But what if they said, DRINK your beans. Youd probably think, boy, theyve really lost it now.
Well, not really. Your parents would be looking out for your health. Beans have a lot of calcium, which helps your bones grow. Milk is a more common source of calcium, but not all kids can drink milk because they cant digest a milk sugar called lactose.
While green beans are generally a good source of calcium, some beans have more than others.
Why? Because Hystyle is better at holding onto water. Water thins the calcium moving through a bean plant. Eventually, this diluted calcium reaches the bean pod (the part you eat), so theres not as much calcium available in the pods.
Calcium is especially important for you as your bones grow. Research shows that if you have weak bones when you get older, it might be because you didnt get enough calcium when you were a kid. So you really should drink your milk--and your beans!
The scientists found that the Labrador beans transpiration rate was about twice as high as Hystyles. That means Labrador plants had less calcium moving inside their xylem. Xylem transports liquid and nutrients throughout the plant, kind of like arteries carry our oxygen-rich blood.
So, now when your mom or dad says drink your beans, youll know what they mean.
| --By Sean Adams, Agricultural Research Service, Information Staff|
You can read an Agricultural Research magazine story about the drink-your-beans research on the web at: