Green beans, aka string beans, or snap bean in the northeastern and western United States are the unripe fruit of various cultivars of the common bean. Green beans are a versatile vegetable that can be grown in many different climates. This helps the plant become such a familiar food.
There are two types of green beans: “pole beans” and “bush beans”. Pole beans usually climb vines and require support systems to grow properly. These plants take longer to grow to maturity. Bush beans on the other hand need no support system and are lower to the ground. What makes these beans so unbelievably healthy for you, lets take a closer look!
Nutritional Value Of Green Beans:
Green beans are good sources of vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K. Green beans contain beta carotene, which is found in Vitamin A. Vitamin A, a fat soluble antioxidant, helps control night blindness and other eye problems. Folic acid and vitamin B6 present in these beans, regulate the levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid that is produced, as an intermediate product of the metabolic process. Increased concentration of the homocysteine is seen in heart patients. Significant amounts of magnesium, copper, iron, molybdenum, potassium are also found in green beans. Intake of these individual minerals is essential in our daily diet.
Green Beans And Fiber:
Green beans are packed with dietary fiber which is beneficial for those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. Fiber adds bulk to the stools and enables easy passage during bowel movements. Green beans are good for those with high cholesterol since fiber helps to lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. People with diabetes may also include green beans in their diet since it helps to regulate blood sugar levels, always a bonus!
Green Beans & Vitamin C:
Vitamin C, in conjunction with the carotenoids, help to support the immune system and prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that, when exposed to oxygen, damage DNA. Folate may help prevent DNA damage and cellular mutation as well. According to the National Cancer Institute, populations that consume diets rich in fruits and vegetables have a lower cancer risk, in part, due to their high carotenoid, vitamin A and C content. This protective benefit is particularly pronounced for cancers of the lung, gastrointestinal tract, breast, oral cavity, pancreas, uterine cervix, and ovary. Green beans are rich in all of these protective nutrients.
Cook Fresh Green Beans For Stronger Bones?
Did you know that vitamin K has been linked to the strength of bones? A vitamin K deficiency can lead to a weak bone matrix from poor absorption of calcium. More vitamin K means more calcium is absorbed and less is excreted as waste. A single cup of green beans has nearly 20% of the daily recommended intake—roughly 14 micro-grams. While not a high source of calcium, many diets are low in calcium and green beans contain about 4% of the daily recommended amount.
While many people will skip their vegetables in favor of supplements, studies have consistently shown that consuming vitamins and nutrients within our diets is much more effective than isolating the nutrients in supplements. The bottom line: eat your vegetables.
Beans Fight Depression?
Folates have a variety of health benefits, and meeting the daily recommended amount may contribute to the lessening of depression symptoms. This is due to the fact that folate consumption can reduce the build-up of homocysteine within your body. Too much homocysteine can inhibit nutrient absorption in the brain and this means lower levels of all of the good mood regulating hormones—serotonin and dopamine
Green beans have been shown to help relieve the pain of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis because they are full of manganese. Studies have also shown that manganese can help relieve PMS symptoms, in turn, helping you feel happier!
Green Bean Side Effects?
Green beans are not known to trigger any adverse side effects on health. However, green beans contain oxalates which are substances found naturally in plants, animals and humans. When these oxalates accumulate in the body fluids, they may crystallize and lead to health complications. Hence people with kidney and gall bladder disorders may have to avoid consuming green beans. Oxalates may also hamper the absorption of calcium in the body. This, however, should not be a problem if your digestive system is healthy and you chew your food properly.
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