Most people know that beans are large plant seeds. What I’ll bet you didn’t know is that a bean is also known as a ‘pulse’. Not the heart-beating type of pulse, but the edible legume-type of pulse.
Beans, peas, and pulses all belong to the legume family. Some studies show that legumes help prevent heart diseases and cancer. Legumes and beans are high in fibre and help stabilize blood-sugar levels. Since they help keep the cholesterol at low levels, they help keep your weight down. In short, beans benefits are good for you and you want to eat more of them.
But most of us don’t know much about them. That’s why you’re here, I presume.
Different Types of Beans
There are a lot of different types of beans, and each of them has their own set of nutrients that are good for the body. Below are some of the most nutritious types of beans we have today:
Red Kidney Beans
Aptly named, these beans are kidney-shaped and can be found in any supermarket. They hold their shape during cooking and easily absorb the surrounding flavors, making them excellent choices to be used in simmered dishes such as chili and ragout. They contain no cholesterol and are an excellent source of potassium, iron, and calcium. Make sure to always cook kidney beans properly, as they may contain a natural toxin which can cause vomiting and stomach aches.
White Kidney Beans
These are pea-sized cream-coloured beans and have a dense and creamy texture and a mild flavour. Just like their red cousins, white kidney beans give you energy to burn while stabilizing blood sugar and by helping to replenish your iron stores.
Never heard of the mung bean? They are one of the most common type of beans known today, but you probably know them better as the bean sprout. Unlike other types of beans, mung beans originated from India, but have been cultivated in Southeast Asia for more than a thousand years now. They are an excellent source of Vitamin C.
These are also known as string beans. Green beans don’t have as much starch and protein as other beans, but they do have high amounts of Vitamin A and C.
In addition to having a unique appearance — a beige background strewn with reddish brown splashes of color — pinto beans also have high amounts of dietary fiber, manganese, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, and Vitamin B1. In short, pinto beans are all-stars.
Adzuki beans are reddish-brown coloured beans packed with high levels of protein. What sets them apart is that they are easier to digest, and therefore you’re less likely to be as gassy. Aside from protein, aduki beans also contain high amounts of fiber and trace minerals.
In our next post, I’ll go into further detail of the health benefits of beans and how to prevent gas when eating beans.