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Considering the amazing health benefits of beans, it is a wonder that they are referred to as “poor people’s meat” instead of “healthy people’s meat”. Beans include legumes and pulses and they belong to the family Fabaceae (alternately Leguminosae) which is the 3rd largest land plant family and is only second to grains in being a supplier of calories and proteins to the world’s population!

Assortment of Beans!

Assortment of Beans!

Health Benefits of Beans

1. Healthy heart: Beans are low in fat, are free of saturated fat and trans-fat, and are a cholesterol-free source of protein, very much unlike meat-based proteins. Studies have shown that diets that include hearty amounts of beans may considerably reduce the risk of heart disease.

2. Cancer fighting properties: Beans contain an impressive list of plant antioxidant pigments called flavonoids, including kaempferol and quercetin. Studies have shown that the presence of such antioxidants have a positive influence on the reduction of growth of cancerous cells. Beans are also a good source of phytochemicals which have been studied for their cancer inhibiting properties.

3. Blood sugar management: Beans are great for maintaining a normal blood sugar level.  It is because they have a low glycemic index and contain complex carbohydrates that are digested slowly by the body, hence keeping blood sugar levels in check.

4. Weight management: Beans are naturally low in fats, have high dietary fiber content and are a great source of protein. These traits make beans ideal in one’s weight management diet.

5. Excellent for pregnant women: Folate is a vitamin that is very important for pregnant women and their unborn babies. Beans have an adequate amount of folate hence including beans in a pregnant women’s diet can help reduce the risk of birth defects.

6. Help control PMS: Women who consumed high amounts of manganese each day had reduced cramps and mood swings, in a clinical trial.

7. Energy and vitality: Beans are a nutrient-rich food that contains protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants and important vitamins and minerals, such as folate, manganese, potassium, iron, phosphorous, copper and magnesium. Thus beans are great as a sustained energy source while providing lean protein for maintaining and promoting muscle.

8. Bone health: Low levels of vitamin K are associated to higher rates of osteoarthritis in the hands and knees. Beans are a good source of vitamin K which is also involved in the clotting of blood. A study at the Rayne Institute in the UK showed silicon in green beans was very much absorbable by the body thus making it readily available for bone building, in turn providing for better bone density.  

9. Helps protect against macular degeneration: Zeaxanthin, an important carotenoid in beans is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes where it is believed to act as an antioxidant and protective filter against UV light.

Nutritional Content of  Green Snap Beans (raw)

Serving size- 100 grams

Calories per serving               31

Calories from fat                    01

% Daily Value*

Total Fat                               0 g                                       0%

Saturated Fat                         0 g                                       0%

Trans Fat

Cholesterol                           0 mg                                     0%

Sodium                                 6 mg                                     0%

Total Carbohydrate                7 g                                        2%

Dietary Fiber                          3 g                                       14%

Sugars                                   1 g

Protein                                  2 g

Vitamin A    14%

Calcium       4%

            Vitamin C   27%

            Iron             6%

*% Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Nutrition Values are based on USDA Nutrient Database SR18. 

Having read the amazing health benefits of beans you must be inspired to grow some for yourself, if you aren’t already growing them that is! Look at our wide range of certified bean heirlooms at our online store. In order to get you going, we’ve written a short guide on how to grow beans

The beetle species Popillia japonica is native to Japan and is commonly known as the Japanese beetle. In its native land, it is not very destructive because of the presence of natural predators but in America it is a troublesome pest of over 200 species of plants and trees.

The Infamous Japanese Beetle!

The Infamous Japanese Beetle!

In a way, Japanese beetle infestations do twice the damage of ordinary insect pests. The adult beetles feed on the foliage, flowers and even overripe/wounded fruits while their larvae live in the soil and feed on grasses and roots of plants. Hence controlling Japanese beetles requires a two-pronged attack- one for the beetles above the soil and one for the grubs underneath!

Description:

Japanese beetles are strangely beautiful to look at.

Adults are roughly 1/2 inch long and 1/4 inch wide, with iridescent metallic-green bodies, copper-colored wing covers and a row of five tufts of white hair on each side of the abdomen which help identify them from other similar looking beetles.

Adults emerge from the ground after overwintering in the soil and begin feeding. Females lay eggs 2-4 inches in the soil, preferring moist warm areas. Eggs are small, translucent to creamy white and hatch in 8 to 14 days. The larvae are C-shaped, creamy white with a brown head capsule and about an inch long. The grubs complete their 3 stages in the soil and spend about 10 months in the soil before they pupate into adult beetles.

Japanese beetle larvae at different stages of growth.

Japanese beetle larvae at different stages of growth.

The Japanese beetles attract other beetles of their kind by releasing a chemical called pheromone in the air. This makes them a painstakingly irritating bug to deal with as they feed in groups and their numbers just seem to be on the rise all the time.

Damage:

Adult Japanese beetles usually feed in groups, starting at the top of a plant and working downward. They eat flowers and skeletonize leaves of a wide range of plants, vegetable crops and trees, including roses, fruit trees, grapes, beans, tomatoes, corn, soybean and most landscape plants. Larvae mainly feed on roots of lawn grasses and other garden plants.

Organic Control of Adult Japanese Beetles:

Handpick: Japanese beetles are slow and can be easily picked off plants. Startle them in the morning or late evening when they are least alert by

The typical life-cycle of Japanese beetles.

The typical life-cycle of Japanese beetles.

shaking infested plants and drop them into a bucket of soapy water.

Plant Trap Plants: Interplant four o’clocks (Mirabilis), larkspur, white geraniums, and red (and dwarf) buckeyes in your garden. The flowers of these plants attract and poison the beetles. The leaves of the castor bean plant are poisonous to Japanese beetles. Care must be taken though, since these plants are poisonous to people too.

Plant Non-Attractive Plants: The adults do not like feeding on ageratum, ash, balsam, begonia, boxwood, carnations, firs, hemlock, holly, junipers, lilac, magnolia, oaks, pines, redbud, red maple, rhododendrons among plenty others. Deter them by planting these all over your garden.

Plant Natural Repellants: Catnip, chives, garlic and tansy are natural Japanese beetle repellants but have only a limited effectiveness.

Row Covers: Cover susceptible plants with floating row covers to prevent adult beetles from feasting on foliage. Make sure to fasten the edges to the ground so that stubborn beetles do not crawl through.

Neem Oil: Neem oil acts as an anti-feeding agent and is approved for organic gardens. Works great when used on early infestation detection. Try an organic insecticidal soap as they can help in minimizing beetle damage.

Traps: There are several traps available that use a floral lure and the sex attractant pheromone to trap adult Japanese beetles. Traps are not recommended though for home gardeners, since research shows that the trap attracts more beetles than they catch. However, traps can be effective when spread out over an entire community and at the borders, away from plants that need protection.

Biological Control: The anchor bug and blue-winged wasp are natural predators of the Japanese beetles. Chickens and birds feed on Japanese beetles, so let them loose in your yard if possible.

Organic Control of Japanese Beetle Grubs

Milky Spore Disease: Milky spore (Paenibacillus popilliae) is a naturally occurring bacterium can be used to rid of the grubs in the soil as an effective long term control. The grub ingests these bacterial spores, which germinate and multiply in the grub’s body, ultimately killing it.

Btj: Bacillus thuringiensis japonensis is another naturally occurring bacterium that can be used to destroy Japanese beetle grubs. The grub ingests the Btj which attacks its digestive system, eventually killing it.

Nematodes: Heterorhabditis bacteriophora is a beneficial nematode that works to control Japanese beetle grubs. These microscopic parasitic roundworms penetrate grubs and inoculate it with bacteria that grow rapidly in the grub’s body. The nematode feeds on the bacteria and this leads to the demise of the grub.

Hope these tips help! Buy Neem Concentrate for controlling Japanese beetle adults and Grub Control for getting rid of Japanese beetle grubs from our online store.