Beans figure right at the top of naturally healthy plant foods that are commonly consumed. Also known as legumes, beans are of many types and are prepared either by boiling, baking or frying. Most individuals are unaware of the advantages or benefits of certain types of beans over the other and sometimes think of and use certain types interchangeably. While this is harmless, it certainly helps to know the distinction between various sub-varieties and use the most suitable types in preparations. We highlight differences two sub-varieties in this black beans vs pinto beans comparison. This includes the types of benefits and the suitability of specific varieties for different preparations. Despite being grown globally, the varieties that are grown in native geographical locations are more popular. Here is a look at all the interesting details.

What makes beans popular as a plant food? What is the Black beans vs Pinto beans comparison all about?

The main reason for the popularity of beans as plant food is the high amount of plant protein. Beans belong to one of the category of legumes, and are typically divided into four different sub-varieties, viz., common beans, soybeans chickpeas and peas. Black beans and pinto beans belong to the same sub-category of beans, i.e. common beans. However, there are differences between the two in terms of size, color and nutrition. This is effectively the reason behind the Black beans vs Pinto beans comparison.

Black beans vs Pinto beans comparison in appearance

It is easy to distinguish black beans and pinto beans. The former is dark, shiny in color and smaller in size, while the latter is large and tan colored with speckles. Pinto beans are often described as having a painted appearance. Both the varieties trace their origins to South America and have found their way to other parts of the world. In terms of popularity, Black beans have an edge over pinto beans as the former variety is extensively used far east Asia.

The Black beans vs Pinto beans comparison cannot be complete without touching upon the flavor aspect. Black beans have a dense and rich flavor with a grainy texture or consistency. Pinto beans have a different flavor profile – more nutty, creamy and soft. One of the distinctions between the beans is that the flavor of black beans will remain distinct and clear in the preparation, while the flavor of pinto beans is likely to blend with that of the flavor of other ingredients, depending on the strength of the ingredients.

Ideal use cases for black beans and pinto beans

As we take the Black beans vs Pinto beans comparison further, let’s look at the preparations where black beans and pinto beans can be ideally used. Black beans are perfect for use in soups and dips while pinto beans suit fillings and spreads. This is because black beans are heavier in nature and can be used in preparations that involve higher temperatures for a longer time. The size and shape of black beans will remain unchanged, while that of pinto beans will change when exposed to moisture and heat. This is precisely why pinto beans are typically used in preparations that involve mashed beans.

Nutrition fact sheet – Black Beans

As we look at the Black beans vs Pinto beans comparison, it is essential to look at the nutrition of black beans and pinto beans.

Every half cup of black beans (of approximately 85 grams) delivers the following nutrition.



7.62 g


7.5 g


20.39 g


114 kilocalories


0.46 g


1.81 mg


0.28 g


23 mg


60 mg


120 mg


305 mg


1 mg


0.96 mg


0.21 mg


0.434 mg

Vitamin K

2.8 mg

The health benefits of black beans are impressive and include the following.


#1 Blood pressure – The presence of calcium, magnesium and potassium help to naturally regulate blood pressure. Additionally, black beans has relatively lower levels of sodium,, which ensure that blood pressure is maintained at safe levels.

#2 Heart ailments – The nutritional profile of black beans is loaded with the right percentage of fiber, folate, and potassium, with low cholesterol levels. This helps to improve heart health and reduces the risk of heart ailments. It combines with the lowered blood pressure levels to maintain good cardiovascular health of individuals

#3 Digestion – The high fiber content helps improve digestion in the body and improves motility in the digestion process. The presence of fiber is necessary for healthy bacteria in the colon, and black beans is therefore the ideal plant food to have to improve digestion.

#4. Bone health – Rich in iron, calcium, zinc and magnesium, black beans is pivotal to bone health. The specific benefits include greater bone strength, elasticity, and better structure from the nutrients in black beans.

#5 Cancer – The presence of selenium in legumes makes it an important ingredient in the diet of individuals undergoing holistic treatment for cancer. Selenium is known to prevent inflammation apart from reducing the growth of tumor. Additionally, selenium is known to detoxify compounds that are cancer-causing in nature.

#6 Diabetes – The high fiber content in beans makes this a great plant food product for diabetics. The advantage of black beans is the ratio of fiber and calories that help to make it an extremely important inclusion in diet for diabetics.

#7 Weight management – Individuals who consume beans feel ‘full’ as a result of the fiber content and this helps to fight food cravings. Consequently, food intake is controlled, while ensuring that the right nutrition is delivered, helping improve overall health.

Nutrition fact sheet – Pinto Beans

Now that we have seen the nutrition profile and benefits of black beans, it is time to look at the nutrition and health of pinto beans in the Black beans vs Pinto beans comparison.

Every cup of pinto beans (of approximately 100 grams) delivers the following nutrition.



21.47 g


15.5 g


62.55 g


347 Kcal


1.23 g


5.07 mg


113 mg


176 mg


411 mg


1393 mg


12 mg


2.28 mg


0.713 mg


1.174 mg

Vitamin C

    1. mg

Pinto beans are regarded as one of the best vegetarian sources of protein. With just 100 grams of pinto beans, you get as much as 38% of the required daily protein intake. Other health benefits include the following.


#1 Cancer – The presence of high levels of dietary fiber, helps ensure that the colon’s exposure to possible toxic chemicals is reduced by improving motility. Consequently, the possibility of colo-rectal cancer is considerably reduced. The presence of isoflavone Biochanin-A makes it an important food ingredient in diets that intended to help holistically manage cancer.

#2 Cholesterol – The fiber content in cholesterol, ensures that the cholesterol binding bile acids are quickly absorbed in the colon, which helps to regulate and control cholesterol levels in individuals.

#3 Gluten free food products – By virtue of being a gluten source of protein, pinto beans is popular as a gluten free alternative for individuals with allergies, including celiac disease. The beans is therefore an effective food product to prevent the triggering of allergies.

#4 Osteoporosis – Pinto beans are a rich source of antioxidants – for instance isoflavones, which are known to be effective in reducing osteoporosis and post menopausal cancer.

#5 Health of new borns – Pinto beans is rich in folates and vitamin B-12, this helps to ensure that new born babies are born without the consequences of neural tube defects. Pregnant ladies are typically fed diets that are rich in folate and pinto beans makes a good food ingredient.

#6 Blood pressure and heart health – Sodium is known to exert effects on the health of the heart and impact blood pressure. Pinto beans helps to combat the ill health through the high levels of potassium, thereby helping improve heart health and lowering blood pressure.

Overall nutritional comparison – Black beans vs Pinto beans

In the overall nutritional comparison of Black beans vs Pinto beans it is hard to pinpoint one variety as better over the other. This is because of the different benefits that each offer. In other words, each bean sub-variety has its own type of benefits and that makes it more suitable for different individuals. However, for the purpose of nutritional profile comparison, it is safe to conclude that black beans have a slight edge over pinto beans in the overall nutritional profile. This could be attributed to the fact that pinto beans has relatively higher levels of sodium than black beans. This makes black beans a better choice for individuals who need to regulate and control sodium intake levels.

Head to head comparison – Black beans vs Pinto beans

Here is a tabular representation of the head to head Black beans vs Pinto beans comparison. This will give a greater idea of the benefits that each offer.

NutrientBlack beansPinto beans
Fiber60% of recommended daily intake62% of recommended daily intake
Iron20% of recommended daily intake20% of recommended daily intake
Folate64% of recommended daily intake70% of recommended daily intake
Magnesium30% of recommended daily intake21% of recommended daily intake
Potassium17% of recommended daily intake21% of recommended daily intake
Phosphorous24% of recommended daily intake25% of recommended daily intake

As can be seen from the above comparison, it is hard to pick one variety over the other in terms of nutritional value. The difference is minimal. However, by virtue of the lesser sodium content, black beans is considered as relatively healthier than pinto beans.


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