When compared to the commonly consumed plant foods all over the world, beans seem to have a more health benefiting nutrient profile. They have high antioxidant properties and almost equal amounts of protein and fiber. This amazing combination of protein, fiber and antioxidants have been found to be very beneficial in keeping most of today’s common diseases at bay. One such bean, the tepary bean however, tops the list of beans in nutritional value as well as disease fighting capabilities. A native food of Central and Southwest America, Tepary bean is a nutritious legume popular for its ability to withstand diseases and extreme climatic conditions such as drought and high heat. It requires only a small quantity of water and can survive even in areas where there is lack of rain. Tepary bean has a distinct taste and texture, not found in many of the other types of beans. It has a creamier consistency and a wonderful sweet and nutty flavor that can please the palate of anyone who eats it.
Some other names of Tepary beans are Pawi, Pavi, Tepari, Escomite, Yori mui, Yorimuni and Yori muni.
Health benefits of Tepary beans
Tepary bean has high fiber content, which is of excellent benefit to people with diabetes, because it causes a slower release of its sugars. It is also rich in protein and a wide range of minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. The main health benefits of this legume can be attributed to its high fiber content and the presence of amylase, a type of starch that is digested very slowly. Given below are some of the benefits provided by tepary beans:
- Tepary beans can help manage diabetes
The tepary bean can be called a super food for people suffering from diabetes. Not only does it provide sustained energy and prevent hunger pangs, the high fiber content in this legume causes it to be digested slowly. This, in turn, helps with the slow release of sugars, thus preventing unnecessary spikes in blood glucose levels. Eating foods, that cause slow release of sugars, helps people control their metabolism, thus reducing the risk of developing diabetes. These foods also prolong the feeling of fullness and prevent overeating. Many people suffering from type II diabetes have reported that the consumption of tepary beans has led to more effective regulation of their blood sugar levels. In fact, some people who follow a high fiber diet that includes these beans have even been able to stop their doses of supplementary insulin.
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- Tepary beans are good for your heart
High levels of LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol in the blood is one of the leading causes of heart diseases. LDL can stick to the walls of your blood vessels and cause inflammation as well as the build-up of plaque. The high amount of fiber in tepary beans play an important role in lowering the bad cholesterol levels in the blood. The fiber binds with cholesterol and prevents its absorption in the gut. Tepary beans also contain good amounts of phytosterols and saponins that are helpful in lowering cholesterol. In addition to dietary fiber, these beans are also rich in various minerals that help lower the risks of heart attacks and stroke. They are good sources of potassium and magnesium, two minerals essential for your heart. Potassium helps remove excess water and sodium from your body, which helps in reducing blood pressure. Magnesium also helps in lowering blood pressure along with improving the functioning of nerves.
- Eating tepary beans helps you lose weight
Tepary beans can be a wonderful addition to a healthy weight loss diet because they are densely packed with important nutrients and gives you the feeling of fullness for long periods of time. They are high in fiber and protein content, both of which are essential nutrients when you are trying to lose weight. While proteins help improve your satiety and burning of calories, fiber keeps you feeling fuller for longer hours. When you eat foods that are high in glycemic index, it causes a rapid spike in blood sugar levels that in turn triggers the fast release of insulin that lowers your blood sugar again. This rapid change in blood sugar levels leaves you feeling hungry. Tepary beans, on the other hand, have a low glycemic index, which is another plus point when you are on a weight loss diet. Foods with low glycemic index help in avoiding drastic changes in the blood glucose levels.
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- Tepary beans can fight cancer
Research has proven that the consumption of beans and other legumes not only provide a wide range of health benefits but also work in many ways to prevent cancer. Tepary beans are high in many plant chemicals like isoflavones and phytosterols that can fight cancer. These chemicals have powerful antioxidant properties that helps in neutralizing the damaging effects of the free radicals. Frequent eating of beans has been found to play a major role in lowering the risk of different types of cancers like breast, prostate, gastric, colon and renal cancers.
- Tepary beans are good for digestion
The high amount of both soluble and insoluble fibers in tepary beans helps to keep your digestive system functioning smoothly. While soluble fiber slows down the process of digestion and gives you the feeling of fullness, insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool, thus aiding in its smooth and easy removal from the intestine. This helps in preventing constipation and other digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome. Although some beans have the bad reputation of causing gas and bloating, tepary beans is an exception.
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- Tepary beans can boost your iron intake
Not getting enough iron in your body can lead to iron deficiency anemia, a condition where your body does not have the normal count of red blood cells. This can lead to weakness, fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath and many other problems. Eating beans like tepary beans on a regular basis is a great way to increase your iron intake. However, since beans fall under the category of plant food, they contain non-heme iron, which is not readily absorbed by your body. So in order to ensure better absorption, it is recommended that you eat tepary beans with foods high in vitamin C content such as citrus fruits, broccoli, bell peppers and tomatoes because vitamin increases the absorption of non-heme iron by about six times.
- Tepary beans are rich in folate
Tepary beans are a great source of folate, a B group vitamin that is important for a number of bodily functions. It plays a key role in the production of red blood cells as well as the development of a fetus’s nervous system during the early stages of pregnancy. Doctors recommend the intake of folic acid during pregnancy because it helps in reducing the risk of neural tube defects in newborns.
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- Tepary beans are gluten-free
It is important for people with celiac disease to avoid eating foods containing the protein gluten. Eliminating these foods from their diet therefore often leads to an increase in the risk for deficiency of various nutrients including B-vitamins. Beans such as tepary beans are naturally free from gluten and they also have the advantage of containing many of the nutrients found in enriched grain products.
- Tepary beans are ultimate brain foods
Tepary beans are one of the most beneficial brain foods. They are excellent sources of brain healthy nutrients like vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants. They contain a certain B-complex vitamins that help in the formation of brain cells. These vitamins help improve your memory, cognitive skills and also ensures proper functioning of the brain.
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- Eat tepary beans to stay young
Tepary beans are loaded with antioxidants that help you maintain a youthful skin. These antioxidants help your body fight the natural signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines by improving your immune strength and destroying the free radicals that can cause damage to the healthy cells. Tepary beans are also high in protein that helps you build lean muscle.
- Tepary beans may help prevent osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a bone disorder characterized by the loss of bone mass. People with this condition have higher risks of fractures. Getting enough calcium in your diet is the most important remedy to prevent osteoporosis. Tepary beans are rich in calcium and so adding them to your regular diet is a great way to get the amount of calcium your body needs.
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This may be the first time you are hearing about the tepary bean. Even though it is a storehouse of nutrition and medicinal qualities, it hasn’t gotten the popularity and importance it deserves in restaurants or even homes. Moreover, they are hard to find and are not nearly as cheap as some of the other legumes. They come in two varieties – brown and white. While the brown has more of an earthy flavor, the white variety is slightly sweet. With its high nutritional content and disease fighting powers, tepary beans have been suggested as an ideal food choice for people with various diseases like diabetes and cancer. Tasty and easier to digest, they are one of the healthiest beans you can find on the planet.