Life Style

Dolichos Bean – 'The Magic Bean'

Dolichos Bean – 'The Magic Bean'
By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 6/10/2019 6:07:32 AM IST

 Dolichos bean is known by various synonyms viz., Hyacinth Bean, Bonavist Bean, Indian Bean, Lablab Bean, ‘Sem’ in Hindi, ‘Hawai thampakpi’ in Manipuri and ‘Lito topha’ in Mao dialect. India is considered as the primary centre of origin of Dolichos bean as many wild forms are found in many parts of the country. 

The botanical name of Dolichos bean is Lablab purpureus L. (Sweet). It is member of the family Leguminoseae. Although the plant is a perennial herbaceous plant but often it is grown as an annual crop with bushy, erect or climbing races. It is grown on almost all types of soil of average fertility as in case of other beans. It cannot withstand water logging condition, but can withstand drought situation.  

It plays an important role in protein nourishment as it contains 20-30% protein on dry matter basis. Hence, it is some of the best sources of plant protein for millions of people in tropical and sub-tropical countries, particularly the poor and developing countries. Compared to animal protein they are very cheap, readily available and in view of the growing concern for nutritional security in third world countries, their importance will become greater in future.  

According to USDA(United States Department of Agriculture) fresh Dolichos pods are highly nutritive and contain carbohydrates (9.19 g), protein (2.10 g), fat (0.2 g), magnesium (40.0 mg), calcium (50 mg), phosphorus (49 mg), sodium (2 mg), iron (0.74 mg), potassium (252 mg), vitamin A (864 I.U.), riboflavin (0.092 mg) and vitamin C (12.9 mg), and fiber (3.3 g) per 100 g of edible portion. 

The tender fleshy pods, shelled green seeds and also dry beans are eaten after cooking and have very good nutritive and medicinal value as it has anti diabetic property and is good for natural cure of bladder burns, cardiac problems, diarrhoea, sciatica and tenesmus. Dolichos beans are gluten-free hence they are often recommended as alternative gluten-free protein food in gluten-allergy and celiac disease patients. The beans are also enjoyed in Japan as ‘fujimame’. Dolichos bean is good for brain health as it contains high Copper essential for the brain pathways such as galactose and dopamine which helps to maintain mood, outlook and focus. It is also good for Cardio-vascular health as it contain Vitamin B1 which is vital for the production of acetylcholine which is a neurotransmitter that relay messages from the nerves to the muscles. Heart depends on these signals. The studies show that Vitamin B1 helps to counteract heart disease as it maintains the healthy ventricular function and also treats heart failure. Possession of Zinc an antioxidant in the bean has led to the finding of anti-cancer properties. Zinc assists the healthy cell division, prevents mutation of cells and prohibits tumor growth. Research has shown that adequate intake of zinc reduced the oxidative stress along with the infections and side effects. It has the ability to promote the immune system.

MM Shulee Ariina, PhD Horticulture, SASRD, NU, Medziphema.

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