The production of beans thrives in Messinia due to the mild weather conditions of the area, as they are very sensitive to cold. Locally, they are cooked in soups or baked with plenty of olive oil, carrots and parsley.
Beans belong to one
of the four big categories of legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas) and are
characterized by their rich nutritional elements. They contain little fat,
mainly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, and have a low glycemic
index. Beans are rich in carbohydrates, fiber and proteins. These proteins,
however, are of low biological value and only combined with other food, such as
cereals, cheese and nuts, can their nutritional value increase. Iron, which is
found in large quantities, can be better absorbed if combined with food high in
vitamin C, such as citrus fruit, peppers and tomatoes. Boiled beans are a high
source of flavonoids, such as resveratrol, which is associated with
strengthening the body's defenses and protecting against chronic illnesses. Finally, it is worth
noting that both pureed beans and lentils are the first legumes introduced to
children after the second stage of weaning (6-9 months).