What are the Benefits of eating Great Northern Beans?

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Great Northern Bean is a nutritious legume, scientifically known as Phaseolus vulgaris belonging to the Fabaceae family. Medium oval-shaped Great Northern Beans have creamy texture. They possess a distinct nutty flavor. Great Northern Beans are also known as "White Beans". They are genetically related to Pinto and Kidney Beans. However, they look like Lima Beans. White Beans are typically grown in the Midwestern United States.They are readily available in both canned and dried forms. Great Northern Beans are rich in dietary fiber, folate and iron. As they are rich in dietary fiber and very low in Sodium they make an excellent addition as a  side dish. Its glycemic load is 22 which is quite low.(A normal healthy person can have a glycemic load upto 100 but not more than that)They are  great to use in soups, gravies and baked beans as they take on the flavor of the medium in which they are cooked. About 1.6 oz of these beans contain 17% of calcium and 10% of iron. 



What are the Characteristics of Great Northern Bean Plant?

Great Northern Beans come from erect bushes with height ranging between 20–60 centimeters. They bear alternate, purple or green leaves. The leaves are divided into three oval leaflets. The plants bear pink, purple or white flowers and long pods ranging between 8–20 centimeters. Each pod contains 4-6 beans which are yellow, green, purple or black in color. The fleshy beans are kidney-shaped and have smooth surface.



How can Great Northern Beans or White Beans help in Weight Loss?

Great Northern Beans like other beans can help in losing weight as these have a  lot of fiber and have a low glycemic index.

  • They are rich in soluble fiber, high in protein and hence makes it an ideal food while trying to lose weight. Having a high fiber diet can speeden the process of removal of toxins through the bowel movement. This helps in toxins not being circulated back into the system which puts additional burden on the liver to process the toxins. 
  • Soluble fiber in Great Northern Beans helps in reducing LDL levels of cholesterol. This happens because the soluble fibers from the beans extract the bile salts from the blood and these are passed out through bowel movements. This results in a reduction of bile salts in the blood stream. The liver now has to produce more bile salts which it can do only by breaking down cholesterol by extracting it from the blood stream. Therefore as you keep eating soluble fiber this process repeats itself in teh body and the cholesterol is extracted out of the blood stream and thus the LDL levels go down making your cholesterol  come into a healthy range.
  • Great Northern Beans also help to lose weight as they have a low glycemic Index which means they keep the stomach full a little longer which helps in releasing the glucose slower intot he blood stream  thus helping you feel less hungry and contributing to weight loss than if you were to have processed foods which are low in soluble fiber and get broken down very quickly releasing glucose in to the blood stream right away which makes the blood sugar go up.
  • 1 cup of Great Northern Beans has 16gms of fiber which makes it an excellent food.



What is the History behind Great Northern Beans? 

Great Northern Beans are native to ancient Mesoamerica.  In the 16th and 17th centuries, Spanish colonists introduced White Beans in  Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. Now, Great Northern Beans are commercially cultivated in South and North America, Europe, Asia, Oceania and Africa. India and Brazil garlic, and chilies for a scrumptious sandwich spread. This paste can be used as crudité dip.

  • Vegetarian tacos can be prepared using White Beans' paste instead of ground meat.
  • Great Northern Beans are used to prepare French "Cassoulet".
  •  Pre-soaked or canned Great Northern Beans can be used in soups.


    What are some of the Great Northern Beans recipes ?

    • Great Northern Beans  Salad : One can make great salads with these beans. Soak the beans overnight or for about 4-6hrs. Boil them in a pressure cooker with water and salt or in a stockpot until they are soft. Take a salad bowl and toss in any mix of Salad leaves, boiled Great Northern Beans, red onions, diced red peppers, diced yellow peppers., diced apples. Make a vinigrette with olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, honey, salt and pour over the salad just before serving. Or you can use a store bought dressing as well.
    • Great Northern Beans Soup : About 1 cup soaked nad boiled Great Northern Beans, 1 medium onion diced, 1 tomato diced, 3 garlic cloves, a small piece of cinammon, 2 cloves, chilli powder, cumin powder, 1/2 cup tomato sauce. Keep the water that you boiled the beans in. Take a stockpot, pour about 1 tbsp of olive oil and toss in the garlic and onions. Once these are browned, add a 1/2tsp of turmeric, 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp cumin powder. Stir them  and add diced tomatoes. Let them sweat a little and wait unti they turn slightly mushy. Once you see them melding with the rest of the ingredients, add  the canned tomato sauce, take 1 tbsp of boiled beans and mash them up and add to the pot. Stir it until mixed well. Now add rest of the beans and the water along with it. Taste for seasoning and adjust according ot your desired spice. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the flame and let it simmer on low for 5-6 mins. Turn off the flame and add some chopped cilantro or mint(not both).



     What are the Nutrients  in Great Northern Beans?

    • Great Northern Beans contains high amount of proteins and carbohydrates. These nutrients are utilized to produce energy and increase body mass. 
    • Great Northern Beans are  rich in heart-healthy fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 which helps to prevent stroke or cardiac dysrhythmia.
    • Being rich in cholesterol-lowering fibers, Great Northern Beans help to lower bad cholesterol(HDL).
    • Antioxidants, vitamin B6, folic acid, and magnesium in White Beans reduce homocysteine level which can cause stroke, heart attack, or peripheral vascular disease.
    • High antioxidant content of Great Northern Beans reduce the risk of breast cancer in women.
    • Protein in White Beans develops strong You do not have access to view this node and muscle.
    • Dietary fiber in Great Northern Beans slows down carbohydrate absorption, and aids in weight loss.
    • Omega-3 fatty acids prevents cardiovascular disease, and strengthens immunity system.



    Are they any Side effects to eating Great Northern Beans?

    Phytohaemagglutinin (a toxic compound) is found in Great Northern Beans. However, it can be deactivated by cooking the beans at 100°C for at least ten minutes. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of US recommends that the dried Great Northern Beans must be soaked for at least 5 hours prior to cooking. Purines present in Great Northern Beans get metabolized to uric acid which causes gout and joint inflammation. People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are recommended to avoid Great Northern Bean dishes. These have an IF factor of -111 ( A positive value of Inflammatory factor  means it has  higher anti inflammatory properties and a negative value denotes it has an inflammatory effect) so people suffering with Arthritis  should watch out as it might aggravate their condition.

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