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Green Beans: Health Benefits, Risks, & Recipes

Green beans are a versatile vegetable which are added in a wide array of dishes and offer great health benefits to people who consume them daily. They can be eaten in both raw and cooked form.

Green beans, also known as snap beans or string beans, are a favourite choice of food for many because they contain a variety of beneficial vitamins and minerals. These crunchy beans are low in calories, fat, have high fibre content and can provide you with daily protein requirements.

Nutritional Value Of Green Beans

100 g of raw green beans contain 90.32 g water, 31 kcal energy and they also contain

  • 1.83 g protein
  • 0.22 g fat
  • 6.97 g carbohydrate
  • 2.7 g fibre
  • 3.26 g sugar
  • 37 mg calcium
  • 1.03 mg iron
  • 25 mg magnesium
  • 38 mg phosphorus
  • 211 mg potassium
  • 6 mg sodium
  • 0.24 mg zinc
  • 0.069 mg copper
  • 0.216 mg manganese
  • 0.6 mcg selenium
  • 12.2 mg vitamin C
  • 0.082 mg thiamine
  • 0.104 mg riboflavin
  • 0.734 mg niacin
  • 0.141 mg vitamin B6
  • 33 mcg folate
  • 0.225 mg vitamin B5
  • 690 IU vitamin A
  • 0.41 mg vitamin E
  • 43.0 mcg vitamin K

Health Benefits Of Green Beans

1. Boost heart health

Green beans are loaded with soluble fibre and heart-protective flavonoids. These flavonoids have anti-inflammatory properties which help regulate thrombotic activity in the cells and prevent blood clots in the arteries. The soluble fibre in green beans lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol [1] .

2. Aid in losing weight

Green beans are very low in calories and fat which make it an ideal veggie for those who are trying to maintain their weight. Green beans contain a good amount of fibre which suppresses your appetite and increases the feeling of fullness, thereby helping in weight loss [2] .

3. Help prevent depression

Green beans contain a good amount of folate, which is known to help with depression because this mineral prevents the release of excess homocysteine in the body [3] . Excess homocysteine stops the blood and other nutrients from reaching the brain and obstructs the production of the feel-good hormones serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which regulates sleep, mood, and appetite.

4. Improve bone health

Calcium found in green beans prevents bone deterioration and osteoporosis. Green beans also contain vitamin K and protein that promote bone health and prevent bone loss. Green beans are also a great source of silicon, a mineral which helps in bone regeneration [4] .

5. Prevent cancer

Green beans contain potent antioxidants, vitamins and minerals like manganese, vitamin C, fibre, folate, and B vitamins that inhibit the growth of cancerous tumours and prevent cancer formation [5] .

6. Strengthen the immune system

Green beans are an excellent source of vitamin C, a water-soluble antioxidant that helps support your immune system and fights free radicals that cause chronic diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, eye disease, autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, etc [6] .

7. Treat gastrointestinal issues

The high amount of fibre found in green beans helps ease certain digestive issues like constipation, ulcers and acid reflux disease. Also, green beans are low FODMAP food. FODMAPs (fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols) are a group of fermentable carbohydrates that trigger digestive symptoms like constipation, diarrhoea, stomach ache, and gas. Eating high FODMAP foods like legume and pulses cause digestive issues like acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome.

8. Good for eyesight

Green beans are rich in carotenoids which play an effective role in preventing age-related macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is a condition that causes poor vision. Green beans are also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin which help to maintain good eyesight.

9. Prevent birth defects during pregnancy

Green beans are a great source of folate, a mineral which is very useful for cell division and DNA synthesis. Pregnant women should include green beans in their diet to prevent neural tube defects in babies [7] . According to Harvard Medical School, green beans are a rich source of iron which promotes fertility.

Health Risks Of Green Beans

Green beans contain phytic acid, which can combine with minerals and prevent them from being absorbed in the body. People who have a mineral deficiency should consult a doctor before eating green beans.

Ways To Eat Green Beans

  • Add chopped green beans to your salad or dip.
  • Roast or sauté fresh green beans and have them as a side dish.
  • Top green beans with a sauce of your choice and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Green Beans Recipes

1. Crispy aloo with green beans recipe
2. Spicy aloo and green beans sabzi

View Article References
  1. [1] Blekkenhorst, L. C., Sim, M., Bondonno, C. P., Bondonno, N. P., Ward, N. C., Prince, R. L., … Hodgson, J. M. (2018). Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Specific Vegetable Types: A Narrative Review.Nutrients,10(5), 595.
  2. [2] Hadrévi, J., Søgaard, K., & Christensen, J. R. (2017). Dietary Fiber Intake among Normal-Weight and Overweight Female Health Care Workers: An Exploratory Nested Case-Control Study within FINALE-Health.Journal of nutrition and metabolism,2017, 1096015.
  3. [3] Brookie, K. L., Best, G. I., & Conner, T. S. (2018). Intake of Raw Fruits and Vegetables Is Associated With Better Mental Health Than Intake of Processed Fruits and Vegetables.Frontiers in psychology,9, 487.
  4. [4] Price, C. T., Koval, K. J., & Langford, J. R. (2013). Silicon: a review of its potential role in the prevention and treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis.International journal of endocrinology,2013, 316783.
  5. [5] Donaldson M. S. (2004). Nutrition and cancer: a review of the evidence for an anti-cancer diet.Nutrition journal,3, 19.
  6. [6] Carr, A. C., & Maggini, S. (2017). Vitamin C and Immune Function.Nutrients,9(11), 1211.
  7. [7] Murphy, M. M., Stettler, N., Smith, K. M., & Reiss, R. (2014). Associations of consumption of fruits and vegetables during pregnancy with infant birth weight or small for gestational age births: a systematic review of the literature.International journal of women's health,6, 899–912.
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