Cluster beans, also known as guar beans, are an annual legume, mostly grown in India and Pakistan.
The scientific name of the cluster bean is Cyamopsis tetragonoloba. In India, people use cluster beans as a staple food.
Cluster beans are also used to make guar gum, a complex carbohydrate extracted from their seeds.
Guar gum is used in a wide range of industries, including textile, pharmaceutical, and food industries (1).
Cluster beans also contain a significant amount of calcium and vitamin A, which improve your bone health. Vitamin A also helps improve your eyesight and immunity.
Cluster bean pods provide the following nutrients per 100 grams serving (2):
- Water: 81 grams
- Calories: 16 kcal
- Protein: 3.2 grams
- Carbohydrate: 10.8 grams
- Fat: 1.4 grams
- Calcium: 57 mg (6% of the daily value)
- Iron: 4.5 mg (25% of the DV)
- Vitamin A: 65.31 IU (3% of the DV)
- Vitamin C: 49 mg (55% of the DV)
Health Benefits of Cluster Beans
1. May reduce the risk of heart diseases
Since cluster beans have only 1.4 grams of fat per 100 grams, they are good for your heart.
Also, the large amounts of dietary fiber found in cluster beans may reduce the risk of heart diseases (3).
Plus, research says that cluster beans may lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and increase good cholesterol (HDL) levels in the body (4).
2. May help manage diabetes
One important component of cluster beans is their abundance of soluble fiber, which may help control blood sugar levels (5).
Another way that the consumption of cluster beans benefits diabetics is their low glycemic index.
In fact, a recent study found that the glycemic index of cluster beans is 27.91% lower than that of white bread (6). Hence, cluster beans are a powerful way to combat diabetes.
3. May promote weight loss
Weight gain has been associated with high GI foods that tend to spike blood glucose levels (7).
Many people crave carbohydrates because of their ability to, unhealthily, create energy using additional sugar.
The consumption of cluster beans helps people lose weight because it provides a healthy source of energy that does not dramatically increase blood sugar levels.
Additionally, a study on rats reveals that consuming cluster beans may reduce body weight by lowering fat absorption (8).
4. May improve your gut health
As cluster beans are rich in fiber and water, they may improve your digestion and stimulate your digestive system.
Also, the soluble fiber found in guar gums appears to promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria (9).
What’s more, the antioxidants in cluster beans have gastroprotective effects, which may protect you from gastric ulcers (10).
5. May help treat gallstones
Another notable health benefit of cluster beans is their ability to treat gallstones.
Having too much cholesterol in your bile increases the risk of gallstones (11).
A study on rats showed that cluster beans effectively reduce the cholesterol saturation index in bile (12).
In another study, a lithogenic diet with 15% of cluster beans reduced gallstones incidents by 58 percent in rats (13).
A growing body of evidence indicates that the consumption of cluster beans associated with a reduced risk of many diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and gallstones.
Therefore, we can conclude that cluster beans are highly nutritious and offer several benefits to our health.