- No matter which corner of the world you reside in, beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are most economical food found throughout the world. Beans, seeds from leguminous plants, are popular among flowering plant family. There are different varieties of beans; on top of that the varieties of nutrients we found in it make preference for every health conscious. Beans are loaded with several nutrients like protein, fiber, iron, potassium, trans-fat, sodium, folate, magnesium etc. And the most convincing fact about them is that you don’t need to be a professional cook to cook them. It’s easy to cook and healthy to feed.
Without any further ado, let’s have a look on 12 different types of common beans throughout the world.
Red Kidney Beans
Red kidney bean, also known as Rajma, is one of the most popular and most consumed beans from legume family. This dark red-colored bean resembles the shape of kidney. Don’t get confused with red beans and red kidney beans. Though they look similar in color and usages, they differ from size and shape. Kidney beans are grown in various locations throughout the world but they have become popular in Nepali and Indian cuisine. While having no cholesterol in it, it is excellent dietary option for many, but can be toxic too if it is eaten raw. Presence of calories, water, protein, carbs, fiber, healthy fat, sugar makes it excellent diet. So make sure to add these beans to your diet in well-cooked form.
2. Cannellini beans
You may have seen many white beans with different size out there. Cannellini bean falls under those types of white beans which looks like kidney in shape, creamy-white in color and larger among other white beans. Being very popular in Italy with variety of cuisines like minestrone and salad, they are also called Italian White Kidney Beans. It is believed that these beans are originally cultivated in Peru and spread throughout the world by merchant. These beans are packed with high level of protein, minerals, vitamin (B, C, K and E), fibers and many more.
3. Black Beans
Black beans, which are also known as Black Turtle Beans, are procured as one of the healthiest beans. Even though the shape of this black-colored beans resemble red kidney bean/rajma, they are slightly different in flavor and texture and completely different from its color. Though these beans are cultivated all around the world, they are more popular in Latin American Cuisine. The common uses of black beans in our kitchen are to make soup, salad, burger, noodles, pasta, patties, bara etc. According to Healthline Media, one of the popular sources of information for Health in America, a cup (256 grams) of cooked beans are approximately loaded with Calories-215, Protein-13.4grams, Fiber-13.6 grams along with other nutrients like manganese, thiamine, copper and iron.
4. Garbanzo Beans
Garbanzo bean (Spanish Name) or Chick Pea, which is popular with various names in different places like Kabuli Chana in Nepal, Desi Chane in India, is commonly found legumes worldwide. Turkey is believed to be the first country to cultivate it. This bean looks like gram seed but with beige color. Nutty and creamy taste of it makes it even better compared to other beans. Presence of significant amount of protein makes it best option for those who are cutting down meat from their diet. Apart from abundant number of protein, these beans are rich in several nutrients like carbs, fiber, vitamin, folic acid, zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus.
5. Fava Beans
Fava bean (Vicia Faba) is cultivated mainly in Mediterranean climate during spring season. They are tender and in soft pods with flat and bright green color while harvesting. Before cooking them, outer pod needs to be removed and peeled off the waxy skin of seed. This process makes it little more time consuming to cook as compared to other beans. Like other beans, fava beans too are loaded with several nutrients such as fiber, protein, vitamin B, minerals, iron, and magnesium. But for some people, it may trigger Glucose-6 phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6DD), a disorder that is related to metabolism which may develop anemia. So if you have G6PDD, don’t include it on your diet.
6. Red Beans
Beans with dark red-colored skin, small in size, oval in shape and slightly sweet and earthy in flavor are known as red beans (Adzuki Bean). Most of the people are confused with red beans and red kidney beans but these two are different while being complement to each other. Red beans are traditionally cultivated in East Asia but can be found worldwide. Like other beans, red beans too are loaded with tons of health benefits as they contain protein, carbohydrate, sugar, calcium, sodium and potassium. It is popularly consumed making soup, salad, or combining with other legumes.
It is believed that China is the first country to cultivate Soybean (Flycine max). You probably know the different forms of these beans such as tofu, soy protein, soy milk, soy sauce, soybean oil, soy flour, soy chunks etc. Presence of various nutrients such as carbohydrates, unsaturated fats, vegetable proteins, vitamins, fiber, minerals, phytoestrogens, isoflavones made it healthy diet choice. Apart from its health benefits, it has some adverse effect too. People with thyroid and food allergy should avoid it. It may cause diarrhea too. So consult with health experts before adding these beans to your regular diet.
8. Pinto Beans
Pinto Beans/Cranberry Beans
Pinto bean (Spanish Name) also known as Rajma/chitri-wale Rajma is yet another popular and healthy beans. It has oval shape with red-brownish spot in pale pink surface and with earthy and nutty flavor. These beans are available in most of the grocery shops. In Mexicon Cuisine, it is the most popular bean but can be found all around the world. Some of the nutrients that are found in pinto bean are protein, fiber, folate, copper, vitamin B1, manganese. Some of the researchers have found that pinto beans can help to reduce bad cholesterol level.
9. Mung Beans
One of the most consumed beans from legume family is mung bean (Vigna radiate). These small green-colored beans are popularly cultivated in India, Nepal and China. Sprouted mung beans are known to be weight losing food. They are loaded with many health benefits as they contain vitamin B, protein, potassium, magnesium, folate, iron, copper, manganese, carbs and fiber. It can be consumed as salad, soup, curry, daal, bara, pancake or combining with other pulses.
10. Black-Eyed Pea
Black-eyed pea (Vigna unguiculata subsp. unguiculata) is also known as cowpea/bodi/lobia. It has creamy-white color with black & white mark on a side that resembles an eye. Though it is called pea, it belongs to bean family which has edible seeds and pods. Simple and easy cultivating process of these beans has made them popular all around the world. They can be eaten simply by boiling or making soup, curry, patties, pan cake, or combining with different recipes. Apart from its taste, it is packed with various nutrients such as fiber, iron, protein, fat, carbs, folate, copper, iron, zinc, vitamin B6 and magnesium. So adding this to your regular diet can help you lose weight, enhance digestive system, prevent from several heart diseases.
Lentils (Lens culinaris) are also known as masoori daal in Nepal, Masur in India. It is believed that the lentils are world’s oldest cultivated bean. There are various types of lentils available, and some of them are brown lentils, green lentils, yellow lentils, puy lentils. It can be eaten by making soup, roasted, mixing with other beans, as pancake (Bara) etc. These cheap-in-price lentils are rich in health benefits as they contain several nutrients such as carbs, protein, fiber, vitamin, folate, iron and niacin.
Peas are types of legume wrapped with green cylindrical pod and are planted in spring. There are mainly three different types of peas. They are: English Peas (Garden Peas/ shell Peas), Snow Peas (Chinese Peas) and Sugar Snap Peas. All of these peas have tons of health benefits as they contain fiber, protein, vitamin, carbs, fats, potassium, carbohydrate etc. They are sweet and savory in taste when they are fresh-green and can be eaten raw, roasted, cooked combining with different vegetables and recipes.
There are more than 200+ type edible beans from legume family. Among them only common and most consumed beans are listed above. Almost, in all of the beans, common varieties of nutrients are found. Apart from their health benefits, they may develop allergic reaction to some people. And over eating of these are obviously harmful. Some of the beans can be cooked instantly and some need to be soaked in water overnight.