THE great GREEN BEAN
Green beans are relatively easy to grow and are grown all over the world. In the United States green beans are grown in many states including Georgia, Florida, California and New York. They grow well in rich soil that is slightly acidic with a pH of around 6.0. They need lots of water in the beginning planting stage, but as they mature they can survive and thrive in drier soil, which makes them perfect to grow in home gardens.
They are rich in many vitamins and minerals making them a healthy addition to the diet. Green beans are a good source of folate, which is the B vitamin that helps prevent birth defects. They are also rich in vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system and produce collagen to help protect the skin from oxidative stress. The vitamin A in green beans supports good immune health, healthy reproduction function and optimal vision. Other vitamins in green beans include vitamin K, thiamin, niacin, B-6 and vitamin E, which are all extremely beneficial.
Green beans are a good source of minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc and manganese, which supports good bone health and promotes wound healing. Minerals can help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Green beans are lighter and less dense than dried beans. One cup of green beans has about 45 calories and 10 grams of carbs in comparison to black beans, which has about 225 calories and 40 grams of carbs. They are high in fiber and support good digestion and elimination. They contain no cholesterol and even though some cholesterol is good for healthy cells, too much is bad and could lead to a build-up of fat deposits in the arteries, which is known to cause heart attacks or strokes.
The protein in green beans is essential to a healthy immune system and also helps the body have healthy bones, organs, muscles and hair. Because they are high in vitamin K, green beans can help to build and maintain strong bones, which can help decrease the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures and even help heal a broken bone.
Green beans have a good amount of chlorophyll, one of nature’s best cleansers. They are high in antioxidants, which help scavenge free radicals in the body that are responsible for many diseases including cancer. The peptides in green beans can help slow or stop cancer growth, especially breast, colon and prostate cancer.
Green beans are a low glycemic food because the carbohydrates release slowly in the system and help avoid spikes and dips in glucose levels in the blood. This can help lower the potential risk of developing diabetes, or, for those who are already diagnosed with diabetes, green beans can be a good part of a healthy diet plan.
While green beans do have many benefits the presence of oxalic acid can crystallize and cause kidney and urinary tract stones in some people. Drink plenty of water to reduce the risk of developing this issue. It is good to drink half of one’s body weight in ounces of alkaline water every day.
Green beans are sometimes also referred to as snap beans, pole beans, bush beans and string beans. Haricot Vert is the French name for green beans, which are longer, rounder and narrower than the Italian flat pod bean variety. No matter which type of green bean is preferred, they are all delicious, flavorful and healthy for just about everyone.
Eating fresh green beans is the healthier choice compared to canned beans, which are high in sodium. Shop for beans that are bright green and firm. Prepare them soon after purchasing to retain the most nutritional benefits. Raw green beans are alkaline but when they are cooked, they become acidic and their nutrients are greatly reduced. Try this delicious raw green bean recipe and see how great green beans can taste when they are not cooked.
Curry Green Beans
3 cups green beans, sliced into ½ inch pieces
1 cup carrot (shredded)
3 Tbsp diced sweet onion
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
4 Tbsp coconut aminos
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp curry powder
3 Medjool pitted dates
2 tsp fresh lime juice
Combine the beans, carrots, and onions together. Blend the olive oil, ginger, coconut aminos, cumin, curry powder, dates and lime juice in a blender into a creamy dressing. Toss with the vegetables until all are well coated and enjoy!
Brenda Cobb is author of The Living Foods Lifestyle and founder of The Living Foods Institute, an Educational Center and Therapy Spa in Atlanta offering healthy lifestyle courses on nutrition, cleansing, healing, anti-aging, detoxification, relaxation and cleansing therapies. For more information, call 404-524-4488 or 1-800-844-9876 or visit www.LivingFoodsInstitute.com