Winged beans are a complete package. Its leaves, stems, flowers, seeds, tubers, etc. are all edible in some way or the other. This veggie is packed with nutrition and offers us a number of benefits.
The scientific name of winged bean is psophocarpus tetragonolobus. It is also called asparagus bean, Goa bean, four angle bean, or princess pea.
Winged beans are loaded with Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Both these vitamins work as antioxidants. These vitamins also prevent premature signs of aging like the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines on the skin.
The high dose of antioxidant present in winged beans ensures that the skin maintains its elasticity and keeps it looking young.
The tender and immature pods of winged beans are low in calories. One 100 grams serving of these beans contain around 49 calories. But, the mature seeds offer about 409 calories in every 100 grams. Those who wish to shed their extra kilos can include the immature seeds in their diet.
As mentioned before, winged beans are loaded with Vitamin C, which helps in strengthening the body’s immune system against many infections. It also helps maintain elasticity of blood vessels and protects the body from cancers.
Winged beans also contain ample amounts of important minerals, such as iron, manganese, copper, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium. Winged beans also contain an abundance of Vitamin A, which is a powerful antioxidant that prevents DNA damage. Winged beans also contain a good amount of Vitamin B. This important vitamin improves vitality, mood, and energy. Vitamin E is also found in the unsaturated oil derived from these beans.Winged bean is also a rich source of folate, which is an essential component for DNA synthesis and cell division. In women, adequate folate content in the diet around conception and during pregnancy can help prevent neural-tube defects in the newborn baby.
In terms of quantity and quality of protein, winged bean seed is as good as soybean! Studies have shown that like many other legumes, when combined with corn, winged beans have the protein value of milk. It can adequately nourish a protein-starved infant.
Winged beans are rich in calcium and phosphorus. These help in building strong bones and also help generate energy in those who are sick and debilitated.
Sugar, though mainly associated with health problems, is not always bad. Our body needs an adequate amount of sugar to function properly and to maintain optimum energy levels. Winged beans contain all kinds of sugars—fructose, glucose, lactose, sucrose, galactose, and maltose. Some of these are important for the growth of probiotic bacteria in our gut, which helps in the proper digestion of food.
Winged beans provide a whole spectrum of compounds, which are good for our health. These beans are available all throughout the year. The pods should preferably be consumed while fresh to enjoy their natural flavor. You van also add these beans to salads, stews and soups. You can also use these beans as seasoning.
Winged beans and other parts of the plant can safely be consumed by everyone without any qualms as it provides an array of health benefits. However, people with immune-allergy to legumes and G6PD-enzyme deficiency disease should use these beans with caution.