Health Benefits of Green Beans

There are 130 varieties of the green bean and China grows the most of the fruit. Green beans are the unripe, young fruit and protective pods of various types of the common bean. Common names are snaps, string beans and French beans. The first “stringless” bean was bred in 1894 by Calvin Keeney, called the “father of the stringless bean”. Most modern green bean varieties do not have strings.

Builds strong bones

Green beans contain vitamin K which is necessary for bone health. Research has shown that even if you have a lot of calcium and low levels of vitamin K, you can have weak bones. Vitamin K produces the proteins that aid the bones in taking in calcium. Vitamin K is known to regulate bone metabolism which prevents the loss of minerals. Vitamin K plays a crucial role in maintaining bone density. One cup of boiled green beans contains roughly 15% of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin K.

Supports eye health

Green beans contain the same pigment that gives other vegetables their red, orange and yellow color. These are called carotenoids and the pigments function as anti-oxidants. Green beans have 3 carotenoids.  They are beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. The beta-carotene gets converted into retinol which is a form of vitamin A that is much needed for normal night vision. The lutein and zeaxanthin absorbs the blue light which helps to protect your eyes from damage caused by the high intensity light. If you eat one cup of boiled green beans, you get nearly 30% of the daily allowance.

Helps in the battle against colon cancer

Promising results have shown that eating green beans leads to the prevention of pre-cancerous polyps which commonly lead to colon cancer. New evidence is showing that the increase of dietary green beans help to reduce the risk of cancerous adenoma reforming and colorectal cancer.  More research needs to be done but so far the results are very promising. Green beans contain high levels of fiber which is incredibly important to your digestive system. Various types of fiber help to ease the digestive system and aid in promoting a healthy bowel movement. The fiber in green beans may have a positive link between a higher fiber amount and a reduction in colon cancer.

Good for pregnancy 

Studies are showing that green beans are good for pregnant women to add to their diet. Green beans are an excellent source of folate which are an essential component of DNA synthesis and cell division. More research is being done but so far the results suggest that green beans eaten during preconception periods and pregnancy may help prevent neural tube defects in newborns. One serving of green beans contain nearly 10% of the daily recommended allowance of folate needed for good health.

Promotes healthy collagen levels

Green beans contain vitamin C which is an anti-oxidant. Vitamin C helps to neutralize freed radicals, helps to protect proteins, fats and DNA from free radicals but the vitamin C also helps to make collagen. Collagen is the connective tissue that supports and strengthens skin, bones, tendons and organs. Without vitamin C, collagen would not be able to be made. Green beans contain nearly 15% of your daily recommended allowance of vitamin C.

Try these delicious and healthy leek recipes

Low Fat Green Bean Casserole

Dr. Nandi’s Green Bean Casserole

Go get the recipe.

Dr. Nandi’s Green Bean Salad

Go get the recipe.

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