We call them beans, but Phaseolus vulgaris is their scientific name (no surprise that beans became the prevalent term). Beans are a perfect source of protein and one of the world’s most widely consumed foods.
One of the best things about beans is that they cross cuisines in many nations and cultures, they are a staple. They also come in a lot of varieties; to be precise, there are around 400 types of beans.
And this is exactly what we know is edible. Perhaps the best quality about beans is that they can be turned into a delicious meal by even the most inexperienced cook.
There is so much you can cook using limited kitchen skills with beans. As if that were not enough, there are other health benefits of beans; they are rich in fiber and protein and can help prevent illness.
Table of Contents
- Different types of beans
Different types of beans
Here is a quick review of some of the most common types of beans:
1. Black Beans
Think of black beans as your power beans. They are full of nutrients that have been shown to assist the body with digestion and weight loss, minimize the risk of heart disease and obesity.
They can also give strength and shine to your hair while keeping your complexion clear. It is also said that black beans are the best beans for your bones.
They contain, among others, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, all of which contribute to building and maintaining a healthy structure of the bone. Black beans are also good for naturally lowering blood pressure since the combination of potassium, calcium, and magnesium does just that.
These days, soy from soybeans can be found in many different forms, from soy milk to tofu. While soybeans have some great advantages, they are also one of the most controversial beans on the market.
Soybeans have estrogenic features, so their effects may vary depending on the body’s current hormone level.
If you are postmenopausal or premenopausal, the best way to look at it; if you have not yet gone through menopause, then the chances are that soy will act as an anti-estrogen.
If you are postmenopausal, it could be more estrogen-like and can even help fight hot flashes. Soybeans are high in protein as well: there are about 31 grams in one cup of cooked soybeans.
3. Great Northern beans
Great Northern beans have a mild flavor and are white and medium-sized. They retain their shape well enough that it is possible to stew or use them in soups. They are good at absorbing the flavors they are cooked with, so a variety of ingredients can be complemented.
4. Kidney Beans
Make sure to cook these guys because it is toxic to eat them raw or undercooked. Insoluble fibers called alpha-galactosidase are also produced by kidney beans, which can hold you up in the bathroom.
Scary characteristics aside, it is understood that high fiber improves colon health and decreases the risk of colon cancer. Minerals and vitamins are often filled with kidney beans, so their positive effects might just outweigh the negative ones. (Additionally, they are an outstanding addition to vegetarian chili.)
5. Lima beans
The name comes from Peru’s capital city, but in the United States, they are sometimes referred to as ‘butter beans.’ Go for lima beans that have been already processed and canned, unless you want to try your patience with de-shelling.
Before using them, be sure to give them a good rinse, which will decrease their gas-promoting properties. Like kidney beans, as they create the poison cyanide, lima beans should never be eaten in their raw state.
6. Navy beans
These beans have been a favorite of sailors since the mid-1800s, with a name coined by the US Navy. Navy bean production started in Australia during World War II as a cost-effective way of providing the American troops stationed there with nutrient-rich food.
They can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar but raise your vitality by replenishing your iron reserves, even though they’re one of the smallest beans and mild in taste.
This can be particularly useful for women when iron deficiency happens in the body during that time of the month. Navy beans are a much healthier option than opting for a burger (also high in iron) because they contain almost zero fat and are low in calories.
7. Garbanzo Beans
Maybe known to you as a chickpea, its fancy Spanish-derived name is garbanzo. You have probably come across chickpeas most often in hummus, as it is the main ingredient, but in many other recipes, they can also be found whole and roasted.
Chickpeas give a hefty dose of protein, fiber, folate, phosphorus, and iron. They will help with a number of health issues, such as reducing the level of blood cholesterol, diabetes, and weight management.
8. Cranberry Beans
From their pretty, pink-red appearance, these beans get their name. They are smooth, delicious, and can be used both in soups and salads (or even in Mexican dishes). Cranberry beans are packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, iron, and minerals.
Lentils are one of the most common types of beans. It is fast and simple to prepare lentils and can be added to several dishes easily. They are very small in size and come in several different colors, but they also contain antioxidants, which may contribute to reducing inflammation in the body.
During pregnancy, lentils are excellent because they have a significant amount of folate, which is essential in preventing neural tube defects in newborns.
10. Cannellini beans
Cannellini beans (sometimes called white kidney beans) are the largest type of white bean, which make them meatier than other white beans, such as Navy beans or Great Northern beans.
They have a comparable mild and nutty flavor, however. In stews and soups, they also hold up well and can be added in salads. You might have eaten them out of minestrone (but red kidney beans are also common, more on those later).
11. Pinto Beans
Pinto beans are one of the popular types of beans, and If you had refried beans with your Mexican burrito, then these were the beans you had. Pinto beans are one of the most popular beans in the United States.
It is very high in folate and fiber and contains essential nutrients. In beans, there is only one gram of fat, making them an excellent addition to your diet. Studies have shown that even HDL cholesterol and lower LDL can be found in pinto beans.
12. Fava Beans
Fava beans are high maintenance, often referred to as broad beans, and they require a good amount of effort and time to shuck. Fava beans can be expensive, but chefs are still going for them. They can be eaten raw once they are peeled and released from their pods.
Try cooking them and throwing them in with pasta if you opt for canned food. They contain large amounts of fiber, minerals, and B vitamins, but they can be a trigger for G6PDD, a metabolic disorder, as well.
People referred to as ‘Favism’ may suffer from a hemolytic (the rupture of red blood cells and the release of their contents into the surrounding fluid) response to broad beans’ consumption.
Adzuki is a type of red bean that is (often even referred to generically as red beans). They taste slightly sweet but are moderate and nutty, like most beans. Some people use them in baking, but veggies such as sweet potatoes and mushrooms that have both savory and sweet qualities also go well with them.
14. Mung beans
Mung beans are small green beans which, when cooked, are mealy and soft. In salads and soups, you can use them, and they go well in casseroles and stir-fries. Usually, prior to cooking, you can soak mung beans. They have an incredible list of benefits for our wellbeing. For instance, they are high in protein and also nutrient-rich (i.e., magnesium, potassium, vitamin B, and folate).
Oh yeah, peas are one of the most common types of beans. You have been fooled by those little, ground, podded green veggies. It never hurts to have a bag of frozen peas on hand as an economical and versatile veggie.