Is Beans Protein or Carbohydrate?

Nigerian cuisine is a diverse and flavorful blend of ingredients that reflects the country’s cultural heritage and natural resources. One of the staple foods that holds a significant place in Nigerian culinary traditions is beans.

Beyond its delicious taste and versatility in various dishes, beans offer a unique nutritional profile. One common question that often arises is whether beans are primarily a source of protein or carbohydrates.

To answer this question quickly; beans contain both protein and carbohydrate.

Nigerian Beans

In the following paragraphs, we’ll shed light on the nutritional aspect of Nigerian beans and the dual role it plays as a protein and carbohydrate source.


Beans are a type of legume that encompasses various varieties, each with its distinct taste, color, and texture.

In Nigeria, some of the most popular types of beans include black-eyed peas (also known as cowpeas), red beans (kidney beans), and brown beans. These beans have become integral to Nigerian cuisine and are used in several dishes, from stews to snacks and side dishes.

Protein Content in Nigerian Beans

When it comes to protein content, beans are a standout choice. They are loaded with plant-based protein, making them a crucial dietary component for both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

Nigerian beans, particularly black-eyed peas and red beans, contain an impressive amount of protein per serving. On average, a one-cup serving of cooked black-eyed peas can provide around 8-10 grams of protein, while the same amount of red beans can offer about 15 grams of protein.

This protein content is comparable to that found in animal products like meat and eggs, making beans an excellent alternative protein source.

Carbohydrate Content in Nigerian Beans

While beans are known for their protein content, they also contain a significant amount of carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are the body’s primary energy source, and beans contribute to a sustained release of energy due to their high fiber content.

In a one-cup serving of cooked beans, you can expect to find approximately 30-40 grams of carbohydrates. This carb content provides a valuable energy source, making beans a great addition to a balanced diet, especially for those with active lifestyles.


Fiber is an essential component of beans that contributes to both their protein and carbohydrate attributes.

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate not digested by the body but plays a crucial role in digestion and overall health. Nigerian beans are rich in dietary fiber, with a one-cup serving containing around 10-15 grams of fiber.

This fiber content aids in maintaining healthy digestion, promoting a feeling of fullness, and regulating blood sugar levels.

Incorporating Nigerian Beans into Your Diet

Nigerian cuisine offers several ways to enjoy the nutritional benefits of beans. From the iconic “moi moi,” a steamed bean pudding, to “akara,” deep-fried bean cakes, and “ewa agoyin,” a spicy bean stew, there are countless options to choose from.

Also, beans can be added to stews, salads, and rice dishes, enhancing flavor and nutrition.

Related Questions

What is the Percentage of Carbohydrates in Beans?

The percentage of carbohydrates in beans varies by type but generally ranges from around 20-40% in cooked beans.

Why is Beans Classified as Protein?

Beans are classified as protein because they are a significant source of plant-based protein, making them an important dietary option for protein intake, especially for vegetarians and vegans.

Is Brown Beans Protein or Carbohydrate?

Brown beans, like other types of beans, contain both protein and carbohydrates. The specific percentage of each can vary based on the type of bean and its preparation.

Do Beans Contain More Carbohydrate than Rice?

In general, beans contain more carbohydrates than rice. While beans are rich in protein and carbohydrates, rice is mainly composed of carbohydrates.

Are Baked Beans Carbs or Protein?

Baked beans are a carbohydrate source, as they are typically cooked in a sweet tomato sauce that contains sugars and carbs.

Are Black Beans Carbs or Protein?

Black beans are a combination of carbohydrates and protein, but they are more commonly recognized as a source of carbohydrates and fiber.

Wrapping Up

On whether beans are primarily a protein or carbohydrate source, the answer lies in their unique nutritional composition.

Nigerian beans stand as a prime example of this duality, offering a substantial amount of protein and carbohydrates, along with the added benefits of fiber and essential nutrients.

As you enjoy the diverse flavors of Nigerian cuisine, remember that beans play a crucial role in providing the energy and nutrients your body needs to thrive.

So go ahead, savor those delicious bean-based dishes, and embrace the nourishing goodness they bring to your table.