6 Proven Health Benefits of Eating Beans and Rice Together

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Rice and beans are two common staple food items. Their existences have complemented each other throughout the times and across various culture. They are so closely linked that certain cultural “tributes” to rice and beans have been made, such as quoted by the legendary jazz musician, Louis Armstrong “red beans and ricely yours.”

With all these close relationships beans and rice seems to have plus their vital roles they seem to have in the society, what exactly are beans and rice? And what are the health benefits of eating beans and rice together?

Here are the health benefits of eating rice everyday.

About Beans and Rice

Beans are a generic term used to describe a form of seed belonging to the Fabaceae family of flowering plants and are commonly used as food for both humans and animals alike. Beans are grown in warm temperature with a growth process from planting to harvesting lasting approximately 55 to 60 days.

That is why, the growth of beans is almost exclusively restricted to tropical regions. Meanwhile some examples of common types of beans we consume are mung beans, green beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas, as well as soybeans.

Here are the health benefits of green beans and the health benefits of mung bean for babies.

On the other hand, rice is a form of cereal grain that has become the most widely consumed source of carbohydrate in the world. The presence of rice is very prevalent in almost every Asian culture and hence regarded as their staple food. It also happens to be the third-largest produced agricultural commodity after sugarcane and maize. Rice is cultivated in crops in open fields and it involves complex methods of preparing the right kind of soil, planting and draining at the right height of water, continuous pest management as well as harvesting. The whole growth cycle of rice from planting to harvesting takes about 105 to 150 days.

The two of them have a long history of being combined with each other. The combinations of rice and beans was first invented in West Africa. Not much is known about the further details, but anthropologists have theorized that this was possible because it was simply making sense to put them together.

The distribution of rice and beans have since spread to South America and North America along with the export of African slaves to these continents. However, before the 18th century, rice was regarded as a luxurious commodity, and so is rice and beans. It became synonymous with “cheap food” or “food for the poor” towards the middle 20th century. Meanwhile, varieties of the beans and rice dish are the Latin American “arroz con habichuelas” or “arroz con frijoles”.

These are also the health benefits black beans brown rice.

What are the Benefits of Eating Beans and Rice Together?

Here are the health benefits of eating beans and rice together:

  1. Beans and Rice Fulfill Your Nutritional Needs

Consuming a meal of rice and beans provides a balanced diet that fulfills your protein, vitamins and minerals as well as carbohydrate needs. Not many dishes can provide wholehearted nutritional values just like the beans and rice.

  1. Beans Represent the Proteins

Both beans and rice comprised of proteins, however the presence of proteins are much more dominant in the beans as compared to the rice. Protein basically makes up all the tissues, organs and cells in the body, so to uphold it at its prime condition, a routine intake of protein must be done.

Beans and rice provide adequate numbers of protein and amino acids. Indeed, beans as a source of protein is surely safe for vegetarians, so perhaps vegetarians should have no more reasons to not consume protein. 

  1. Carbohydrates comes from the Rice

Carbohydrates provide energy for the body, and according to MedLine Plus a majority of these goes into the brain and nervous systems. White rice is a source of carbohydrate, simple carbohydrates to be exact.

Why? Because it breaks down quick in the body and increases blood insulin levels in return. Meanwhile, brown rice belongs to the opposite group of carbohydrates, which is complex carbohydrates because it takes a long time for it to break down inside the body, hence a longer supply of blood insulins.

  1. It also has Dietary Fibres

The dietary fibres of rice and beans comes from the beans, which is also known as the soluble fibre. This type of fibres lower down lipoprotein or bad cholesterols, which of course is negative for your health. If lipoproteins are unchanged, it may lead to chronic cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack or stroke.

Dietary fibres protect the heart by reducing both blood pressure as well as inflammation. Soluble fibres are also safe for diabetics because it enhances the absorption of glucose inside bloodstreams.  

  1. Rich in B-Complex Vitamins

Notable examples of B-complex vitamins include thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, as well as folic acid. Both beans and rice contain wonderful resources of all these vitamins.

These vitamins also work together to regulate chemical reactions inside the body, converts food to energy, maintain the nervous system, maintain hormones, and support overall growth for an individual. Despite so, for a maximum benefit of vitamin B-complex, brown rice is preferred over white rice.

  1. Affordable yet Tasty

Just like what is written above, beans and rice used to be an idea of a cheap food or food for the unfortunate ones. The real truth is, it is fairly cheap to buy and easy to make! If you are not that good in cooking, don’t have the time to be in the kitchen or don’t feel like cooking, you can purchase some ready-to-heat canned beans in the supermarket and combine it with a warm plate of steamed rice. Easy peasy!


Despite being a staple source of carbohydrates, many health campaigns have called the restriction of rice consumption because it is very high in glucose, which easily leads to diabetes by rapidly increasing blood sugar levels. Should you fear the risk of diabetes or is already diabetic, it is much recommendable to replace white rice with the more glucose-friendly and rich-in-fibre brown rice.

These are the health benefits of not eating rice.