It is easily one of the most consumed veggies in Sri Lanka but I don’t think we realise the nutritional value of green beans. So the next time you prepare it, give it some thought because the way we cook this vegetable into a curry extracts most of its nutrients.
Here are some of the amazing health benefits you get from eating beans!
1. Helps with cardiovascular disease: Green beans can help reduce the risk of heart disease due to their high levels of flavonoids. Flavonoids are polyphenolic antioxidants that are commonly found in fruits and vegetables and has certain anti-inflammatory properties. Cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes are commonly caused by thrombotic activity, which means that a healthy volume of green beans and flavonoids in a diet can help prevent some of these conditions.
2. Helps prevent colon cancer: Recent studies have shown green bean consumption to be beneficial for preventing pre-cancerous polyps that commonly lead to colon cancer. New evidence suggests that increasing dietary green bean intake can reduce the risk of cancerous adenoma recurrence and colorectal cancer.
3. Helps control diabetes: These power-packed legumes have been shown to help manage and regulate diabetes symptoms in many patients. Diabetes is a condition that requires constant maintenance of blood sugar levels at a normal level so the body can perform necessary tasks. And studies have shown that beans are natural regulators of diabetes.
4. Helps improve the immune system: The presence of various immune system-boosting antioxidants in green beans is well known, but as more research on their benefits is done, it is becoming clear that there are far more antioxidant properties than we previously thought. Antioxidants are beneficial compounds in our body that seek out dangerous free radicals and eliminate them from our system before they can cause illness or tissue damage.
5. Helps maintain eye health: Certain specific carotenoids that are found in green beans can also prevent macular degeneration, which is a decrease in vision and eye function. Ensuring that these carotenoid levels stay strong to prevent vision deterioration is one of the many benefits of including green beans in your balanced diet.
6. Helps maintain bone health: There are a number of nutrients, such as calcium, found in green beans that are integral in preventing bone deterioration and osteoporosis. They contain Vitamin K, Vitamin A, and silicon. Deficiencies in many of these compounds have been connected to increased bone loss, strength, and durability. Silicon is not the most common mineral to hear about, and significant amounts are relatively rare in most foods. However, green beans are a terrific source for silicon, which is a key element in bone regeneration and overall bone health.
7. Helps all gastrointestinal issues: Green beans are packed with fibre, which is a hugely beneficial compound in our bodies. By keeping enough fibre in our diets, we are able to ease certain digestive issues like constipation, hemorrhoids, ulcers, and acid reflux disease. These conditions range from mild irritants to potentially life threatening, and the amount of fibre we consume is a key element in their prevention. In a normal serving of green beans, which is 110 grams, you can gain 15% of the daily recommended amount of fibre.
8. Pre-natal health: Green beans are also a great source of folic acid, which plays a key role in a number of internal processes, but none are more important than protecting infants in the womb. Folic acid levels in a woman’s body are vital to the normal and healthy development of the fetus in utero, especially in preventing neural tube defects. Green beans provide an easy and delicious way to keep folic acid levels high, and ensure a healthy and happy baby.
Here is an easy recipe for you to consume green beans in a more healthy way.
All you need is:
Salt and pepper
500g green beans, trimmed
1 tablespoon of butter
1/2 cup roasted, unsalted mixed nuts, roughly chopped
¼ cup raisins
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Add 1 tablespoon salt and the green beans and cook until tender, for about 4 to 6 minutes.
In another saucepan, cook the nuts and raisins in butter till it is coated.
Drain the green beans and transfer them to that saucepan.
Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper or to taste and toss to coat.
A Sociology student who loves to travel and enjoys good food. “I only need the beach, a good book and a bag full of mangosteens to be happy!”