Everything That You Need to Know About Beans

  • By JC's
  • September 18, 2019
  • In News

Beans are a nutrient dense food that are easy to prepare and won’t run up your shopping bill. They are used all across the world and are a popular addition to many delicious and tasty dishes. From a scientific perspective, beans are seeds from the Fabaceae family, also known as legumes or peas. Some of the most common types that you might find on a dinner table include: black, lima, kidney, pinto, fava and navy. Beans are used in stews, curries, salads and much more. Apart from providing great texture and flavour to food, you can also expect to enjoy a range of health benefits when you include them in your diet.

History

 

Beans have a rich history and have been filling empty stomachs for thousands of years. Research suggests that they were first used over 9,000 years ago in Thailand and nearby areas. Continents away, people in Peru and Mexico grew bean plants from as early as 7000 BC. Carbon traces dating back to ancient times have also been found in Egypt, China and throughout the Middle East. European colonialists learned cultivation techniques from Native Americans and later shared these findings with their counterparts back home. It didn’t take long before the entire world was growing and eating beans in some shape or form. Today, the countries that have the highest production levels include Brazil, Myanmar, India and China.

Health benefits

 

Beans pack a punch in all the right ways. The health benefits can include:

 

  • Nutrient uptake – beans contain many different nutrients that are important for overall health and wellness. They provide a high concentration of folate which helps with the production of red and white blood cells in the bone marrow. Folate converts carbohydrates into energy which is vital if you want to avoid feeling lethargic and sluggish. There’s plenty of zinc, iron and magnesium found in beans too. Want to feel fuller for longer? Beans are also jam packed with fibre which means you won’t need to eat as much throughout the day.
  • Reduced risk of cancer – the anti-inflammatory nature of beans means that they can help to lower your chance of developing certain cancers within the body. Studies have indicated that beans also contain powerful antioxidants that can assist with intestinal health, which may fight off related diseases. Plant chemicals such as isoflavones and phytosterols in particular can damage harmful cancer cells.
  • Heart health – you can lower your cholesterol levels by consuming beans which is great news for your heart. Fatty deposits can increase the risk of cardiovascular complications and heart disease which make beans a fantastic option to include in any standard diet. Research has shown that people who consume this food type may be less likely to suffer from heart attacks or strokes. Relevant saponins and phytosterols can also help to bring down cholesterol levels in the blood.
  • Improved gut function – black beans have been identified as potentially offering benefits to the gut and the digestive system. The reason for this being that beans can strengthen the intestinal barrier and boost healthy bacteria levels. Similarly, they may help to fight off diseases related to the gut area too.

Potential issues

 

Beans can potentially lead to complications with certain individuals, so it’s always best to check with a health professional or dietician if you are prone to allergic reactions or sensitivity. Some beans should always be cooked prior to consumption because they can cause food poisoning. This is usually related to exposure to a protein called lectin. It’s always a good idea to thoroughly wash all beans before eating.

Ideal growing conditions

 

The good news for anyone interested in growing beans is that the process is simple and easy. They require plenty of direct sunlight but benefit from some protection in extremely hot conditions. Drainage is also an important factor that needs to be considered. If your soil is too wet or cold, then rotting can occur. To avoid this, be sure to plant your bean seeds during the warmer months when the surrounding ground temperature is higher. Avoid over watering or over feeding your bean shoots with too much fertilizer for optimal results. Depending on the type, you can expect to harvest your crop within 10-14 weeks.

 

Recipe ideas

 

Beans are a diverse ingredient that can be added to a variety of recipes. They can be used in spicy chili pots, succulent meat dishes, hearty stews and much more. Grill beans on a hot plate with oil and seasonings for a tasty entrée or bake them inside of a whole capsicum for a healthy treat. Beans can be found in burritos, soups, salads and everything in between.

 

Facts about beans

 

  1. There are many different types of beans and they can vary in size considerably. Did you know that the biggest type of bean in the world grows up to 5 feet long?
  2. Native Americans were very creative when it came to production. Beans were grown next to corn so that the bean plants could climb the cornstalks to receive more sunlight.
  3. Beans are well celebrated. In fact, America has a national bean day.

Beans for everyone

 

At J.C.’s Quality Foods, we pack and ship quality produce from only the best growers. Our Australian family owned company has been operating since 1994 and we love working in the food industry. Speak to our friendly team today about how our products and services can match your needs.