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    Winged Beans: 18 Health Benefits Of The Nutrient-rich Legume

    A tropical legume plant, the winged bean is a complete health package. Jam-packed with an abundance of nutrients, the health benefits offered by the vegetable is limitless. From its root to its flowers, winged beans' parts serve various purpose, all extremely beneficial to your [1]  health. The vegetable of the plant is a significant source of minerals and vitamins. By offering a plethora of nutrients to your body, the winged bean is something that must be added your diet.

    winged beans image

    [Source: Okinawa Tourism Information]

    The fleshy, four-angled legumes are widely used in southern Asia, primarily due to its medicinal properties[2] . The leaves, seeds, tubers and flowers of winged bean can be consumed, thereby leaving no part of the plant go to waste. The root of the legume has a taste similar to that of potato, some say even better than potato. The leaves can be eaten like spinach and the seeds can be consumed in similar ways as of soybean.

    From improving your immune system to aiding in weight loss, the legume is a powerful antioxidant [3]  as well. Winged beans are exceptional sources of folate and the controlled consumption shows amazing effects on pregnant women and newborn babies.

    Nutritional Value Of Winged Bean

    100 grams of raw winged beans contain 409 kcal energy, 0.795 milligrams pantothenic acid, 0.45 milligrams riboflavin, and 0.175 milligrams vitamin B6.

    The other nutrients present in 100 grams of winged beans are [4]

    • 41.7 grams carbohydrates
    • 25.9 grams dietary fibre 
    • 16.3 grams fat
    • 29.65 grams protein
    • 440 milligrams calcium
    • 13.44 milligrams iron
    • 179 milligrams magnesium
    • 3.721 milligrams manganese
    • 451 milligrams phosphorus 
    • 977 milligrams potassium
    • 38 milligrams sodium
    • 4.48 milligrams zinc
    • 1.03 milligrams thiamine
    • 3.09 milligrams niacin
    • 45 micrograms folate
    winged beans nutrition

    Health Benefits Of Winged Beans

    From contributing the daily requirement of protein to improving your immune system, the healthy legume is packed with oodles of benefits to your body.

    1. Improves immunity

    Winged beans are rich in vitamin C and vitamin A. Consuming the legume helps in strengthening the immune system [5] , and thereby supporting your body against any possible infections and diseases. The vitamin C in the legume plays the role of a protective shield, warding off illness and guarding your body.

    2. Aids weight loss

    The healthy legumes have low-calorie content. It also has a surplus amount of fibre that helps in healthy [6]  weight loss. The fibre and calories help keep you feel full, thereby reducing the chances of constant snacking that can lead to unnecessary weight gain. The fibre stays in your stomach and eases the feeling of constant hunger.

    3. Beneficial during pregnancy

    Being a rich source of folate [7] , controlled consumption of winged beans are beneficial during pregnancy. It helps support a healthy delivery and avoid the onset of any neural tube defects to the infant. Along with the folate content, the rich source of iron in the legume is beneficial as it reduces the risk of maternal anaemia [8]  and low birth weight.

    Also readPigeon Peas: 10 Health Benefits, Nutritional Value & Recipe

    4. Reduces inflammation

    The considerable amount of manganese in the legumes help in reducing inflammation [9] . The antioxidant property possessed by the mineral works in relieving any sprains or swellings [10] caused. This is beneficial for individuals suffering from arthritis, as it helps in treating the superoxide dismutase (SOD) deficiency, the factor causing the condition.

    5. Improves eye health

    According to studies, the thiamine content [11]  in the legume is known to prevent problems related to vision. Regular consumption of winged bean help prevents the onset of issues such as glaucoma and cataracts. The thiamine has the ability to improve the muscle and nerve signalling, which is critical in the connection between your eyes and brain.

    6. Prevents diabetes

    Studies have revealed that an amalgam of vitamin D and calcium works together to prevent the onset of diabetes. This is done by optimizing the glucose metabolism in your body. These two nutrients directly impact the pancreatic cells, thereby managing the secretion of insulin and blood sugar levels. By balancing the sugar levels in your blood [12] , the legume helps in preventing the onset of diabetes.

    7. Boosts energy

    The phosphorus in winged beans help improve your energy levels and can help in dealing with issues such as fatigue, muscle weakness and numbness. The different type of sugars [13]  in winged beans, such as glucose, sugars-fructose, sucrose, lactose, galactose, and maltose [14]  is directly responsible for improving your energy levels. Consuming winged beans not only helps in improving your energy levels but also aids in maintaining it.

    8. Prevents premature ageing

    Winged beans are natural antioxidants that help prevent the cell membranes from being attacked by free radicals that cause damage. The vitamin C and vitamin A [15]  in the legume prevent the onset of premature ageing and protect your skin from wrinkles, blemishes and other age-related damages. By renewing the skin cells, it helps in treating reduced firmness of skin as well.

    9. Treats nutrient deficiency

    Loaded with nutrients, winged beans are a natural source of necessary nutrients. Regular consumption of the legume helps in compensating for any insufficiencies [16]  in your diet. The legume is not only filled with beneficial vitamins but also minerals such as iron, copper, calcium, phosphorous, manganese and magnesium.

    winged beans info

    10. Manages headaches and migraines

    Tryptophan-rich foods are known to reduce pain related to stress and tension. Consuming winged beans can help reduce headaches and migraine. It aids in the increased synthesis of serotonin [17] , which in turn offers relief from the pain and also the associated symptoms such as indigestion, and sensitivity to light.

    11. Builds muscle

    Winged beans are packed with plenty of proteins. The legume is extremely beneficial [18]  for building muscles. Along with that, it also repairs the weak muscles present in your body as well. Regular consumption of the legume will help in making you stronger and gives your body a healthy outlook.

    12. Manages asthma

    The high content of magnesium [19]  in the legume aids in normalising the breathing by relaxing the bronchial muscles. It also helps by regulating the breathing. Winged beans are extremely good for individuals suffering from chronic asthma. It is also said to improve breathlessness and thereby regulate your breathing.

    13. Treats anaemia

    Winged beans are a good source of folic acid [20] , which helps in improving the blood in your body. Regular consumption of the legume is beneficial for treating and preventing anaemia. Consuming it along with supplements are also beneficial for improving your condition.

    14. Improves bone health

    The calcium content in the legume has various benefits to your body. Being a rich source of the nutrient, winged beans are extremely good [21]  for the health of your bones. Consuming the legume help improve your bone health, which in turn will reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis in the future. The calcium content in it is equally beneficial for your teeth and nail health as well.

    15. Helps generate blood

    Known for its high content of iron, winged beans are extremely beneficial [22]  for the production of blood. It helps in responsibly elevating the levels of haemoglobin within your body, thereby help in improving the low levels of red blood cells.

    16. Improves digestion

    The high fibre content in the legume is not only beneficial for weight loss but also plays a significant role in regulating proper digestion. It helps prevent constipation [23]  as the fibre pushes out the excessive waste and also help reduce bloating.

    Also readBlack-eyed Peas: 12 Health Benefits, Nutritional Value & Recipes

    17. Prevents DNA damage

    The abundance of vitamin A in the legume is exceedingly good for your body. Being an antioxidant, it helps protect your DNA from damages [24] caused by harmful radicals. It reduces the oxidative stress and removes the harmful elements from your body.

    18. Improves skin elasticity

    As aforementioned, winged beans are extremely good for your skin. It protects your skin from external as well as internal damages and keeps it healthy. The vitamin C content not only limits the onset of wrinkles and lines but also aids the growth of [25]  collagen. This helps in maintaining your skin elasticity, thereby protecting your skin from being saggy and loose.

    Healthy Winged Beans Recipes

    1. Winged bean salad with fresh coconut

    Ingredients [26]

    • 2 cups chopped wing beans
    • 1 cup fresh grated coconut
    • 1-2 tablespoons lime juice
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
    • 1-2 dry red chilli
    • 2 sprigs of fresh curry leaves
    • 4 cups of water
    • salt

    Directions

    • Boil the water and add 1 tablespoon salt.
    • Once it starts bubbling, add the chopped winged beans in and turn off the heat.
    • Let it sit in the water till the colour changes to bright green.
    • Strain it and place it in ice cold water. 
    • Add the grated coconut and a pinch of salt.
    • Add the lime juice and mix well.

    For tempering

    • Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds and dried red chillies. 
    • Once the mustard seeds start to splutter, add the curry leaves and turn off the heat.
    • Add to the salad and mix well.

    2. Wing bean marinated with dried plum

    Ingredients [27]

    • 2 cups chopped wing beans
    • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
    • 1 dried plum
    • black sesame

    Directions 

    • Boil 4 cups of water and add the chopped winged beans.
    • Once it is lightly boiled, place it in ice cold water.
    • Take the seed out of the plum and squash it with a knife.
    • Mix the squashed plum with the soy sauce.
    • Add the paste to the boiled winged beans.
    • Sprinkle salt and black sesame on top, mix well.

    Precautions

    • Individuals with immune-allergy toward legumes should avoid consumption of winged beans.
    • If you have G6PD-enzyme deficiency disease, do not eat winged beans.
    • Due to its oxalic acid content, avoid the legume if you have oxalate urinary tract stones as it can crystallise the oxalate stones.
    • Drink plenty of water while consuming the legume, so as to avoid developing bladder stones.
    View Article References
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    10. [10] Rajan, D. (2018). A Review on Pharmacognostical, Phytochemical and Pharmacological aspects of Psophocarpus tetragonalobus.Research Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry,10(4), 331-335.
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    19. [19] Lepcha, P., Egan, A. N., Doyle, J. J., & Sathyanarayana, N. (2017). A review on current status and future prospects of winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus) in tropical agriculture.Plant Foods for Human Nutrition,72(3), 225-235.
    20. [20] Luo, S., Duan, H., ZOU, Y., Qiu, R., & Wang, C. (2017). Quantification of Total Folate, Folate Species and Polyglutamyl Folate Distribution in Winged Beans (Psophocarus tetragonolobus (L) DC) from Different Cultivars and Growth Stages by Ultra-High Performance Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry.Journal of nutritional science and vitaminology,63(1), 69-80.
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    23. [23] Kumari, S. (2018).Morphological and Bio-chemical Characterization of Winged Bean Rhizobium and its Impact as Seed Inoculant either Singly or Combinedly with PGPR towards Yield Attributing Characters and Yield of Winged Bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus)(Doctoral dissertation, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University, Pusa, Samastipur).
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    Read more about: winged beans nutrition benefits
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