Types of Beans in Nigeria

There are over 100 varieties of beans that are cultivated and consumed across the globe. In this article, we’ll be discussing the types of beans that are grown and consumed in Nigeria. Read on to discover the nutritional profile, benefits and additional information on the types of beans we’d be discussing. 

Types of Beans in Nigeria

The types of beans in Nigeria would be discussed below: 

  • Pinto Beans

Pinto beans, known for their mottled skin, are a variety of Phaseolus vulgaris. It is common in the United States and Mexico, however, many people in Nigeria are unfamiliar with it. The people of Bokkos in Plateau State are one of the few ethnic groups that are familiar with and cultivate this type of bean. The people of Bokkos refer to the Pinto beans as “Kwakil”. 

Pinto beans are extremely delicious and an excellent source of vital nutrients such as protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. It is rich in antioxidants such as Kaempferol which help protect cells from damage from free radicals. In addition, the consumption of Pinto beans may aid heart health, and improve blood sugar regulation and gut health, among numerous other benefits. 

  • Kidney Beans 

Kidney beans are easily identified by their red colour and shape which resembles a human kidney. Although originally discovered by European explorers in Peru, this type of bean is popular across the world today, including in Nigeria. Kidney beans have a high nutritional value and so many health benefits. It is rich in fibre, folate, iron, phosphorus, thiamine, and other minerals. 

Regular consumption of Kidney beans is proven to improve heart health, aid digestion, control blood sugar, and boost weight loss. It can be consumed in several forms. Kidney beans can be used to garnish meals for visual appeal, as well as added to hot and cold salads, side dishes and pasta. Due to its high amount of phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) toxins which can cause gastrointestinal distress like nausea and vomiting, it is best to thoroughly cook Kidney beans before consumption. 

  • White Beans 

White beans are common across Nigeria, serving as a staple ingredient in many cuisines. There are various varieties of White beans including Cannellini, Navy beans and Butter beans. This type of bean is highly nutritious and packed with fibre and proteins as well as other micronutrients such as magnesium, magnesium, thiamine, zinc, and Vitamin B6. White beans also contain high levels of polyphenol antioxidants which may protect the body against diseases. 

There are numerous benefits of regularly eating white beans. Due to the high nutrient density and low-calorie count of the white beans, they may boost weight loss and promote healthy muscle mass if combined with a proper exercise regimen. To avoid the side effects associated with cooked white beans, it is recommended to soak them in water for hours before cooking. White beans can be added to prepare various Nigerian recipes such as moi-moi, akara, and gbegiri.

  • Black Beans 

Black beans, sometimes referred to as cowpea, are rich in protein, fibre and several other micronutrients which are associated with various health benefits. Regular consumption of black beans may help strengthen bones, lower blood pressure, and protect the heart against disease. In addition, people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes can rely on the high fibre content of Black beans to manage the sickness. 

Black beans can be prepared as porridge or combined with other food items such as yam, plantain, and rice. To avoid intestinal gas and discomfort associated with consuming Black beans, it’s best to soak the beans for 5-6 hours. 

  • Brown Beans 

Brown beans are extremely nutritious, containing so many nutrients known to have positive benefits to man. It is widely cultivated across Nigeria. Regular consumption of Brown beans improves heart health, helps digestion, and promotes the development of healthy cells, among other numerous benefits. In addition, consumption of Brown beans aids in weight loss, as well as reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. In Nigeria, Brown beans are commonly prepared in several ways, either cooked alone or combined with cereals or other food items. Brown beans can also be mashed, prepared as soup, fried as a fritter, or steamed into a pudding. 

  • Black-eyed Beans 

Black-eyed beans, also known as Black-eyed peas, are commonly grown and consumed in several parts of the country. They are cream in colour with a black speck in the centre. Black-eyed beans contain many nutrients which have several benefits to man. The high level of fibre in Black-eyed beans helps with indigestion. Regular consumption of Black-eyed beans may lower blood pressure and inflammation, as well as maintain a healthy weight and support eye and skin health. 

Black-eyed beans can be prepared as a main meal or as side dishes. Since the consumption of beans may cause gastrointestinal distress, it is recommended to soak them for hours before cooking. For people who are not used to eating beans and want to introduce beans into their diet, it should be done gradually. 

  • Chick Beans 

Chick beans contain a high level of protein, fibre, and other micronutrients which are associated with various health benefits. The high fibre content of Chick beans promotes a feeling of fullness and satiety, which makes it recommended for people seeking to maintain moderate weight. Also, diabetes patients who regularly consume Chick beans can manage their sickness better.

Just as the other types of beans discussed above, Chick beans can be prepared in different forms. It may be boiled and eaten alone, or cooked alongside cereals and other types of foods like yam and soups.   

In Nigeria, beans serve as a staple ingredient in cuisines consumed by a great percentage of the population. Beans are extremely nutritious and rich in protein, and numerous other micronutrients. Beans are an easy and inexpensive meal to prepare. Regular consumption of beans may aid digestion, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as maintain moderate body weight. Beans are also recommended for diabetes patients due to their low glycemic index and low glycemic load. 


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