Solving A Dilemma: Are Baked Beans A Vegetable?

When it comes to baked beans, many people come to us and ask are baked beans a vegetable or not? Technically speaking, beans are a plant and they do belong to a vegetable group. They do contain ingredients characteristic to vegetables, like potassium, fiber and folate. On the other hand, baked beans also contain some added sugar and are also very rich in sodium. While sodium is beneficial in moderation, the amounts found in baked beans can actually be harmful in an event of excessive consumption.

Speaking from a strictly scientific point of view, there is no real dilemma. Baked beans are, without any doubt, a vegetable. However, they might not be a type of vegetable you are looking for if you are planning to introduce more veggies to your diet. Baked beans can also be counted purely as a protein, although they are technically plant seeds. This is especially true for vegetarians and vegans who do not consume meat or poultry. With these people, beans can represent one of the most important protein sources.

So, Are Baked Beans A Vegetable?

Thus, baked beans do present us with an interesting dilemma. Botanically speaking, they are clearly vegetables (legumes), but from a nutritional perspective, these starch rich seeds are often more observed as proteins.

Are Baked Beans A Vegetable, a clear bowl filled with cooked baked beans.

Many people out there, who do consume beans regularly in their diets, simply refuse to treat them as vegetables, despite of their botanical properties. Others are of the opinion that baked beans are clearly a vegetable and are also firm in their belief that much like other types of vegetable, baked beans have their rightful place in a balanced diet. So, are baked beans a vegetable or what?

Baked Beans Nutrition Facts

In order to shed some more light on this topic, although there is no possible answer that would satisfy both camps, we bring some key nutritional information about baked beans. This information will at least help clear some doubts about “vegetable” properties of baked beans. Below information is for one 235 g serving.

  • Calories: 266 – making up for about 13% of recommended daily intake. Baked beans are thus a great source of calories.
  • Total carbohydrate: 51.8 g – which represents about 17% of total recommended daily intake.
  • Protein: 12.1 g – or almost a quarter of recommended daily intake. Baked beans are clearly a great source of proteins and this is one of the most important reasons for disputing their status as vegetables.
  • Total fats: 2 g

This breakdown does speak somewhat in favor of those claiming that baked beans cannot be counted as vegetables, as they seem to be far more important as source of protein. However, they also contain many elements found primarily in vegetables, like vitamins and minerals. We hope as you are reading this article you are begining to understand the question are baked beans a vegetable. So. are baked beans a vegetable?

Baked Beans Nutrition Facts a clear glass gilled with baked beans.

  • Vitamin C: 7.8 mg – which is about 13% of recommended daily value.
  • Folate: 60.7 mg – making up for 15% of recommending daily intake.
  • Choline: 77.9 mg
  • Potassium: 749 mg – about 21% of recommended daily value
  • Calcium: 136 mg – 13% of recommended daily intake
  • Magnesium: 81 mg – 20% of recommended daily intake
  • Iron 0,7 mg

If we were to put botanic aside for one brief moment and look at baked beans from a purely nutritional perspective, than the answer to the question of the title is: yes, and much more. Value of baked beans as vegetable should not simply be ignored because of its other properties. It is simply vegetable that surpasses its category, but is vegetable nonetheless.

Of course, it should be emphasized that due to these other properties, baked beans need to be consumed in moderation. For example, unusually high levels of sodium are something that needs to be considered if baked beans are a regular part of your diet. Like with many other foods out there, keeping things within suggested limits is a key to health. We hope you are understanding the whole are baked beans a vegetable question now.

Baked Beans Benefits

Now that you understand the questionare baked beans a vegetable lets get onto some benefits of consuming baked beans. All the debate aside, it can be stated without any doubt that baked beans bring some very important health benefits to the table. So. are baked beans a vegetable?

As an excellent source of fibers, baked beans help your intestines’ operation and prevents constipation. Although many people avoid it because of gas problems, this is actually a healthy (even if unpleasant) occurrence. Of course, for some people it can become a more serious problem and in those cases it is suggested to cut down on fibers in general in your diet.

Being protein-rich, baked beans play an important role in building muscle tissue. They can also provide you with a lot of energy with your activity and for this precise reason, they have often been referred to as “poor man’s meat”.

Vitamins and minerals contained in baked beans are of great significance for numerous processes in your body. Iron is essential for element for blood production, magnesium plays essential role in bone formation and lowers cholesterol, potassium helps proper functioning of your heart and other muscles etc.

Some studies have also indicated that baked beans contain high antioxidant levels. These substances fight free radicals in the body. These free radicals are responsible for numerous illnesses, like cancer, as well as aging process.

Baked Beans Benefits, baked beans cooking in a pan with a sausage.

In conclusion, if we were to give a definitive answer to the question are beans a vegetable, it has got to be yes, simply because vegetables are a botanical category. They do have some non-characteristic features which make their status as vegetables questionable in some people’s minds, but these distinctive features are not enough to remove them from their natural category. So. are baked beans a vegetable?

Health benefits of baked beans are numerous and undeniable. However, since they are rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals, baked beans are a type of food that really needs to be consumed with care and in moderation, as excessive amounts can produce some undesirable results.

All said and done, baked beans certainly have a place as a part of your diet and there is no reason not to treat them as vegetables with added benefits. We hope this has helped you understand the question are baked beans a vegetable.

Image Rights For Are Baked Beans A Vegetable

Images used via a creative commons license – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Image One by ID10T – https://www.flickr.com/photos/zi1217/3381902927/

Image Two by John Robinson – https://www.flickr.com/photos/robbophotos/486896502/

Image Three by Phil Long – https://www.flickr.com/photos/skyfire/6551554189/

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