The Advantages of Growing Beans to Eat!


For some time now, I’ve made beans (both the green variety and dried) a part of my regular diet. I’ve grown Kentucky Pole Beans every year for the past twenty years in my home garden. They’re and easy plant and raise and since the pole version can go vertical they don’t take up a lot of space in my small garden. The dried versions like the Great Northern Bean are cheap to buy and store for just about forever. I love to eat them in recipes like Bean and Ham Soup.

Other than the taste, which I love, beans have a lot going for them. They belong to the Fabaceae family which are legumes and have had a very long history of human consumption. As far back as six thousand years ago they were grown regularly and eaten when meat was in short supply. When you combine beans with rice you are getting all the essential amino acids (see my article on this) that are needed to sustain life. The protein is considered a great substitute for meat.

Beans also supply a large dose of dietary fiber. A cup of cooked navy beans provides 46.6% of the recommended daily intake for fiber. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract that combines with bile (which contains cholesterol) and ferries it out of the body. Beans are also able to help moderate blood glucose levels which can be important for anyone with this concern.

In a very interesting study that examined food intake patterns and risk of death from coronary heart disease, researchers followed more than 16,000 middle-aged men in the U.S., Finland, The Netherlands, Italy, former Yugoslavia, Greece and Japan for 25 years. Typical food patterns were: higher consumption of dairy products in Northern Europe; higher consumption of meat in the U.S.; higher consumption of vegetables, legumes, fish, and wine in Southern Europe; and higher consumption of cereals, soy products, and fish in Japan. When researchers analyzed this data in relation to the risk of death from heart disease, they found that higher legume consumption was associated with a whopping 82% reduction in heart attack risk!

This year I will be planting Great Northern Beans for the first time in my garden as part of an experiment to see just how productive they are. I plan to include them in my book concerning Survival Gardens that will be coming out next year. This book will be dedicated to things the average person can do to grow their own food and survive in times of global collapse.

About forsythkid

I am just a simple man with a head full of sand who currently resides in a small town called Forsyth Missouri. I enjoy blogging and politics. I received my degree from SIU majoring in Biology in 1972 and still maintain a great interest in the study of all living things. My hobbies include meteorology and inhabiting cyberspace whenever possible.
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