Health Benefits of Green Beans
Green beans are readily available across the country in grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and in-home gardens. The fibrous vegetable is loaded with vitamins A, C, K, B6, and folate just to name a few. The international food group of beans is also filled with minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, and calcium. Green beans are considered a healthy choice because they have high nutrient levels without high-calorie counts.
Green beans are packed with antioxidants that fight free radical damage in the body. According to Colorado State University Extension Service, green beans contain more antioxidant phenols than any fruit or vegetable tested so far. Phenols are plant-based substances that protect cells from damage due to oxidation processes which can lead to chronic health conditions.
Nerve, bone, and muscle benefits:
When consumed daily green beans can provide beneficial effects for the nervous system, bones, and muscles according to Colorado State University Extension Service. The magnesium found in green beans plays a role in protecting nerves from damage caused by metabolic disorders such as diabetes.
Magnesium also plays a role in making calcium available to bones which are needed for certain cellular processes. When it comes to muscles, potassium has been known to help reduce cramping during exercise that could lead to long-term complications like heart diseases or high blood pressure.
Healthy gastrointestinal tract:
Green beans are considered “high fiber” vegetables because they contain soluble fiber carbohydrates called oligosaccharides to serve as food for good bacteria living in the gastrointestinal tract. According to Colorado State University Extension Service, oligosaccharides ferment in the colon and promote healthy bowel movements by eliminating toxins from the body.
High blood pressure:
According to Colorado State University Extension Service, green beans contain vitamin B6 which plays a role in metabolizing proteins into carbohydrates which can help lower high blood pressure due to this deficiency.
Vitamin B6 is also known for fighting against premenstrual syndrome (PMS), carpal tunnel syndrome, and arthritis among many other conditions. Vitamin B6 also supports brain neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine which make it beneficial for depression treatment according to Oregon State University.
Carbohydrate-rich source of energy:
Green beans are carbohydrate-rich vegetables that contain low glycemic index (GI) values. According to Colorado State University Extension Service, green beans are high in the antioxidant quercetin which is known for helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels by reducing insulin resistance and glucose tolerance.
According to Colorado State University Extension Service, green beans contain a certain type of fiber called “resistant starch” that acts like soluble fiber and slows down digestion and absorption but does not get digested or absorbed in the small intestine.
Resistant starch makes you feel full longer due to its ability to ferment and produce short-chain fatty acids as an energy source similar to other types of dietary fiber sources such as oats, sweet potatoes, legumes whole grains according to Colorado State University. The resistant starch in green beans can help control blood sugar levels and promote weight management efforts.
Green beans are known to have potent anti-inflammatory properties similar to other vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, or even leafy greens according to Colorado State University. Researchers at the College of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka found that rats given green bean extract for 30 days displayed lowered pro-inflammatory enzymes when compared to rats not receiving the extracts.
This is due to the high nitrate content in green beans which makes it beneficial against inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases among many others.
The research was conducted using an animal model according to the study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, but these findings could also be beneficial for humans consuming green beans.
the anti-inflammatory benefits of green beans could play a role in cancer prevention by reducing tumor growth and spread. Green bean extract is known to fight inflammation which could limit carcinogens from reaching healthy cells, destroy already existing cancerous cells or stop them from spreading according to research published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The anti-inflammatory properties found in green beans have been shown to help prevent skin, breast, cervical, lung, and stomach cancers among others.
Skin health support:
Green beans are a rich source of vitamin A that supports epithelial tissues that surround organs including the heart, lungs, kidneys, and skeletal system among other essential parts of the body. Vitamin A is known for its role in maintaining healthy skin which reflects a person’s overall health by preventing the development of age spots, blemishes, and wrinkles according to Colorado State University.
Green beans are a good source of vitamin A that plays a crucial role in preserving a healthy immune system and eye health by working alongside other nutrients such as zinc, vitamin C, protein, and fatty acids among others found in various types of foods including green veggies.
According to Oregon State University, the lutein content in green beans helps protect against macular degeneration an irreversible condition that slowly starts to destroy your vision from the middle part before it advances towards the peripheral area around it.
Macular degeneration has been linked to loss of central vision and it is believed to be caused by oxidative damage caused by free radical exposure, diet, and smoking according to the Macular Degeneration Support Group.
Vitamin K benefits:
As mentioned above, green beans are a good source of vitamin K which helps promote normal blood clotting. Some research has shown that consuming vitamin K-rich food could reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases related to blood clottings such as heart attack or stroke among others.
Vitamin K is also known for its role in calcium absorption in bones which makes it beneficial in maintaining bone health, especially when consumed with calcium sources like milk or yogurt according to Colorado State University.
Weight management assistance:
Green beans are rich in fiber which makes them useful for weight loss and maintenance by promoting satiety among other benefits. A 2010 study published in the Journal of American College Nutrition found that green beans had high water content with moderate amounts of protein, carbohydrate, fat, and calories. Green beans also contain fiber which helps fight constipation while keeping you full for longer periods of time according to Colorado State University.
Resistant starch benefits:
As mentioned above, resistant starch is formed when foods are cooked then cooled down before they’re eaten or stored in your digestive system which slows down the digestion process.
Resistant starch is known for its ability to provide energy (calories) along with several health benefits including improved digestion, reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, enhanced immune function, and lower blood cholesterol levels according to Colorado State University.
Raw green beans are also an excellent source of enzymes that help promote optimal health by enhancing the body’s ability to digest food properly while protecting against various types of diseases caused by enzyme deficiency including gastrointestinal problems, allergies, and intolerances among others.
Enzymes are common in fruits and veggies but they’re usually destroyed during cooking thus limiting their potential benefits. However, cooking green beans at high heat or boiling them for too long destroys some vital enzymes that act as antioxidants found inside raw green beans such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) along with other nutrients like vitamin C.
Green beans benefit bodybuilding:
Green beans are often considered an optional vegetable for bodybuilders. Bodybuilders may generally avoid them even though they are low in calories, fat-free and nutritious because green beans are not considered to be an ‘ideal’ source of protein. But there might be other reasons why you should include green beans in your diet…
Green beans are the young pods of the common bean plant that is harvested while still tender and immature. Green Beans have tough skin that goes soft when cooked, which makes them easy to eat. Their mild flavor also makes them easy to add to any dish without changing its taste too much. Plus, one cup of green beans contains only 42kcal!
Are cooked green beans good for you?
Green beans are low in carbohydrates, rich in fiber, vitamins and have a very low glycemic index. They are also an excellent source of vitamin K, C, B6, thiamin, potassium, magnesium, and manganese. Because they are so versatile in the kitchen – you can cook them in different ways to suit your taste buds – they are often used as a diet food for people with diabetes or high blood pressure.
Green beans nutritional value:
Vitamin K is one of the most important nutrients that green beans contain because it helps your body process calcium correctly for healthy bones. Vitamin K deficiency has been linked to osteoporosis; strengthens bones; heals cuts and wounds; prevents diseases related to aging; fights inflammation; reduces cholesterol level, and helps prevent cancer.
Green beans for diabetes:
Green beans also contain a good amount of vitamin C which is an antioxidant that protects cells from damage, boosts the immune system, and aids in wound healing. Green beans are very low in calories but high in fiber, magnesium, potassium, and thiamin (vitamin B1). They can be cooked in many different ways to add flavor, color, and texture to your daily diet. Here are some ideas: