Navy beans being served at the Navy Memorial
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||1,468 kJ (351 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||24.4 g|
|Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
The navy bean, haricot, pearl haricot bean, boston bean, white pea bean, or pea bean, is a variety of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) native to the Americas, where it was domesticated. It is a small, dry white bean which is smaller than many other types of white beans, and has an oval, slightly flattened shape. It features in such dishes as baked beans, and even pies, as well as in various soups such as Senate bean soup. Unlike most canned vegetables, which lose much of their nutritive value in the canning process,[better source needed] navy beans maintain their nutritive value when canned.
The name "Navy bean" is an American term coined because the US Navy has served the beans as a staple to its sailors since the mid-1800s.
In Australia, navy bean production began during World War II when it became necessary to find an economical way of supplying a nutritious food to the many troops - especially American troops - based in Queensland. The United States military maintained a large base in Kingaroy and had many bases and camps throughout south-east Queensland. It actively encouraged the widespread planting of the beans. Kingaroy is known as the Baked Bean Capital of Australia. Another popular name for the bean during this time was "the Yankee bean".
Navy bean cultivars include:
Other white beans include:
Consumption of baked beans has been shown to lower total cholesterol levels and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. This might be at least partly explained by high saponin content of navy bean. Saponins also exhibit antibacterial and anti-fungal activity, and have been found to inhibit cancer cell growth. Furthermore, navy bean is the richest source of ferulic acid and p-coumaric acid among the common bean varieties.
Dried and canned beans stay fresh longer by storing them in a pantry or other cool, dark place under 75 °F (24 °C). With normal seed storage, seeds should last from one to four years for replanting, with a very large timetable for cooking for well-kept seeds, nearing on indefinite. Avoid beans which are discolored from the pure white color of these beans, as they may have been poorly handled while they dried.
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