Sigarilyas and its benefits
Do you know that ‘winged beans’ or the popular hanging vegetable sigarillas can be used to treat acne and eczema?
Sigarilyas, described as a “supermarket on the stalk”, has been identified by the US Department of Agriculture as a potential source of lectins—high levels of proteins—that are used as diagnostic tools in medical research because they bind to certain blood cells.
Sean Adams, information chief of the USDA said ‘winged beans’ also contain erucic acid, an anti-tumor medication, and polyunsaturated fatty acids that can be used to treat acne and eczema.
Other than cooking it as a favorite vegetable dish, households should remember that sigarilyas, also sometimes called ‘asparagus beans’ or ‘four-angle bean’ could become one of the most important crops for underdeveloped countries since it offers a high source of protein.
Sigarilyas are rich in Vitamin C, a powerful anti-oxidant that helps prevent cardiovascular disease, strokes, and cancer. It also contains lots of Vitamin A, another powerful anti-oxidant that prevents DNA damage. It’s also a potential source of Vitamin B needed for vitality, mood enhancement and energy.
Almost all of the parts of the plant are edible—the pods, leaves, stems and the tubers. In the Philippines, however, the tubers are relatively smaller and they are not eaten. The tubers contain 12 to 15 percent protein or twice or four times higher than that of potato and eight times more than cassava. It also contains 0.5 to 1.1 percent of fat and 27.2 to 30.5 percent carbohydrate.
The tubers are peeled after boiling, fried or baked. When cooked, the leaves taste like spinach and the flowers like mushrooms. Flowers have a sweet taste because of the nectar they contain. When steamed or friend, their color and consistency resembles that of mushrooms. They can also serve as an attractive garnish when lightly cooked.
The dried seeds of the sigarilyas can be used as a flour and or turned into a coffee-like drink. Whether fried or baked, winged bean seeds make a delicious nut-like snack. [Ched Romulo]
[Source: AgriBusiness Digest Vol. 26, No. 08, http://community.omtimes.com/]