Bhat (Black Soybean): A traditional legume with high nutritional and nutraceutical properties from NW Himalayan region of India

Bhartiya, Anuradha ; Aditya, J P; Pal, R S; Chandra, N ; Kant, L ; Pattanayak, A

Abstract

Bhat (black soybean) under the genus Glycine, is cultivated for food, fodder and medicinal uses by rural communities in Asia particularly, in China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia and India. In the Himalayan region of India, this legume is not only an integral part of a climate resilient farming system but also finds place in ethnodietary recipes and fondly consumed as a pulse. Black soybean ensures both food and nutritional security in hills where nutritional deficiencies are in abundance among rural,
tribal and backward population engaged in subsistence farming in marginal rainfed terrains. Cultivation of black soybean is less capital intensive. Its ability to survive under harsh conditions particularly, in the event of failure of rain, makes it a better choice than other competitive crops grown during rainy season. Despite its enormous potentials, the legume has not gained the popularity in India and presently, area under this valuable legume is confined to North Himalayan hill region and scattered
pockets of central India. Its high nutritive value, remedial and health promoting effects due to presence of various bioactive compounds make this legume an excellent functional food. Present review summarises the potential role of black soybean for human nutrition and health benefits.

Keyword(s)

Black soybean; Nutraceutical properties; Nutritional composition; Underexploited legume

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