Pulses are an integral part of the cuisine of India especially Assam, which is an important component of a healthy meal plan. One such pulse rich in nutrients is common beans. This article describes the health benefits of common beans.
What are Common Beans?
Common bean is a leguminous annual plant in the Fabaceae family cultivated for its edible seeds. Common beans are native to Mexico and Central America, varieties of these beans are widely grown all over the world including India. Common beans are an excellent source of fiber, protein, vitamin B and many other important vitamins and minerals. (1) This bean can help lower blood sugar, improve cholesterol levels and help maintain a healthy gut, providing many healing health benefits including boosting the immune system.
The common bean grows as the bush or the vine. The leaves are developed together on the stems, are green or purple and are divided into 3 ovate leaflets with smooth sides. The leaves can be 6-15 cm (2.4-5.9 inches) long and 3-11 cm (1.2-4.3 inches) wide. Common beans produce white, pink, or purple flowers that are about 1 cm (0.4 inches) in diameter, and bean pods that are 8-20 cm (3.1-7.9 inches) long and 1-15 cm (0.4-0.6 inches) wide. They can range in color from green to yellow or black to purple. Each pod contains 4-6 kidney-shaped beans.
Benefits of Common Beans
1. Reduce cholesterol
Common beans are high in complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber which lowers blood cholesterol levels. The presence of soluble dietary fiber forms a gel-like substance in the stomach, which surrounds cholesterol and prevents its reabsorption in the body.
2. Good for diabetic
Common bean is a healthy option for diabetics as it has a low glycemic index, which balances the amount of sugar in the blood. It also reduces the risk of developing diabetes.
3. Improves memory
Rich in vitamin B1, which contributes significantly to healthy cognitive function. Adequate amounts of vitamin B1 help in the synthesis of acetylcholine (an important neurotransmitter), which ensures proper brain function and increases density and memory. It is also beneficial in reducing the progression of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
4. Boost energy
The manganese in common beans is very important in managing metabolism, which basically breaks down nutrients to produce energy for the body.
5. Antioxidant properties
Manganese in common beans helps the body’s antioxidant defenses to destroy harmful free radicals properly and efficiently. Therefore, common beans belong to the category of antioxidant rich foods.
Read Also: Top 10 Benefits of Soybean
6. Prevents hypertension
Common beans are a good source of potassium, magnesium, soluble fiber and protein, thus helping to reduce high blood pressure. Together, these components help maintain normal blood pressure. Potassium and magnesium dilate arteries and vessels and ensure smooth blood flow.
7. Helps in weight loss
The large amount of dietary fiber in common beans keeps them full for a long time. Also, the low fat content makes it a healthy low-calorie meal.
8. Relieves constipation
The insoluble dietary fiber of common beans adds a lot to your urine, which ensures a smooth bowel movement and helps relieve constipation.
9. Boost immunity
The antioxidants in common beans protect the cells of your body and strengthen the immune system.
10. Anti-aging properties
The antioxidants in common beans protect against free radicals and reduce cell aging. These help reduce wrinkles, cure appearance and nourish hair and nails.
11. Cleanses stomach
When consumed in the right amounts, common beans can help cleanse the digestive tract, ensure the removal of toxins from the body and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
12. Improves heart health
The high levels of magnesium in common beans work on cholesterol and help the body fight heart related diseases like stroke, vascular diseases, protect arteries, heart attack etc. and maintain a strong heart.
13. Strengthens the bones
The manganese and calcium in common beans strengthen bones and help prevent osteoporosis. Common beans help maintain bone and joint health, which reduces the risk of bone disease and fractures.
14. Helps reduce migraine
The magnesium in common beans helps prevent severe migraine headaches and stabilizes blood pressure.
15. Helps relieve rheumatoid arthritis
The high copper content in common beans reduces inflammation in the body in cases of arthritis. Copper also ensures flexibility of ligaments and joints.
16. Helps relieve asthma
The magnesium in common beans has a bronchodilatory effect and ensures smooth airflow in and out of the lungs. Studies show that low magnesium levels can lead to asthma.
Uses of Common Beans
Common beans are delicious to eat. These beans can be eaten cooked, fried, curry, porridge, soups etc. They are also added to salads, pasta, pizza, burgers etc. Common beans can also be added to chicken curry. Common beans should be soaked in water overnight before eating and should be eaten well cooked, as raw and immature common beans cause stomach problems.
Side effects of Common Beans
Consumption of raw or partially cooked common beans are toxic, as they contain high levels of the toxic protein called phytohaemagglutinin, which can cause diarrhea and vomiting. On the other hand, excessive consumption of cooked common beans lead to digestive problems such as bloating. Some of the problems it can cause include blocked bowels, abdominal pain, diarrhea and gas. Too much folate from common beans is also harmful as it can increase the risk of cancer. Excessive consumption of common beans can damage the organs and therefore, it is important to monitor your diet carefully. Also check for excess iron in the diet which can damage the brain and even cause heart attacks. Common beans should be soaked in water for at least 5 hours and cooked thoroughly to remove most of the toxins, making them safe, harmless and nutritious to consume.
Therefore, common beans should be used in the right amount considering its advantages and disadvantages as excessive use of any ingredient can harm our health. The above information is provided for general information purposes only. It is recommended to consult a doctor before using common beans.
The information discussed in this article has introduced you to the health benefits of common beans. In this article you will learn about the benefits, harms, uses and information of common beans. I hope the information mentioned in this article will be useful to you. Thank you!
1. What is the benefit of common beans?
Ans: Common beans are an excellent source of fiber, protein, B vitamins and many other important vitamins and minerals. These beans can help lower blood sugar, improve cholesterol levels and help maintain a healthy gut, providing many healing health benefits including boosting the immune system.
2. Common beans is native to which place?
Ans: Common beans is native to Mexico and Central America.
3. Are raw common beans poisonous?
Ans: Yes, consumption of raw or partially cooked common beans are toxic, as they contain high levels of the toxic protein called phytohaemagglutinin, which can cause diarrhea and vomiting.
4. Common bean plant belongs to which family of plants?
Ans: Common bean plant belongs to the Fabaceae family of plants.
5. What is the scientific name of Common bean?
Ans: The scientific name of Common bean is Phaseolus vulgaris.