Food Profile: Green Beans

These lean, green, machines are packed with all sorts of health benefits.  Unique from most other beans, green beans are picked when they are still immature.  This is why they can be snapped in half with something as little as a twist of the fingers, and also why they can be eaten fresh, full pod and all.  They are generally sold year round in most grocery stores, but are in season during the summer and early fall.

Health Benefits

Antioxidant Support – green beans are a great source of antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, and manganese.  The falvonoid and carotenoid content is where green beans get most of their antioxidant activity, however.

Cardiovascular – Improvements in blood fat levels, and protection of blood fats has been shown from increased green bean intake.

Omega 3s, Folate, Vitamin K – Most people do not realize, but green beans are a good source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids, containing similar levels of certain FAs as walnuts!  Folate and Vitamin K are also two nutrients that can be found in abundance in green beans

Green Beans, cooked
(Note: “–” indicates data unavailable)
1.00 cup
(125.00 g)
GI: very low
BASIC MACRONUTRIENTS AND CALORIES
nutrient amount DRI/DV
(%)
Protein 2.36 g 4.72
Carbohydrates 9.85 g 4.38
Fat – total 0.35 g
Dietary Fiber 4.00 g 16.00
Calories 43.75 2.43

Green beans are obviously best when fresh.  They hold their nutritional value when placed in the refrigerator and can keep for up to a week.  Green beans can also be frozen and keep their nutritional value for up to 3-4 months.  When cooking, especially fresh beans, make sure to rinse them off with hot water and snap or cut off both edges.  Steaming is the optimal way to maintain the nutrient content, but boiling works well also.  Now go enjoy these very-easy-to-cook green machines!!

 

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