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Types of Beans in Nigeria

These are some of the beans that are found in Nigeria. Each type of bean has its unique flavour and texture, so be sure to try them all.

Jack Beans

Jack beans are a type of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) that is widely cultivated in Nigeria. The plant is believed to have originated in the Americas and was introduced to Africa by Portuguese explorers in the 16th century. Jack beans are a staple food in many parts of Nigeria, where they are typically cooked with rice or other grains.

The jack bean plant is a climbing vine that can reach up to 3 meters in height. The leaves are large and oval-shaped, with serrated edges. The flowers are white or purple, and the beans are dark-coloured and about 2-3 centimetres long.

Jack beans contain high levels of protein, fibre, and minerals like iron and potassium. They are also a good source of vitamins B1, B6, and folate. Due to their nutritional value, jack beans are often included in supplementary foods for children and pregnant women in developing countries.

Purple Beans

Purple beans are popular in Nigeria, where they are used in dishes like moi moi and akara. Purple beans have a nutty flavour and are creamy when cooked. They are also high in fibre and protein. The purple bean extract contains anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that boost energy levels and improve overall health.

Brown Beans

How often do you eat brown beans? If you don’t eat them very often, then you should start now. 

Brown beans are also known as black beans. They are popular in Central and South America, where they are used in dishes like black bean soup and black bean chilli. Brown beans have a rich, earthy flavour and are high in fibre and protein.

Brown beans are rich in fibre and protein, and they also contain minerals such as iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, selenium, and calcium. They are also low in calories and fat.

Cow Peas

Cowpeas, also known as black-eyed peas, are a type of bean that is commonly grown in Nigeria. Cowpeas are a good source of protein and contain many essential vitamins and minerals. E.g. iron, zinc, copper, manganese, phosphorous, vitamin B-complex, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, biotin, and vitamin C. They can be cooked in many different ways and are often used in soups and stews.

Yaba beans

 The Yaba bean is a variety of cowpea that is native to Nigeria. It is grown mainly in the northern part of the Nigeria. The beans are dark-coloured and have a slightly sweet flavour. They are often used in stews and soups.

Kidney beans

The kidney bean is a legume native to Mexico and Central America. It is a member of the Phaseoleae tribe, which includes many other edible beans including black-eyed peas, adzuki beans, lima beans, etc. Kidney beans have been cultivated for thousands of years, and they were originally domesticated in Mesoamerica. The word “bean” comes from the Aztec language Nahuatl, meaning “small pod.”

A single cup of cooked kidney beans contains about 200 calories, 12 grams of protein, and 8 grams of fibre. They also provide a good amount of iron, folate, zinc, copper, manganese, vitamin B6, and vitamin K.

They are high in dietary fibre, which helps lower cholesterol levels and steady blood sugar. They are also rich in antioxidants, which help fight free radicals and reduce the risk of cancer.

Cooking kidney beans takes only 10 minutes. You can boil them, pressure cooks them, or even microwave them. If you want to add flavour, try adding some garlic, onion, cumin, chilli pepper, or any other spices you enjoy.

You can eat kidney beans plain or use them in soups, salads, stews, and stir-fries. They go well with rice, pasta, potatoes, corn, and tomatoes.