The pinto bean is a variety of common beans. It is the most common bean in the United States and northwestern Mexico, and is most often eaten whole in broth or mashed and refried. Either whole or mashed, it is a common filling for burritos. The young pods may also be harvested and cooked as green pinto beans.
In Spanish, they are called frijol pinto, literally "speckled bean", and in South America it is known as the poroto frutilla, literally "strawberry bean". In Portuguese, they are called feijão carioca in Brazil (literally "carioca bean") and feijão catarino in Portugal. It is named for its mottled skin, hence it is a type of mottled bean.
This is the bean most commonly used for refried beans and in many dishes. Rice and pinto beans served with cornbread or corn tortillas are often a staple meal where meat is unavailable; the amino acids in this combination make it a complete protein source.
Pinto beans are commonly eaten beans in Brazilian cuisine.
In the Southern United States, pinto beans were once a staple of the people, especially during the winter months.
Pinto bean varieties include:
Studies have indicated pinto beans can help reduce cholesterol levels
Pinto beans are a great source of protein. Keep this in mind when looking for a meat substitute. Unlike red meat, they are fat free. Only one cup of pinto beans provides 1/4 of the U.S.D.A. recommended daily allowance of protein for adults. They are also salt-free--perfect for sodium-free diets. Pinto beans contain high amounts of the B vitamins thiamin, roboflavin and niacin. These are all necessary for growth and tissue building. Pinto beans are also rich in fiber. Dietary fiber helps to stabilize blood sugar levels.
Pinto beans aid in preventing many diseases. They aid in preventing heart disease due to their high levels of folate, magnesium and potassium. Magnesiun improves the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Potassium is a mineral that is necessary for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Folate helps lower levels of homocysteine in the blood. Elevated levels of homocysteine are a risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
If you suffer from diabetes, insulin resistance, and hypoglycemia you can benefit from adding pinto beans to your diet. Not only does the fiber content lower cholestorol, but it keeps blood sugar levels from rising after meals. Consistent, slow burning energy to the body is the result.
Pinto beans contain a property called molybdenum, which detoxifies sulfites. Sulfites are preservatives added to many foods and deli meats. Individuals with this sensitivity may experience rapid heartbeat and disorientation after consuming high amounts.