Bambara beans also known as bambara groundnuts has their origin in West Africa specifically in Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria. The beans thrive well in sandy soil with a PH of between 5 and 6.5. The texture of the soul should be light with good drainage as water logging destroys the nuts. The Bambara plant grows well in the climate of most parts of Sub-Sahara Africa with temperatures of 19-30 degree centigrade. These groundnuts are highly resistant to draught as they do not require high rainfall for them to grow and produce. When planting bambara plant, one does not need to set a piece of land aside as they thrive even when intercropped with other food crops such as sorghum, maize, cassava and millet. This bean is now growing well in Asia, Australia and Central America.
Nutritional value of the beans
The beans from bambara plant has several nutrients that are beneficial to the body. They are rich in the following nutrients;
Ways of preparing beans for consumption
These beans from bambara plant can be prepared in different ways for consumption, such as;
- Floor- The dry beans are pounded into fine floor that is cooked in boiling water to make a paste. This paste is served with stew as a complete meal. The floor can also be used to prepare porridge.
- Fried whole grain- The beans can be fried on a pan with little oil and later eaten alone.
Health benefits of bambara beans
Bambara beans have rich nutritional value that makes then essential for enhancement of human health. The benefits include;
Due to high content of minerals, these nuts are a natural remedy to safeguard the body from arthritis.
- Treatment of anemia
The bambara groundnuts are best for management of anemia which is lack of blood in the body. The nuts are rich in iron that boosts blood levels in the body.
The floor from these beans is ideal for management of malnutrition especially in children. This is because the nuts have high contents of carbohydrates, proteins, calories and varying minerals that boost the growth of the body.
- Irritable bowel syndrome and severe diarrhea
The beans as seeds and floor derived from them are essential in therapeutic management of irritable bowel syndrome and severe diarrhea. During diarrhea, vital minerals are lost from the body leading to weakness. The nutrients present in the beans replace the lost minerals and body building nutrients in the body bringing about health and wellness.
- Lack of sleep
These beans are a natural remedy for insomnia. This is because the beans contain amino acids that stimulate release of serotonin from the brain hence bringing about mental calmness that leads to ability to fall asleep.
When taking bambara ground nuts, it is important to not to exceed 20grams daily. In addition, the nuts should not be taken continuously for a period more than 90 days.
Bambara beans may lead to allergic reactions to people who are allergic to legumes. However, they are safe for use as a regular meal.