One of the most common food throughout the world is beans which is top on the menu list in this part of the world.
The consumption of beans which can be boiled, fried or baked has generated a lot of questions on the lips of many among which is the cultural debate on if it guarantees ‘tallness’.
Boiled bean is a second option to foods such as rice by children in this part of the world. It can be argued that rice comes on top of beans in homes which has made parents coerce their child(ren) into eating this leguminous plant.
While growing up, I have seen parents using ‘their said’ nutritious value of this particular food for children who doesn’t want it to eat it.
One of the qualities that is usually stated is that ‘if you eat beans, you will grow taller‘. Many children who really wants to grow and get bigger than their peers doesn’t hesitate to consume beans which becomes part of their menu in the long run.
It is usually used as a substitute to meat in poor homes where protein of animal source cannot be provided.
Bean is surely a source of protein which is an essential nutrients for the human body in growth- as it helps in the building blocks of body tissue and can also serve as a fuel source.
As it is required for growth and development of the body, can we now say it’s the requirement for tallness as African mothers put it?
Well, here are what some Nigerians are saying about this issue;
“I grew up hearing my mum saying that beans makes someone tall. Actually I think it’s coincidence in my case because I hated beans while growing up among my siblings and guess what, am the shortest. I think it’s just the function of protein making one grow”
_Mrs Olabisi Bali (University of Ibadan)
“I can’t really say how true is that statement by our parents but I have believed it over the years. Beans is very good for a growing child is all I know“
_ Alunsi Obioma (FAAN, Lagos)
“I have heard that before and it may be true only because beans is assumed to be proteinous and is needed for growth and development“
_ Ife Omotoba (Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife)
“People say that often. I have heard another version of that statement which says it’s the beetle (insect) in beans that makes that possible but we all know that it’s a lie. I believed growing tall is a function of your genetic composition, the DNA you inherited from your parents”
_ Paul Uzuegbu (Abu Dhabi, UAE).
“I think whether an individual will be tall or short is determined by the genetic make-up. Beans is a meal that is responsible for proper development and other vital growth. But then we all know that height isn’t exactly the definition of how developed an individual’s body is“
_Barrister Bukky (Lagos)
“I don’t believe it is true. I know short people who loves beans“
_ Miss Spencer John (Ibadan).
Joining in this debate, I actually started eating this particular food when I learnt in elementary science that too much of carbohydrate food causes ‘kwashiorkor’.
An image of a kwashiorkor child in the textbook alone is enough to consume boiled bean which was in my unwanted list.
Although three of the four boys of my father had good heights, the only one who really loves beans is the shortest of all (just like our mother).
I therefore disagreed with using this food as as a factor for ‘tallness/heights’.
Nutrients In Beans & Its Functions
The nutrients present in beans include protein, complex carbohydrates, folate, iron with significant amount of fibre and soluble fibre.
The function of protein in the human body is to help in growth and development via its building blocks of body tissue and can also serve as a fuel source.
Complex carbohydrate in form of glycoprotein are relevant as cell-surface receptors, cell-adhesion molecules, immunoglobins, and tumor antigen.
Folate (Vitamin B9) is required for the body to make DNA and RNA and metabolise amino acids necessary for cell division.
Iron-containing proteins participate in transport, storage and used of oxygen.
Also Read: A Mix Beans and Corn
Although beans is necessary for growth and proper development, it is not the requirement of heights/tallness in human but grounded upon genetics.
Well, if you have a different opinion to this post, do share your view(s) in the comment section.