Green beans (commonly known as snap beans and string beans) are young, unripe fruits of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). They are a staple dish in many countries around the world. They are native to North, South, and Central America.
Green beans are used in the preparation of a lot of dishes in many countries, including Nigeria. In this article, we’ll discuss the health benefits of green beans.
Nutritional Value Of Green Beans
Green beans are rich in vitamin K and calcium, which are important for the development of strong and healthy bones and teeth. It also contains calories and antioxidants, including vitamin C, flavonols, and quercetin.
One cup of green beans contains:
- Calories: 31
- Carbohydrates: 7 grams
- Protein: 8 grams
- Fat: 1 gram
- Fiber: 4 grams
- Manganese: 2 milligrams
- Folate: 37 micrograms
- Thiamine: 1 milligram
- Riboflavin: 1 milligram
- Iron: 1 milligram
- Magnesium: 25 milligrams
- Potassium: 209 milligrams
- Sodium: 6mg
- Carbohydrates: 7g
- Fiber: 2.7g
- Sugars: 3.3g
- Protein: 1.8g
- Vitamin C: 12.2mg
- Vitamin A: 35 mcg
- Vitamin K: 43 mcg.
Health Benefits Of Green Beans
The nutrients in green beans can help reduce the risk of certain health conditions and offer some benefits. Here are some of the health benefits of green beans:
1. Improves heart health
Green beans are rich in soluble fiber, which helps to improve the health of your
heart by lowering your LDL cholesterol levels. They also contain vitamin B12, which helps reduce plasma homocysteine levels (homocysteine is an amino acid occurring in the body, a high level of which could cause heart disease).
The magnesium in green beans may also have a role to play in preserving heart health. Green beans contain a low level of sodium, and this helps in improving heart heat. Excess intake of sodium can increase your blood pressure, and this may cause heart disease.
2. Increases bone strength
Green beans contain Vitamin K, which activates osteocalcin, the main non-collagen protein found in bones. Calcium, which helps in the proper development of strong bones, is also present in green beans.
One cup of green beans provides 14.4 micrograms of vitamin K and 4 percent of a person’s daily need for calcium.
3. May help manage diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas cannot produce insulin.
Some foods help regulate blood sugar levels. Goods with low glycemic index increase blood sugar slowly, and this helps in managing diabetes.
A 2022 study suggested green beans can improve oxidative balance in diabetes. Therefore, green beans are a healthy nutrient for diabetic patients. It also revealed that green beans can improve homing and differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells for future stem cell therapy for type I diabetes.
4. May prevent cancer
Chlorophyll, a plant compound that gives plants their green color, is present in high amounts in green beans.
Chlorophyll is an antioxidant that might help in preventing cancer. It has been said to destroy the cancer-causing effects of heterocyclic amines that are produced when grilling meats at a high temperature.
Hence, it is advised that people who eat grilled food should pair them with green vegetables like green beans to decrease the risk.
5. Supports vision and eyesight
Foods rich in vitamin A are good for vision and eyesight.
A cup of raw green beans contains 690 IU of Vitamin A, which is about 15 percent of the daily recommended value. Vitamin A is a group of compounds called retinoids, which play a role in healthy vision.
6. May boost Immunity
Green beans contain antioxidants that eliminate free radicals from the body before they can cause illness or tissue damage. It contains Vitamin C, which helps boost your immune system.
Green beans are a good source of carotenoids and flavonoids, which contain antioxidants.
7. May boost fertility
Green beans contain iron which boosts fertility in women.
A study in the Harvard Medical School showed that the consumption of healthy foods like green beans and pumpkins might increase fertility.
Green Beans also contain folic acid, which is important for pregnant women.
The above health benefits of green beans show that it is an excellent food source. It can be eaten as a side dish, added to a variety of meals, or even eaten raw.
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