The World of Beans; kinds of Beans and Health Benefits of Beans

Kinds of Beans

On the list of my favorite food there is white rice with beans, and porridge beans (whether it’s made ewa oloyin, iron or potasco beans). This wasn’t the case years ago…. In my pre-teen years especially. Now I have come to like beans for its texture and uniqueness generally.

The world of beans is much bigger than we can imagine, there are so many types of beans and bean dishes globally. From the English breakfast staple baked beans, game night and American comfort food Chili, Rajma the Indian kidney bean curry, Succotash beans and corn dish, and even our Nigerian Adalu a beans and corn pottage…

Rajma Masala Curry in black bowl isolated on white. Red Kidney Bean Dal is indian cuisine vegetarian dish. Asian food, meal. Top view
Homemade Organic Vegetarian Chili with Beans and Cheese
Homemade Beef and Cheese Tostadas with Lime and Cilantro
Homemade Succotash with Lima Beans Corn and Bacon
Texas BBQ from Hutchins, Chicken, Pork, Beef, Brisket and all the sides

Today we will be spilling the beans on beans (pun intended hehe) and talk about its benefits.

 

Types of Beans   

 

Firstly, our beloved beans and its varieties are legumes, and this a list of noteworthy kinds of beans;

  • Black beans; this bean features in Latin and creole cooking. It is used to make the popular Cuban black bean and rice (with some fried plantains on the side). If you are familiar with Mexican food, this bean is the key component of the refried beans (the beans are cooked, afterwards sautéed with minced onions, garlic and spices and mashed), this goes with everything from tostadas to tortilla chips, and black beans goes into burrito…. As you can see this guy is a pretty important bean.
  • Black beans

 

  • Red/ White Kidney beans; canned or dried red kidney beans go well with rice dishes, pastas, casserole, salads. Red kidney beans it is the star of a curry “Rajma” I mentioned earlier.
  • Kidney Beans

 

  • Honey beans; this is very popular here in Nigeria; it is not the only variety eaten or grown here. It is very tasty when cooked in porridge style, with tomatoes, peppers, palm oil etc. Sweet potatoes, plantains, proteins and veggies can be added in the porridge too.
  • Black eyed/honey beans

 

  • Navy beans; this is used to make the canned baked beans we all know and other richer style baked beans with bacon, sausages with spices and molasses (this style is very popular in the USA), it can be used to make soups, casseroles and chili too.
  • Navy beans

 

  • Mung beans; this bean is indigenous to India but popular in other countries in Asia. It can be used to make soups, curries, salads etc. it has a reputation for being very nutritious and good for digestive health.
  • Mung Beans

 

  • Garbanzo beans (chick peas); have you heard of hummus or falafel? These popular dishes are made from chick peas. These beans are used in Middle Eastern and Indian cooking. It is also quite popular in the vegan/vegetarian fan clubs.
  • Garbanzo beans

 

  • Lima beans; these pearly white beans like its counterparts feature in soups, sauces, pastas, casseroles and stews.
  • Lima Beans
    Dried White Organic Baby Lime Beans Ready for Cooking

 

  • Pinto beans; this bean is used in Mexican cooking, it can be used to make refried beans like black beans, it is good to go by itself alone and can also be added to other dishes too.
  • Pinto Beans

 

  • Soybeans; this bean has a slightly different use from the rest, soy milk is made from soybeans, tofu is a byproduct of soybeans, it is also used to make umami like doenjang (fermented soybean paste), miso (Japanese condiment) and Maggi cubes.
  • Soy Beans

 

 Benefits of Beans

 

  • They are protein rich, even though the average has more carbohydrate than proteins in its proximate composition… beans are protein rich because they have enough proteins per cup to get you ahead on achieving your RDA for protein.
  • They are important source of proteins for vegetarians and vegans. As you know these group of people do not consume animal proteins, and the latter do not consume even the byproducts of animal produce. These beans play vital role in their diet and cooking.
  • They are a good source of fiber, this makes them good for diabetics, weight loss/high-fiber diets. Remember fiber can help balance glucose levels and also promote good gut health.
  • They contain magnesium, potassium, zinc and folate. Out of the many vital nutrients in beans, folate is particularly important because it is needed for the production of red blood cells, general wellbeing, and it is highly recommended for pregnant women as it can help fetal development and prevent defect.
  • They combat free radicals in the body, beans contain a kind of anti-oxidant called Polyphenol. Anti-oxidants are useful in preventing disease that can be caused by the damage due to operations of free radicals, example of such disease is cancer.
  • They are low in carbs, I earlier mentioned that it has a higher percentage of carbs in its proximate composition, compared to your daily requirement of carbs beans is low in carbs; making it fitting for weight loss and weight management diet.
  • Another marvelous benefit of beans is that; beans are gluten free. If you don’t know what that means read about it here.

NOTE

 

There are people who have a hard time digesting beans, some people are allergic to beans, and soybean is considered a common allergen; so it is always put in labels for those who have such allergies to be careful.

A doctor once told me that in certain cases it is the pesticides and chemicals from the packaging that gives issues and stomach upsets to the person, so the preparation of beans is very important.

Some articles suggest you soak overnight or for a while, and always discard the initial cooking water of beans…. And of course wash properly before cooking. If after all this the problem persist you should check out other kinds of beans your system will tolerate better, talk to your doctor.

Always take the additives into consideration when substituting whole and raw beans with canned beans, canned are still nutritious and tasty but come loaded with salt and other components. To deal with the salt, rinse the beans before use.

Endeavor to combine with veggies, seeds, grains and different kinds of beans… etc. to make a more nutritional and rounded meal. One of the reasons is that plant proteins tend to be incomplete and require a variety and balanced combination to serve all the essential amino acids the body needs.

Along with more details on the nutritional content of beans, here is a description of how to treat/cook your beans.

 

Summary

 

Beans is a super food, it is relatively affordable and is a good source of proteins and fiber. It gives great texture and taste to our soups, casserole, salads and a variety of dishes. It is vegetarian and vegan friendly, and gluten-free which makes it suitable for a lot of people.

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