5 Benefits of Tepary Beans (With Nutrition Facts)

Tepary beans are a little-known type of legume.

Known scientifically as Phaseolus acutifolius, the beans are grown as a crop and are native to Western Mexico and the Southwestern United States (1).

This article presents five benefits of tepary beans and looks at their nutritional values in-depth.

Benefits of tepary beans

A pile of dried tepary beans.

Interestingly, tepary beans contain more protein than many other bean varieties and have excellent nutritional benefits.

Here is an overview.

1) High in protein

Tepary beans are approximately 24% protein by dry weight (2).

According to the NCC Food and Nutrient database, they have a protein content of 12.31 grams per 262-gram cup once cooked (3).

This protein content comes with a relatively low calorie provision of 170 calories per cup.

Alongside other high-protein legumes like lupin beans and soybeans, tepary beans are one of the best plant-based protein sources.

2) Tepary beans have significant fiber content

In addition to their protein content, tepary beans are one of the most significant sources of dietary fiber.

Just one 262-gram cup serving of cooked tepary beans offers 13.36 grams of fiber (3).

The current recommended daily value, based on a 2000-calorie diet, has been set by the FDA at 28 grams of fiber (4).

As a result, a cup serving of tepary beans provides 47.7% of the daily value for fiber for only 170 calories.

However, if the objective is to increase fiber intake, yellow split peas provide an even higher fiber content and rank among the most fiber-rich foods.

3) One of the best-tasting legumes

This may not sound so much of a ‘benefit,’ but taste is an important characteristic that influences food choices.

In other words, consuming healthy, nutritious foods is much easier if you like how they taste.

Tepary beans have an enjoyable taste and texture, with a slightly nutty flavor and a soft and creamy texture similar to cannellini beans.

However, it is worth noting that there are three varieties of tepary beans: brown, black, and white (5).

On this note, brown and black tepary beans have a more robust, earthier flavor than white tepary beans, which are much milder.

4) High levels of copper, folate, manganese, and selenium

Tepary beans contain a broad range of vitamins and minerals.

They offer exceptionally high amounts of copper, folate, manganese, and selenium.

Tepary beans provide more than 20% of the daily value for these four essential nutrients (3, 4):

  • Copper is essential for energy production, brain development, and functioning immune and nervous systems (5).
  • Folate is a crucial prenatal vitamin and helps to prevent neural tube defects. Additionally, it plays a vital role in producing DNA (6).
  • Manganese is essential for bone health and protecting cells against free-radical damage (7).
  • Selenium is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in the body’s antioxidant system, regulating inflammation and producing DNA (8, 9).

Aside from these four micronutrients, tepary beans are also a good source of B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.

5) High in bioactive compounds that may benefit human health

Aside from their general nutrient profile, tepary beans also contain various bioactive compounds that may have benefits.

The compounds found within tepary beans include (10):

  • Bioactive peptides
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenolic acids
  • Saponins

Although research is ongoing, these compounds are associated with benefits for human health (11, 12, 13, 14).

Additionally, consuming legumes like tepary beans is strongly associated with better health outcomes.

For example, a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials published in 2023 investigated legume consumption and the risk of all-cause mortality. The study found each linear 50-gram increase in legume intake was associated with a 6% lower risk of all-cause mortality (15).

Key Point: Tepary beans are a rich source of protein, fiber, micronutrients, and bioactive compounds. Higher consumption of tepary beans (and legumes in general) may also have health benefits.

Nutrition Facts

Here are the full nutritional values for tepary beans.

This data is per 262-gram cup of cooked tepary beans, and the nutritional data source is the NCC Food and Nutrient database (3).

All daily values (% DV) have been calculated using the FDA’s published daily values (4).

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories170 kcal
Carbohydrates31.36 g11.4%
Fiber13.36 g47.7%
Sugars1.31 g
Fat0.42 g0.5%
Saturated0.10 g0.5%
Monounsaturated0.24 g
Polyunsaturated0.08 g
Omega-30.03 g
Omega-60.05 g
Protein12.31 g24.6%
Cholesterol0 mg0%
Table 1: basic nutritional values for cooked tepary beans per 262-gram cup


VitaminAmount% Daily Value
Choline80.96 mg14.7%
Folate83.84 mcg21.0%
Vitamin A0 mcg0%
Vitamin B1 (thiamin)0.10 mg8.3%
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)0.13 mg10.0%
Vitamin B3 (niacin)1.52 mg9.5%
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)0.58 mg11.6%
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)0.31 mg18.2%
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)0 mcg0%
Vitamin C0 mg0%
Vitamin D0 mcg0%
Vitamin E1.23 mg8.2%
Vitamin K4.56 mcg3.8%
Table 2: vitamin composition of cooked tepary beans per 262-gram cup


NameAmount% Daily Value
Calcium102.18 mg7.9%
Copper0.47 mg52.2%
Iron2.99 mg16.6%
Magnesium73.36 mg17.5%
Manganese0.81 mg35.2%
Phosphorus15.72 mg1.3%
Potassium618.31 mg13.2%
Selenium41.92 mcg76.2%
Sodium18.34 mg0.8%
Zinc1.57 mg14.3%
Table 3: mineral composition of cooked tepary beans per 262-gram cup

How to use tepary beans

We can use tepary beans in the same way as any other type of bean in recipes.

However, finding pre-cooked ‘canned’ tepary beans can be difficult. As a result, they require cooking from their dried form.

As with any other dried legume, the cooking process can be lengthy. In this context, soaking the beans overnight helps to soften them and reduce the cooking time.

This guide to cooking them is informative and comes with a recipe idea too.

Like raw red kidney beans, raw tepary beans contain a toxic lectin, so it is vital to ensure they’re fully cooked (16).

Final Thoughts

Similar to Anasazi beans, tepary beans can be harder to find than other legumes, so they are not as well known.

However, these little beans have an excellent nutritional profile.

They are full of fiber and protein and provide high levels of a broad range of micronutrients.

The only thing to be wary of is to ensure they are adequately cooked and fully tender before eating them.

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Michael Joseph, MSc

Michael works as a nutrition educator in a community setting and holds a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. He believes in providing reliable and objective nutritional information to allow informed decisions.