Green beans and other common beans such as kidney beans, black beans, and lima beans originate from South America. It quickly spread through both Central and North America before the arrival of the European explorers due to how easily it was cultivated.
The beans were introduced into Europe around the 16th century after the explorers returned from the New World with green beans in hand, through trade it thrived throughout the whole world and is now a staple food source in many cultures.
Low in calories and fat it is a perfect choice for anyone looking for a healthier lifestyle and can even help regulate blood sugar levels. One cup of green beans has: 34 calories, 0.13 grams of fat, 4 grams of dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, and high content of vitamin C (at least 30% of the recommended DV).
- Green beans are an excellent source of fiber (at least 15% of recommended DV) per cup. Helps regulate overall cholesterol, blood sugar levels, prevent cancer causing substances from entering our colon, and promotes regular bowel movements leading to a healthier digestive system.
- A rich source of vitamin C gives the beans antioxidant properties. This help by reducing damage to our bodies caused by free radicals, lower the chances of cardiovascular disease, eye disorders, and boosts our immune system which helps us fight off disease. Recent studies show that green beans may have a greater antioxidant effects than peas and beans in the same family.
- Lutein and zeaxanthin are other antioxidants that work alongside vitamin C to increase vision benefits. They help by: reducing the damage done to your eyes caused by UV rays, the occurrence of macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Green beans are a good source of folic acids (Vitamin B9) that are great for pregnant women; it helps lower the chance of children being born with birth defects. Also improves cognitive function and decreases the chance of getting heart disease.
When purchasing at the market try to avoid prepackaged green beans so that you can choose high quality beans. Avoid any that have discoloring or bruises. If you decide to get prepackaged green beans, a recent study showed that canned beans lose a huge portion of their B vitamins (over 50%) leading to a loss in nutritional intake. As always please attempt to consult a nutritionist for any drastic changes in your diet.