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Beans and their Medicinal Properties

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Soya bean - Cultivated for over 3,000 years in China, it was one of the first foods to be domesticated by humans. To the Chinese, soybeans represented one of the five essential grains of life, along with rice, barley, wheat, and millet. They are more nourishing and tastier than mung bean sprouts, and can be used in the same way, either slightly cooked or raw. The most nutritious and easily digested of all beans, the soybean is better known for its products than for the bean itself: tofu (soybean curd), soybean oil, preserved beancurd, soybean sprouts, soy flour, soy milk and soy sauce. Dried soybeans, beans for sprouting and a huge variety of soybean products are available in supermarkets and health food stores. 1 cup of cooked soybeans contains as much protein as 1/4 pound of cooked meat, poultry, or fish. Soybeans are said to be good for the liver, in addition to being remineralizing and energizing. Studies show that the fiber contained in soybeans may lower the cholesterol level in people with high blood cholesterol, although it seems to have little effect on people with a normal blood cholesterol level. Soy bean products moisturize the skin and replenish the nutrients after severe mental activities. However, they should be avoided by people suffering from high blood uric acid level or gout.

Green soy beans - also called “the meat among all plants” is highly nutritious and contain much protein, lecithin, carbohydrates, vitamin A, B, C, E and other minerals. They enhance metabolism and fight aging. Eating green soy beans frequently prevent arteriosclerosis as they reduce blood cholesterol and fat level, thereby reducing the chance of fat and minerals accumulating in the arteries. Green soy bean contain much lecithin, which is an essentialGreen Soybeans material for building muscles and growth.

Green SoybeansFor those who wish to gain weight, cook green beans with beef or pork. Green soy beans are versatile in cooking and tastes great too. Green soy beans can be pickled in salt and soy sauce to make a perfect appetizer. It can also be sun dried or roasted to make a healthy snack. Green soy beans is a perfect accompaniment with wine when cooked in water with a pinch of salt.

Black BeansBlack Beans is rich in protein, fat, vitamin B1, B2 and carbohydrate. Add salted black beans in dishes to relieve indigestion and to improve appetite. Children suffering from common cold and refusing to take medicine can be cured with a noodle soup of salty preserved black beans, white peppercorns, the white part of scallions and shredded ginger.

Mung beans - also known as green gram or golden gram, it is small green beans used in ChinesMung Beanse cooking, it most frequently used sprouted; mung bean sprouts are one of the key ingredients in chop suey. Dried mung beans are ground into flour, which can be used to make noodles by the Chinese known as mung bean noodles. Mung beans can be used like any other legumes, either as a substitute or in combination. Mung beans are rich in carbohydrates and vitamin B1 and B2, but low in fat and protein. ‘Cold’ in nature, it is ideal for clearing the summer ‘heat’. The Chinese use the paste of finely ground mung beans mixed with water and apply on pimples and acnes to clear them. Sleeping on a pillow filled with mung bean shells can help alleviate dizziness in hypertension patients and dissipate heat faster for those suffering from fever. Sweet mung bean soup with lily bulb and young lotus roots is good for people suffering from nose bleeding and coughing with blood in the phlegm, but it is not recommended for those who are ‘weak’.

Red BeansRed beans - there are two types of red beans: the big and small ones. Red beans tastes sweet and ‘neutral’ in nature. Red beans is made into sweet paste used in pastry and mooncakes as filling. High in vitamin B, it’s good for beriberi patients. Red bean sweet soup with preserved tangerine peel is used by the Chinese to drive away ‘dampness’. Elderly previously suffering from swelling feet as the result of water retention can eat congee with red beans regularly to prevent symptoms from recurring.

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Last Modified: 11/28/11.