Tarwi or Lupinus mutabilis is a South American plant that bears beautiful flowers and produces bean like seeds that are extremely nutritious. The tarwi plant can adapt to any temperate climate and is beneficial in fixing nitrogen in the soil. They can grow in any type of soil and can prevent the growth of weeds. The tarwi beans are wonderful sources of fiber, protein and amino acids that make it more nutritious than most of the other beans like soy beans. They are also high in certain plant chemicals that can reduce the risks of various diseases like heart diseases and cancer. They are firm in texture and have a nutty flavor. These beans are often used for extracting oil and also preparing flour.
Other names of Tarwi includes tarhui, chocho, altramuz, Andean lupin, South American lupin, Peruvian field lupin, or pearl lupin
Health benefits of Tarwi
Tarwi beans are densely packed with nutrients, which makes them healthy and nourishing. They are rich in dietary fiber, protein, antioxidants and a small amount of starch. These nutrients are essential to the healthy functioning of your body and so adding tarwi to your diet can improve your health as well as keep you away from numerous diseases. Given below is a list of the various important health benefits offered by the tarwi bean:
Tarwi bean shows antioxidant effects
In addition to being a wonderful source of fiber and protein, tarwi beans are also an excellent source of plant chemicals that show powerful antioxidant properties. The regular consumption of these beans therefore helps in lowering the risks of developing numerous health problems such as cancer, cardiovascular problems, diabetes and the various neuro-degenerative diseases. Antioxidants have the ability to protect your cells from the oxidation damages caused by free radicals, which is beneficial in not only preventing diseases but also in keeping you healthy and young.
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Tarwi bean may help with weight loss
Tarwi beans are low in fat and carbohydrate content, which makes them an ideal food for people trying to lose extra body fat. The high levels of fiber in them helps reduce appetite by providing a feeling of fullness that lasts for long hours. This curbs your hunger and prevents the consumption of unhealthy and processed snacks that make you gain weight.
Tarwi beans improve digestive health
The regular intake of tarwi beans have been found to be beneficial in treating some of the common digestive disorders such as constipation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The fiber in these beans bulk up the stool and make them smooth, aiding in their easier removal from the intestine. By making the bowel movements regular, tarwi beans help prevent constipation and other problems that normally arise from bowel irregularity. Tarwi beans also function as a probiotic, which promotes digestion and improves digestive health.
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Tarwi beans are heart healthy
Tarwi beans contain an amino acid known as arginine that has been found to be good for the heart. This amino acid is converted into nitric oxide inside the body. Nitric oxide is a potent neurotransmitter that helps improve blood circulation by relaxing the blood vessels. Improved blood circulation prevents clogged arteries as well as angina and coronary artery disease. Since arginine relaxes blood vessels, it is effective in reducing blood pressure. Studies indicate that arginine may lower the levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol and total cholesterol levels while maintaining healthy levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol.
Tarwi beans are ideal for diabetics
Tarwi bean is a low glycemic index food with high fiber content and it is a good choice for people with diabetes as it helps improve insulin sensitivity. Because of these qualities , they are often recommended by doctors to diabetic patients. The carbohydrate in these beans are slowly digested, as a result of which you won’t experience rapid spikes in blood glucose levels.
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Tarwi beans can boost your immunity
Tarwi beans contains plenty of nutrients that can give your immune health a super boost. Zinc, in particular is a trace element found in good quantities in these beans. This mineral plays a key role in many aspects of the immune system such as the barrier of the skin and regulating gene activity in the white blood cells. Zinc deficiency, in fact has been associated with decreased resistance to many infectious diseases. So eating tarwi beans is a great way to increase your intake of zinc and other immune boosting nutrients.
Tarwi beans help build the body
Tarwi beans are one of the richest sources of protein. In fact it contains about four times more protein when compared to whole grains. Protein is important for faster healing and for repairing damaged tissue. Moreover, these beans contain a wide variety of amino acids, which are considered to be the building blocks of protein. These amino acids are responsible for the formation of cells, tissues, muscles, and bones of the human body. They also promote the storage of nutrients and their transportation as well as the removal of wastes from the body.
Tarwi beans contain B vitamins
Tarwi beans provide a significant amount of certain B group vitamins like thiamin and folate. While thiamin is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrate and fat metabolism and for maintaining the proper functioning of the nervous system. Folate controls gene activity, helps your cells, metabolize proteins and also helps prevent the occurrence of neural tube defects in fetuses. Eating tarwi can help you get more of these vitamins into your body.
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Tarwi beans as a source of essential minerals
Adding tarwi beans to your diet provides you with a good supply of minerals like zinc, manganese, magnesium, and copper. As mentioned earlier, the zinc found in these beans improve immune health, regulate gene activity and also improve reproductive health. The manganese in tarwi improves bone health, promotes carbohydrate metabolism, regulates blood sugar, supports the growth of cartilage and also destroys free radicals that cause cellular damage. Tarwi beans are also a good source of magnesium, a mineral that helps maintain healthy bone density and aids proper muscle functions. It also helps with cell signaling and promotes the development of healthy cell membranes. Copper is another mineral found abundant in tarwi, which also performs various bodily functions like strengthening of blood vessels, formation of collagen, increasing the absorption of iron by your body and ensuring the proper functioning of the nervous system.
Tarwi beans are gluten – free
Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive problem caused in response to consuming foods that contain gluten. In the case of celiac patients, when gluten is ingested the immune system responds by attacking the intestine, causing permanent damage. People suffering from this condition are thus advised to stay away from gluten containing foods. Tarwi beans are gluten free and hence forms a great source of protein for people with celiac disease.
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Tarwi not only adds taste to dishes but is also a beauty that adorns your garden. Tarwi beans have been used as food for thousands of years but unlike other beans and legumes, they still haven’t received enough popularity around the world. These beans can be used to make a variety of both sweet and savory dishes including baked foods, fermented foods, and sauces. Eating tarwi beans is an excellent way to add nutritional value to your regular diet because they are packed with healthy and essential nutrients like fiber, protein, antioxidants, B-complex vitamins and many minerals.