Indigenous to the tropical regions, velvet beans are highly nutritional in a number of ways. Explore this article to know more about the nutrition and health benefits of eating velvet beans.

Health Benefits Of Velvet Beans

Velvet bean, also known as mucuna prurien, is a tropical legume having long clusters of purplish flowers and densely hair pods. It is an annual climbing shrub having long vines with a length of over 15 meters. The beans are cultivated in southern United States, Africa, India and the West Indies for green manure and grazing. They are also used as ornamentals. Velvet beans are known by a multitude of common names such as atmagupta, kiwanch, alkushi, cowitch, cowhage, picapica, kapicachu, and yerepe. Read through the following lines to know about the health and nutrition benefits of velvet beans. They have been used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine since a long time to treat worms, dysentery, diarrhea, snake bites, sexual debility, cough, tuberculosis, impotence, rheumatic disorders, muscular pain, sterility, gout, menstrual disorders, diabetes, and cancer.


Nutrition & Health Benefits of Eating Velvet Beans

  • Velvet beans serve as an aphrodisiac, diuretic and nerve tonic.
  • They are high in proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, fiber and minerals.
  • They are very rich in novel alkaloids, saponins, sterols.
  • Since velvet beans are high in levodopa, they help in maintaining healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
  • They are very efficient in curing diseases like Parkinson’s disease.
  • They are used in manufacturing body building supplements to enhance the production of human growth hormone.
  • They are roasted and ground to make a substitute for coffee in Central America.
  • The beans are cooked as a vegetable in Guatemala.
  • In Brazil, the velvet bean seed is taken internally to treat edema, impotence, intestinal gas and worms.
  • Velvet beans forma an important ingredient in various weight loss, libido, brain/ memory and anti-aging formulas.
  • They are a widespread fodder plant in the tropical regions. The animals are fed on them as silage, dried hay or dried seeds.
  • In medical studies it has been found that the velvet beans carry antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and fever reducing properties. Initially the velvet beans were being used by several tribes in healing snakebites and medical researchers have also found anti-venom properties in these beans. During the research it was found that the proteins present in the seed boost the antibodies against venoms in living organisms.
  • The velvet beans have also been found to have anabolic and growth-hormone stimulant properties. The anabolic effect of the seed is because it is extremely efficacious in increasing testosterone. The seed also promotes fertility and increases the sperm count in human males.
  • The consumption of velvet beans can effectively reduce the level of blood sugar in human beings and thus have been used in the treatment of diabetes. Velvet beans are rich levodopa and their consumption can benefit those suffering from diabetes in maintaining a healthy level of blood sugar and cholesterol.
  • Velvet beans are also effective in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, a nerve disorder. These seeds have very rich content of serotonin, a neurotransmitter which plays the role of relaying brain signals and thus those suffering from Parkinson’s disease can be highly benefited from velvet beans. It also helps to regulate moods and sleep cycles in human beings.
  • Velvet beans have also been found to be very effective in increasing testosterone and stimulating the growth hormone which in turn leads to the increase in muscle mass. 
  • Velvet bean enhances the production of dopamine in human brain which makes you feel happier. As velvet beans have been found to increases dopamine production in human brain it has also been used effectively for treating drug addiction. Velvet bean also increases concentration power.
 Cooking Tips
  • Cooked fresh shoots or beans can be eaten.
  • The beans should be soaked in water from at least 30 minutes to 48 hours before cooking or the water should be changed several times while cooking as the beans can be toxic to humans.
  • Velvet beans should not be taken during pregnancy. Theses seeds possess an uterine stimulating effect which can lead to birth defects.
  • The seeds have uterine stimulant activity and can cause birth defects.
  • The beans have androgenic activity that can increase testosterone levels. People with excessive androgen syndromes should avoid velvet beans.

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