4 Disease-Fighting Powers of Green Bean Soup
These days, the weather in Singapore is scorching hot. Add to it, we have haze and drought. It is during this time most mothers will be in their kitchens firing up the stove and making soup – especially green (mung) bean soup.
Have you ever wondered what your mom means when she says ‘The weather is hot. Drink green bean soup’? You wonder: How a bowl of soup can help you cope with the heat? Even stranger is the fact that during the SARS outbreak in 2003-2004, there were bouts of green bean frenzy that saw brisk sales of these tiny little beans. Asians from China to Cambodia, gulped down bowls of green bean soup like it contained some magical way of warding off the deadly disease. Is there reason behind the madness?
Green bean is a traditional food source of Chinese people, and its soup is served as a popular dessert. Green beans alone pack a nutritious punch of protein, fiber and antioxidants. It has one of the highest protein and lowest fat content in the bean family.
But how does all that bean goodness translate to heat-expelling and disease-fighting super power?
#1: Clear Heat
TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) believes that one’s external environment has a big influence on what is going on inside the body. On a hot day, our bodies absorb the heat. Once the heat is trapped in the body, physical changes can occur like hot flashes, dry skin, constipation and headaches. The Chinese term this as being ‘heaty‘. Classic TCM studies recorded that mung bean skin has powerful heat-expelling properties. When consumed, it naturally expels pathogenic heat by promoting urination and relieving hot weather health ailments like heat rash.
Tip: If you are having green bean soup specifically to expel heat from your body, drink a bowl (or two) of green bean soup everyday. The soup is best served cold from the refrigerator to increase its cooling effect.
#2: Clear Toxins
When cooking green bean soup, some people drink only the soup and discard the beans. Modern science shows that green beans can effectively clear toxins from the body, including environmental and chemical toxins. Cooked beans act as a natural diuretic and help the body purge toxins that are commonly linked to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and hardening of the arteries.
Tip: To achieve a more effective detoxification, eat the beans.
#3: Clear Skin
Not only does green bean clear heat from the body, it also cools heat in the blood. TCM believes many skin-related problems like skin rash, cold sores, pimples, boil and mouth ulcers are caused by heaty blood. Consuming green beans which are ‘cooling‘ in nature, helps to clear heat and toxins from the skin and cool the blood reducing inflammation.
Tip: If you are having green bean soup specifically to improve complexion and skin, make your soup thick in consistency and served in room temperature.
#4: Lose Weight
Believe it or not, adding green bean soup to your diet can help you lose weight and keep weight gain at bay. Not only is green bean easy to digest (good for intestinal health) and fast to cook, it has more fiber content than most other beans, even red beans. And having more fiber prevents glucose spikes by keeping you feeling full longer and not battle spur of the moment cravings; from deep-fried foods to sweet munchies.
Tip: Green bean soup is commonly cooked with white rock sugar. If you are adding this to your diet, opt for less sugar or substitute with raw honey rock sugar instead.
Want the recipe? Green bean soup is so tasty and easy to make. You only really need 3 ingredients. Read Easy 20-Minute Green Bean Soup That Even A Kid Can Make.