Benefits of Eating Dry Beans for Seniors

Humans have been consuming dry beans for thousands of years. In fact, civilization began to flourish when humans discovered dry beans and grains. Here’s another interesting fact: dry beans can last up to 25 years when stored correctly— they are non-perishable. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of eating dry beans for seniors.

Are older adults in the North American region consuming enough beans? Are they aware of the fact that beans are a superfood?  

A Canadian study concludes that only 51 percent of older adults in the North American region are bean consumers— this is an approximation based on the results. 83.6 percent of participants (who were older adults over 65 years) knew that beans are healthy. They were aware of the fact that adding beans to their diet could help them prevent chronic diseases. 

Popular dry beans for healthy aging:

  • Red kidney beans
  • Lima beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Navy beans
  • Black beans
  • Adzuki beans
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Mung beans
  • Black Turtle
  • Soybeans

Why are some people bean-averse?

Despite beans being high in nutrients ( such as dietary fiber, protein, folate, potassium, iron, and zinc) some people avoid eating them. Why is this the case? A report by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that beans have a negative culinary image and their consumption can lead to intestinal discomfort. 

Flatulence only occurs in cases of overconsumption. Dried beans are rich in oligosaccharides, a carbohydrate responsible for gas formation in the intestines. Studies say that you should eat dried beans despite the intestinal discomfort. Bean consumption is good for your colon. It also prevents colon cancer. 

Needless to mention, you must consult a nutritionist if you are feeling bloated in the stomach every time you consume cooked dry beans. Or you can try different types of dry beans to find the one that doesn’t upset your stomach. There are several ways of cooking dried beans, which you might want to look into. 

Another report suggests that dried beans contain small amounts of cyanide components such as cyanogens4. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) dictates the levels of cyanide allowed in food items. Dried beans have a cyanide level of less than 25 ppm, which is safe for human consumption, although the term “cyanide” could turn some folks away from this superfood. 

What are the benefits of eating dry beans for seniors?

A cup of well-cooked dried beans contains about 14 to 16 grams of protein, 3.6 to 6.6 mg of iron, and 80 to 120 mg of calcium. Adding one cup of your favorite cooked dried beans can improve your overall health in a matter of days. It is recommended you have a cup of cooked dried beans once every 3-4 days. 

Below are some of the benefits of eating dry beans for seniors:

1. Better heart health

High blood cholesterol is the primary cause of heart disease. It is also common for older adults to have high levels of triglycerides in the blood. This is mainly due to the consumption of fast foods. Dried beans are rich in dietary fiber which is proven to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. Hence, dry beans offer better heart health.

2. Prevents diabetes

Experts recommend that older adults consume a cup of cooked dry beans every other 3-4 days. Dried beans contain dietary fiber which prevents blood sugars from going up after a meal. You don’t need to eat cooked beans post-meal. Adding them to your breakfast, lunch or dinner will help you keep blood sugar low. 

3. Lowers the risk of cancer

Although the evidence is still quite insubstantial, studies suggest that bean consumption (legumes to be specific) can reduce the risk of prostate and stomach cancer). Cancers in the upper aerodigestive tract, stomach, and kidney can be prevented by consuming a high amount of legumes. 

4. Good for the digestive system

Dried beans contain a high amount of dietary fiber, which is considered good for digestion. Older adults who frequently suffer from upset stomachs or gas formation in the stomach can add dried beans to their diet. Most seniors can digest the dietary fiber without any issues. 

5. Keeps your weight under check

Regular consumption of beans can help older individuals maintain healthy body weight. Research suggests that people who consume a diet containing whole grains and legumes have a lower body mass index and smaller waist circumference. A cup of cooked dried beans is a perfect super snack for seniors trying to lose weight.


Dried beans have been around for ages. They are one of the most nutritious superfoods out there. If you do buy dry beans, make sure to store them in absence of light and oxygen. Do not consume dried beans once they fade or get discolored. If possible use oxygen absorbers to remove spare oxygen from the storage bag.   

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