Green Beans, also called string beans or snap beans are classes of beans grown specifically to be eaten while still unripe. It is a fruit that is contradictory to its other name “string beans” because it only used to have fibrous strings running down the length of its pod. It has been cultivated over the years and so now, they no longer have inedible strings and are now called “stringless.”
This fruit is a rich source of vitamins A, C, and K, and folic acid and fibre. More so, it has similar nutritional benefits to those of snap peas and okra. It has more than 130 varieties and is important to rinse and drain before consumption to reduce the sodium content.
Multiple studies have suggested that including more plant food such as green beans in one’s diet decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and mortality. More so, consumption of fruit like this, and other vegetables, promotes a healthy complexion, increased energy, and overall lower weight.
In fact, according to the United States Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database, a single standard cup of canned snap beans of about 150 grams contains 28 calories, 5.66 grams of carbohydrate, 2.6 grams of fibre, and 1.42 grams of protein. It also contains 24 micrograms of vitamin A, 130 milligrams of potassium, 52.5 micrograms of vitamin K, and 1.2 milligrams of iron.
Although, it should also be known that a single cup of drained canned snap beans also contains 362 micrograms of sodium. Hence, consumers should rinse canned beans before use. And for the best source of nutrients and the lowest sodium, one should opt for fresh or frozen green beans for cooking. Aside from all these, green beans also contain folate, thiamine, riboflavin, iron, magnesium, and potassium.
Here are among the other health benefits of green beans:
In cancer. Green beans contain a high amount of chlorophyll, hence their vibrant green colour. This makes it the green beans possible to block the carcinogenic effects of heterocyclic amines that are generated when grilling meats at a high temperature. So, individuals who prefer their grilled foods charred should pair them with green vegetables to decrease the risk.
Infertility and pregnancy. According to Harvard Medical School, for women who are at child-bearing age, consuming food with more iron contents such as spinach, beans, and green beans, has appeared to promote fertility. Other studies have also shown a correlation between a woman’s level of fertility and the level of iron that she consumes. Aside from this, pairing iron-rich foods with vitamin C-rich foods like tomatoes, bell peppers, or berries, can improve iron absorption.
In depression. Meeting daily folate needs may also help with people with depression. Hence, adequate folate consumption can prevent an excess of homocysteine in the body. More so, too much homocysteine can stop blood and other nutrients from reaching the brain, and it can interfere with the production of the happy hormone serotonin which regulates mood, sleep, and appetite.