Green Beans

Health Benefits of Green Beans.

  • Fresh green beans are very low in calories (31 caloriess per 100 g of raw bean pods) and contain no saturated fat. These lean pod vegetables are a very good source of vitamins, minerals, and plant derived micronutrients.
  • The beans are very rich source of dietary fiber (9% per 100g RDA) which acts as a bulk laxative. Fiber helps to protect mucousa in the colon by decreasing its exposure time to toxic substances as well as by binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the gut. Adequate amount of fiber has also been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels by decreasing reabsorption of cholesterol-binding bile acids in the colon.
  • Green beans contain excellent levels of vitamin A, and health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin and ß-carotene in good amounts. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
  • Zea-xanthin, an important dietary carotenoid in the beans, selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes where it thought to provide antioxidant and protective UV-light filtering functions. It is, therefore, green beans offer some protection in the prevention of age-related macular disease (ARMD) in the elderly.
  • Snap beans are a good source of folates. 100 g fresh beans provide 37 µg or 9% of folates. Folate along with vitamin B-12 is one of the essential components of DNA synthesis and cell division. Good folate diet, when given during pre-conception periods and during pregnancy, may help prevent neural-tube defects in the newborn babies.
  • They also carry good amounts of vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), thiamin (vitamin B-1), and vitamin-C. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.
  • In addition, beans contain healthy amounts of minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and potassium, which are very essential for body metabolism. Manganese is a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase, which is a very powerful free radical scavenger. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure.

 

See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:
Green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), Raw,
Nutritive value per 100 g.(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
Energy 31 Kcal 1.5%
Carbohydrates 7.13 g 5.5%
Protein 1.82 g 3%
Total Fat 0.34 g 1%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 3.4 g 9%
Vitamins
Folates 37 µg 9%
Niacin 0.752 mg 5%
Pantothenic acid 0.094 mg 2%
Pyridoxine 0.074 mg 5.5%
Riboflavin 0.105 mg 8%
Thiamin 0.084 mg 7%
Vitamin A 690 IU 23%
Vitamin C 16.3 mg 27%
Vitamin K 14.4 µg 12%
Electrolytes
Sodium 6 mg 0.4%
Potassium 209 mg 5.5%
Minerals
Calcium 37 mg 3.7%
Iron 1.04 mg 13%
Magnesium 25 mg 6%
Manganese 0.214 mg 9%
Phosphorus 38 mg 6%
Zinc 0.24 mg 2%
Phyto-nutrients
Carotene-ß 379 µg
Carotene-a 69 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin 640 µg