Benefits Of Winged Bean

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Old 09-Feb-2010
Benefits Of Winged Bean

Winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus) popularly known as the Goa bean is a tropical legume found growing abundantly in hot, humid equatorial countries. Thus, one might often come across this plant in countries like India, Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia. Certain varieties of the plant are also found growing abundantly in parts of the America. Typically growing as a vine, the plant reaches an average height of 3 to 4 meters and is usually perennial in nature. However, the plant can also be grown as an annual. The skin or the outer covering of the plant is found to be waxy while the flesh in the young pods is slightly translucent. However, when the pods turn slightly mature, they turn into an ash-brown color and finally splits revealing the inner seeds. The flowers on the other hand have a slight blue hue and the beans themselves are renowned for their high nutritional content. One of the greatest uses of this plant is that they help in the process of nitrogen fixation with the aid of the soil bacterium Rhizobium. As a result of its ability to fix nitrogen using a natural process, the plant requires very little or no fertilizers. To know more about this unique plant species, read the information given below.

Health Benefits Of Consuming Winged Bean:
  • Winged beans have the highest calcium content among all legumes and as such, are very beneficial for the human skeletal system. The calcium present in these beans helps in the production and maintenance of the bones and provides strength to overcome diseases and weaknesses.
  • Winged beans are also a good source of natural minerals, vitamins (especially A and C), iron and enzymes.
  • As a legume, wing bean scores high on protein content. In other words, it proves to be a good source of protein for humans as well as animals.
  • While buying winged beans, make sure that they are not wilted. At the same time, there should be no brown spots on the beans.
  • The best way to store winged beans is to keep them in a plastic bag and put inside the refrigerator. They will hold well for 2-3 days.
  • Before cooking winged beans, it is advisable to rinse them thoroughly, under cold running water. Then, part them dry, remove the stem and stir-fry.
  • The tuber and young leaves of winged beans can be used in salads.
  • Winged bean flour can be used as a protein supplement, while making bread.
  • The flowers of winged beans can be used to color rice and pastries.

Although there are no reports of any kind of post-harvest illness, research has indicated that the plant species is highly susceptible to different fungal, viral, bacterial and nematode diseases. Apart from this, there is also a high probability of contamination of stock by mold fungi.

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