Beans are a nutritional treasure, as well as a dish that is intrinsically linked with Greek tradition. They are on the basis of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid, i.e. among the foodstuffs that should be eaten regularly.
Canada is the main producer of beans due to its climate conditions and excellent subsoil.
The cultivation of beans has a long tradition in Greece and they are mostly produced in Thessalia and Macedonia. The most renowned Greek beans are produced in Prespes and Chrisoupoli in Kavala.
How they are cooked depends on their species. They are usually cooked as a soup, salad or in the oven, ideally combined with cheese, olives, pickles, salted food and salad.
Beans are an important source of proteins which combined with cereals provide proteins almost equivalent to the proteins of the meat.
They are a source of dietary fibres which help with the good intestinal function, while contributing to the control of sugar and lipid levels in blood. Moreover, they are an excellent source of antioxidants and folic acid which help with the smooth functioning of the heart.
They also help us lose weight, as they are slowly metabolized thus creating a feeling of satiety.
Finally, they are a good source of iron. Their content in iron, though, is not so easily absorbed by the human body and, for iron to be absorbed adequately, they should be combined with food rich in vitamin C (e.g. orange, lemon, peppers, parsley etc.).