The “Three Sisters,” namely, beans, maize (corn) and squash, characterize the core of Native American agriculture. Long considered among the simplest of foods, these staples kept a number of farming tribes viable and well fed over many centuries. Grown together, the Three Sisters crops formed an early example of “companion” planting, with the vine of the bean climbing up the corn stalk. Planted between this complementary pairing, the squash offered protection from animals owing to its coarse, hairy vines and broad, stiff leaves.
What does it do?
Also known as cannellini beans in central and southern Italy, these white kidney-shaped beans are larger than most beans. Like other legumes, they offer complete protein when combined with grains. Adding to its nutritional appeal, the white kidney bean brings calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and vitamins K, B1, B5, B7 and B9 to the table. Intestinal wellness is given a helping hand by the high fiber content of this bean. Studies aimed at facilitating healthy ways to lose weight have cast a well-deserved spotlight on the white kidney bean. The extract processed from white kidney beans contains a starch blocker that prevents the absorption of starchy foods. Since starch is converted into sugar during digestion, only to be stored as fat in a subsequent step in the process, white kidney bean extract serves as a safe, effective way to drop unwanted pounds.
About the herb
There are nearly 14,000 species of beans. White kidney beans share a common ancestor with other beans that are native to Peru. Beans are legumes that provide good quality protein, which is necessary to build muscle tissue. Since bean flowers self-pollinate, only one plant is necessary to grow bean pods.
As kidney beans in general possess a higher level of the toxin lectin, it is important to soak them overnight and heat them to the boiling point in fresh water for at least 10 minutes. Commercial weight-loss products employing the starch-blocking ingredient of white kidney bean extract (generically known as phaseolamin) can be useful toward achieving a healthy weight. Follow the instructions and keep in mind that while a number of these products can be useful in the short run, long-term changes in body weight are best sustained with wise lifestyle makeovers guided by qualified health professionals and your own common sense.