Have you tried eating yard long beans before? Have you seen one? You may have heard them be referred to as Chinese snake bins. Closely related to black-eyed peas, the young, tender pods are one of the most popular vegetables in the Philippines and other East Asian countries. Not only are they delicious, but they’re also oozing with nutrition. If you want to learn more, keep reading!
What are Yard Long Beans?
Yard long beans are legumes which belong to the Fabaceae plant family. Thought to have originated in the southern part of China, they might also be referred to as asparagus-beans, string beans or Chinese snake beans. Scientifically, they’re known as Vigna unguiculata, sub. sesquipedalis.
Yard long beans are an annual plant cultivated for their long pods and palatable seeds. They grow quickly in the warmer climates of Southeastern Asia. The whole plant is used for culinary purposes, with the leaves eaten as vegetables, the immature pods eaten fresh and the seeds prepared as a pulse. Farmers pick the pods before they mature and cook them as a vegetable.
The bean plant can reach up to 2-4 meters in height and bears bright green trifoliolate leaves that are 12-15 centimeters long and 4-7 centimeters wide. The plant bears flowers that range in colour from light purple to yellow or white, and they slowly turn into overhanging pods anywhere between 30-100 centimeters long. The skin of these pods can be smooth or wrinkly and contains 20-25 cylindrical seeds that can be anywhere from brown to red, white, black, striped or dapples. Farmers usually harvest the beans between mid and late summer.
Nutritional Value of Yard Long Beans
Young yard long bean pods have a low calorie content. As a matter of fact, 100 grams will contain about 47 calories. The pods have a humungous amount of both soluble and insoluble fiber, and since the whole green pod is eaten raw, it gives you enough dietary fiber for your diet. Refer to the table below to learn more about their specific essential nutrients.
|Principle||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Total Fat||0.40 grams||2%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.055 milligrams||1%|
|Vitamin A||865 IU||29%|
|Vitamin C||18.8 milligrams||31%|
Health Benefits of Yard Long Beans
Here are some of the most astounding health benefits of yard long beans:
- Aids in bone health. There are many bone conditions which can affect us, including osteoporosis. The manganese and vitamin K in yard long beans help maintain bone health even through old age.
- Good for digestion. The fiber content of the beans has a good effect on the digestive system, facilitating smooth excretions and preventing digestive conditions like constipation and even colon cancer.
- Good source of antioxidants. The antioxidants are so important for the body because they combat the effects of free radicals. Yard long beans are an essential source of antioxidants.
- Good for cardiovascular health. The rich vitamin K content of yard long beans helps ward off various heart conditions. Vitamin K can prevent inflamed arteries, a common factor in coronary artery conditions and heart disease.
- Helps prevent diabetes. Yard long beans are beneficial in controlling excess sugar levels, thus preventing diabetes. The beans are low in calories and have a low sugar content, making it safe for diabetic patients to eat.
There is no denying that yard long beans are a powerhouse of essential nutrients and health benefits. So go on, give them a try!