Black beans (Leguminocae)
ORIGIN & VARIETIES
Black beans originated in Peru over 7000 years ago. Black beans, haricot, kidney, lima, mung, pinto and string beans are all members of the Phaseolus vulgaris variety. A staple food in central and south America, they are widely used today in Latin America, the Caribbean and Punjabi cuisine.
There are about 6 cultivars of black beans, including:
-Black Magic: cultivated in the 1970s the beans are very large and the oblong pods turn jet black and glossy when mature and dried.
-Domino: genetically modified, developed in the US and released in 1981. The stringbeans, leaves and flowers are purple. The pods are oblong and slightly indented at the hilum.
-Valentine: Heirloom, commercially cultivated since 1897.
-Zorro: genetically modified, developed in the US and released in 2008, it is small and retains more of its black color after processing.
Today, the largest producers of these dried common beans are India, China, Indonedia, Brazil and the US.
SUPER RICH In vitamins and minerals these beans contain iron, manganese, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, selenium, calcium, potassium and vitamins B9, B1, B2, B5 B6 & E.
PLANT PROTEINS Dense, meaty and delicious, black beans are very rich in protein, happy veggies!
REPAIR & REPLENISH Dried beans provide the right aid to the proper function of our organs. They are nutritious and regenerate our nervous system. Aren’t they soothing!
FLUSH THE SYSTEM Dried beans relieve the kidneys and are great diuretics.
The adzuki bean in particular ensures good bowel movement, interrupts diarrhea and liberates the digestive tract from toxins. They also interrupt vomiting.
HEART HEALTH A good source of fiber, common beans lower cholesterol levels.
Also rich in antioxidants, folic acid, vitamin B6 and magnesium, they help lower levels of homocysteine which in high levels cause heart attacks, strokes and peripheral vascular diseases.
DIABETES The high fiber content in common beans stabilises sugar levels and prevents spikes so are great for diabetes candidates, people with high insulin levels or hypoglycemia.
CANCER In comparison to a long list of known antioxidants found in blueberries, broccoli, apples, onions and more, black beans have the highest concentration of cancer-fighting antioxidants!
Black bean chili anyone?