Black beans are a legume, popularly known as Akidi among the Igbos, Also known for possessing high protein content.
However, most people don’t like the “Akidi” (black beans) because of its gas production and at times heartburns, but this effect is based on the consumers’ system.
Although, there are other overwhelming health benefits provided by this legume, so let’s consider the nutritional values of these beans.
Regarding black beans nutrition (black beans nutrition facts), according to the recent case studies by researchers on these beans, it was discovered that half a cup of cooked “Akidi” beans contains;
(i) Presence of 23 milligrams of calcium
(ii) Contains 7.5 grams of fiber
(iii) Contains 114 kilocalories of energy, needed by the body to function well
(iv) Contains 20.39 grams of carbohydrate
(v) And other minerals like Vitamin K, Niacin, Folate, Zinc, Iron, Magnesium, Fat, Thiamin and potassium, e.t.c.
Black beans are also said to provide a notable amount of phytonutrients such as saponins, anthocyanins, kaempferol, and quercetin, all these phytonutrients tend to possess anti-oxidant properties in them, making the black beans a good choice when it comes to strengthening your immune system.
It also contains starch, a complex form of carbohydrate, the starch in the beans helps in preventing a rise in blood level.
Health Benefits of Black Beans (Akidi)
(1) Development of Strong and Healthy Bones
The presence of calcium, magnesium, manganese and zinc, makes this legume great in the development, maintenance, structure, and strength of bones.
(2) Good Source of Protein
Black beans contain notable amounts of protein contents, it also serves as an alternative for those who are avoiding red meat. In addition to many other essential antioxidants and nutrients which help naturally slow aging.
(3) Good for Lowering Blood Pressure
One of the major causes of high blood pressure is too much intake of sodium, “akidi” is low in sodium and contains other anti-oxidant possessing minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium, all of which have been found to decrease blood pressure naturally.
It is recommended you reduce your intake of sodium, to keep your blood pressure at an optimum level.
(4) Contains Minerals and Vitamins
Black beans are an excellent source of numerous vitamins and minerals; They are high in magnesium, iron, and are also very high in folate, phosphorus, B vitamins, and many others. Folate plays an important role in DNA synthesis and repair. Iron is an important trace mineral found in every living cell. Iron is a primary component of two proteins: hemoglobin and myoglobin.
Black beans contain many minerals it is high in iron, and are also very high in folate, phosphorus, B vitamins, and many others. Folate is also another property of “Akidi” which helps in DNA synthesis and repair.
Magnesium like we know is very important in most biochemical functions in the body such as:
(i) Control of blood sugar level
(ii) Nerve functions, energy metabolism, and so on.
(5) Helps in Cancer Prevention
Black beans contain a very important mineral called Selenium, which can not be found in just any fruit or vegetables.
Selenium is a mineral that plays a huge role in liver enzyme function and also helps in detoxifying some cancer-causing compounds in the body.
Also, selenium prevents inflammation and decreases tumor growth rates. Fiber intakes of black beans are associated with a lowered risk of colorectal cancer.
Another important mineral in black beans is Saponins which also helps in preventing cancer cells from multiplying and spreading throughout the body.
(6) Beneficial to Digestive Tracts
Minerals like protein and fiber tend to move through the human digestive tract at a moderate pace. They also help in digestive processes.
The idea of digestive tract support from black beans may sound surprising to many people, because people think about black beans as problem-causing foods in the digestive tract, probably largely because of gas production.
But recent research has shown that black beans provide special support in the lower large intestine (colon) where this gas is mostly produced. The indigestible fraction in black beans is larger than that in other legumes.
It is the perfect mix of substances for allowing bacteria in the colon to produce butyric acid. Cells lining the inside of the colon can use this butyric acid to fuel their activities and keep the lower digestive tract functioning properly.
By delivering a greater amount to the colon, They provide fuel for the healthy bacteria in the colon.
Preparation of Black Beans
Below are brief steps to follow to prepare your black beans for consumption.
(i) After getting your beans from your farm or grocery store, the first thing is to soak them, soaking is is an important step for preventing intestinal gas.
Note: The best method is to hot soak it.
(ii) Allow the beans to soak very well after that make sure to drain it very well and put it into boiling water on the fire and boil for 1-3minutes.
(iii Next, take the boiled black beans off the heat and let them cool down for 3-4hrs.
(iv) Lastly, drain the beans again and serve.
Amazing Black Beans Recipes to Try at Home
Wondering how to cook black beans? below are some amazing black beans recipes you can try at home;
Below are delicious recipes you should try out at home.
– Black bean and Yam
– Turkey and bean chili
– Black bean and fruit salsa
– Bean-stuffed bell peppers.
How to Cook Black Beans and Yam Recipe
(i) Get all the necessary ingredients:
- 2 cups black beans
- 2 yam, peeled and cut
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 stock cubes
- 50ml palm oil
- ¼ bunch spinach, cut
- 1 onion, sliced
- 4 fresh red pepper
- 12 small fresh tomatoes, sliced.
(ii) Ensure your black beans are already soaked, afterward wash and add the beans in a pot then add water and continue cooking until softened.
(ii) Rinse your peeled yam and add it to the softened black beans, add more water if the beans have absorbed all the water then continue cooking until the yam has been softened.
(iii) After you’ve cooked the yam and akidi combination, remove it from the heat and set it aside.
(iv) Heat your palm oil and add some onions and other flavors you may want to add including salt and wait for 1-2minutes.
(v) Add the tomatoes, pepper, stock cubes, and salt then continue stirring until the tomatoes are cooked and slightly dried.
(vi) Add the spinach and simmer for 2 minutes then bring down the sauce from heat.
Pour the sauce over the cooked black beans and yam then stir properly until well combined.
(vii) Garnish with some fresh spinach if you like then serve warm immediately.
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