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Green Beans

Green beans are also called snap beans, or string beans. With modern varieties the string is no longer present, but the name persists. Wax beans are a pale yellow type of green bean with a subtle flavour of its own. There is also a purple variety that turns green when cooked. Most varieties of beans can be eaten raw. More commonly they are boiled or steamed. Beans are used as a side dish or as ingredients in soups and salads.

Key Ingredients of Green Beans

Per Serving: 125 ml green/yellow beans,
Per Serving: 1 cup green beans boiled, 66g boiled, 125g

A Healthy Choice!

Green beans are low in calories, high in complex carbohydrates, and as with all fruits and vegetables, contain no cholesterol and trace fat. Beans offer the best antioxidant capabilities when they are cooked to tenderness rather than eaten raw. Beans are an excellent source of vitamin K, a good source of manganese, and a source of vitamin A, folate, iron and magnesium. Along with vitamins and minerals, beans are a significant source of many antioxidants, including carotenoids and phytochemicals.

Antioxidants

Green beans supply a significant source of antioxidants to the body. Antioxidants are nutrients that play an important role in health maintenance. They neutralize harmful chemicals called "free-radicals" that cause cell damage in the body. Antioxidants have been strongly linked to the prevention of numerous diseases from heart disease to cancer, eye disease and regulation of the immune system.

Phytochemicals are a group of natural plant chemicals believed to be protective, disease-preventing ingredients (antioxidants) found in all fruits and vegetables. Green beans are packed with numerous phytochemicals such as Quercetin. Quercetin has anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce the risks of heart disease and some cancers.

Phytochemicals are involved in many processes including decreasing cholesterol levels and preventing cell damage. They are associated with the prevention and treatment of at least four leading causes of death - cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension.

Carotenoids -Beta-carotene & Lutein & zeaxanthin: Beans have added antioxidant ability because of the beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Beta-carotene is a carotenoid ( highly pigmented red, orange, yellow and dark green plants) that converts to vitamin A for future use as it becomes necessary. About 40% of the carotenoids we eat are converted to vitamin A; the rest function as antioxidants. Beta carotene is especially effective in this regard. Beta-carotene may offer some protection from the risk of age-related macular degeneration and some types of cancer. Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidant carotenoids that protects the eyes from damage, and may reduce the risks of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Vitamin A

Green beans are a source of antioxidant vitamin A, one of the fat-soluble vitamins. Excess amounts are stored in the liver and fatty tissue. It plays a significant role in fending off infections and illness. The body needs vitamin A for growth and repair. Vitamin A is also an antioxidant that protects cells from oxidation damage. Vitamin A is essential for normal vision and is necessary for normal cell growth and division, the development of bones and teeth, and for the health of skin, mucous membranes and the tissue that lines the intestines, airways and other organs.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water-soluble essential nutrient and antioxidant source in green beans. It must be renewed regularly since it is not stored in the body. Vitamin C is necessary to make and maintain collagen, the connective tissue that holds the body and organs in place. Vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds, keeps gums healthy, helps resist infection, aids in the absorption of iron and many other vital functions. It is associated with lowering the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

Folate

Green beans are a source of folate. Folate (folic acid) is a water-soluble B group vitamin. Because the body doesn't keep excess amounts of the water-soluble vitamins in reserve, the body must replenish them daily. Folate plays a crucial role in every body function that requires cell division. This helps explain the importance in fetal development. Prior and during pregnancy, folate helps prevent neurological defects, such as spina bifida, in the fetus. All women of childbearing age need to have a regular source of folate.

The many tasks of folate include making blood cells, building muscles, healing wound and producing chemicals that keep the brain and nervous system functioning properly. Folate is essential for a healthy cardiovascular system. High folate content may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Vitamin K

Green Beans are an excellent source of vitamin K , which ends up in the liver and forms the ingredients for blood clotting. Blood coagulation is not the only important function of Vitamin K, it is also necessary for the formation of new bone material and healthy bone structure.

Iron

Green beans are also a source of iron, a mineral that is an integral part of many proteins and enzymes that support good health. Iron plays a vital role in transporting oxygen and in regulating cell growth. Iron boosts the immune system and prevents anemia.

Manganese

Green beans are a good source of manganese, a trace mineral that plays an important role in the formation of bone and connective tissue in the body and plays a role in healing wounds.

Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral for the human body. Green beans are a source of magnesium, needed for the formation of protein and bone, making new cells, activating B vitamins and blood clotting.