
How to use Rajma/Kidney beans -
1. Soakrajma overnight and cook it for 4-6 whistles in a pressure cooker. Allow it to cool completely. Always use cooked rajma while preparing any recipe.
2. Take well-cooked rajma in a bowl, mix chopped tomato, cucumber, boiled sweet corn, onion, coriander leaves, and lemon juice.Sprinkle alittle salt and black pepper and mix properly. This is one of the healthy saladsfor better digestion and weight loss.
3. Take boiled rajma while preparing rajma soup, rajma masala curry or rajma curry and enjoy with rice or chapati/poori/paratha. Rajma- chawal (rice) is a famous north Indian dish which is a perfect combination of carbohydrate, fiber and protein.
4. Pressure cook overnight soaked rajma for 5-6 whistles, cool it and strain all the water. Transfer it in a blender jar, blend it for 2-3 minutes and make a paste. Shift rajma paste into a mixing bowl, add sufficient amount of besan (gram flour), chopped vegetables - onion, green chili, coriander leaves, capsicum,spices as desired,and salt. Mix them properly and use this batter to make fritters, pakoras, tortilla warp,tikki, or kebabs.
5. Nowadays, rajma is also famous in powder form as rajma or kidney bean flour is used for making chapati, khakhra, dosa, pancakes, brownie, etc. Therefore, using rajma without boiling process in any form contains more amount of lectin or phytohemagglutinin which is a toxic protein that provides negative health effects. Use in very limited amounts.
6. Face pack for pimples and scars - Use soaked rajma pasteor rajma flour 2 teaspoons, add little honey and turmeric. Mix properly and apply all over the face. Leave it for 5 minutes and wash thoroughly with normal water.Use this remedy at least twice a week for the best results.
Note - Kidney beans should be eaten well-cooked as cooking destroys the toxins and make it easily digestible. Improper or under cooked beans contain some harmful toxic substances that can lead to numerous health problems.Portion size of rajma should also be considered as to allow easy digestion, especially during pregnancy. People with existing digestive troubles must consume the seeds in limited amount or take a dietician’s suggestion.