Have you ever heard of winged beans? If yes, you’ll know that they’re the total package. They’re packed with nutrition and offer a lot of health benefits. Keep reading to learn more!
What are Winged Beans?
Winged beans, scientifically known as Psophocarpus tetragonolobus, is a tropical legume native to New Guinea. This type of bean is also known as the Goa bean, Dragon bean, Manila bean and four-cornered bean, and it grows in countries that are humid and hot like India, Indonesia, Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Philippines. All of the plant’s parts are incorporated into East Asian cuisine.
Winged beans come from a twinning and climbing vine that grows up from 2 to 4 meters long and is found in humid and hot equatorial tropics with short daylight hours, abundant rainfall and good moisture. It has fleshy, tuberous roots and a ridged, glabrous stem. Its leaves are various shades of green, and its flowers range from pale sky blue to reddish brown and white, depending on how it’s cultivated. This vegetable is available during the summer months.
The plant produces a pea-like bean that has four winged edges. The pods are either oblong or straight and range in length from 15 to 30 cm long and 2.5 to 3.5 cm wide. These pods range in colour from yellow to green or purple and have red wings that turn brown when they’re ripe. They have white flesh and waxy skin, and they are best harvested while they’re still young.
Aside from their delightful nutty flavor, this bean contains many vitamins and minerals. It has a low amount of saturated fats, sodium and cholesterol, and it’s a very good source of protein, zinc, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, niacin, riboflavin and thiamin.
The following table outlines the nutrient content that you get from 1 cup (100 g) of winged beans:
|Principle||Nutrient value||% of Recommended Dietary Allowance|
|Vitamin A||8090 IU||162%|
|Vitamin C||45 milligrams||75%|
|Vitamin B6||0.2 milligrams||12%|
Health Benefits of Winged Beans
As said earlier, almost every part of the winged bean plant can be eaten. We already know that it contains a lot of nutrients, and this means it gives us a lot of health benefits, some of which are outlined below.
- Helps ensure a healthy pregnancy. This vegetable contains folate, which is essential for the synthesis of DNA and cell division. Woman who have an adequate amount of folate during their pregnancy can help prevent birth defects, and the iron in the vegetable is essential for lowering the risk of having an underweight baby and helps avoiding maternal anemia.
- Helps prevent premature aging. This vegetable contains vitamin C, vitamin A and copper, which work as antioxidants.
- Helps strengthen immunity. The vitamin A and vitamin C helps boost the immune system, which ensures the body’s capability to fight conditions like the flu and common cold.
- Helps promote digestion. Winged beans contain a range of sugars which help the probiotic bacteria develop in our gut. Because of this, our bodies can break down the bean into absorbable nutrients.
- Helps with weight loss. Winged beans are low in calories but have a lot of fiber. Fiber makes you feel full, thus making you eat less.
Winged beans are surely a very nutritious food for us to eat. Not only is it packed with nutrients, it’s also budget-friendly. You can make use of every part of the plant, and you’re sure to get nutrients no matter what. So if you’re looking for a new vegetable to try, think about winged beans. You won’t regret it!