Beans: Health Benefits and Nutritional Values

Beans – Tiny Seeds That Holds Great Health Benefits.

There are thousands of natural food varieties available in the world. Each food has its own unique qualities that possess several health benefits that ultimately promote good health.

 Fruits and vegetables are the most widely used natural foods in the world. Apart from these natural foods several plant seeds are used as foods from ancient time onwards. Most of the plant seeds are categorized as legumes and beans are the most commonly used legumes in the world. There are different types of beans available in different parts of the world. The word bean was used originally to recognize the seeds of Fava or broad bean and later it became a common identification for plant seeds or legumes such as chickpeas, soy beans, and peas. The term is often interchangeably used for pulses though pulses are the leguminous crops that are used to produce dry grain. Beans usually denote leguminous crops that are harvested in the green or raw form. The beans are scientifically classified in the category of Fabaceae or Leguminosae. The origin of the beans is traced back to centuries ago in many parts of the world in different names that was grown in wild atmosphere. The oldest or the most probably the first domesticated beans reminiscence were found in the Guitarrero Cave in Peru in the second millennium BCE.

There are two broad classifications of the beans as old age beans and new age beans. The Fava beans belong to the old age and the new age world varieties include kidney beans, black beans, cranberry, pinto, chick peas, soy beans, urad bean, moong bean, Bengal bean and navy bean. Currently several countries including India, Brazil, China, Burma, China, United States, Mexico, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Argentina produce several varieties of dry beans. India is the highest producer of the different variety of dry beans as in many parts of India beans are staple form of food. Beans are used in many cuisines in various forms like soups, stew, curries porridge and salads. Dried powdered beans flour is used for making several main course meals. It can be prepared along with other vegetables, meat, poultry and seafood. Many dried beans are soaked for long hours before cooking.

Every single bean is enriched with all essential nutrients that good for health. Several researches have been done on finding the nutrient levels that constitute strength, stamina and whole health benefits to the human body. Certain beans are also given as cattle or livestock feed. It is estimated that there are more than 40,000 varieties of beans. One of the basic nutrient found in all most all species of the beans are the high protein content. It also enriched with carbo hydrates and low in fat content. The USDA nutritional data base gives the nutritional value as 80 calories per 100g that is the highest calorie content. People who involve in the jobs that require physical effort and sports person use beans as a good source of energy for building stamina.

One of the major draw back of the beans is the toxin content in the uncooked form. Through cooking at the right temperature the toxins can be eliminated. Other than this drawback beans have adequate amount of soluble dietary fiber that helps to reduce the blood cholesterol level. Complex carbohydrates, folate and iron are also present in every type of beans. Many beans variety like soy beans and broad beans contain oligosaccharides enzymes that helps in digesting sugar molecules in the large intestine and give intestinal health and people with diabetes can rely on beans for this unique quality to slow down the blood sugar levels. It also prevents the colon cancer. They are enriched with folate and iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, molybdenum and antioxidants that fight against oxidation stress.

 A daily intake of beans are good to prevent the malnutrition in children and adults who are health conscious can make beans as regular ingredient in their diet in cooked or sprout forms that provides great benefit for health.