French Beans or Green beans are a type of common bean. You may also know them by many other names like string beans, snaps, snap beans, and haricot vert. They are scientifically known as Phaseolus vulgaris. Unlike other beans, you can consume French beans along with their covering. They’re green in colour and are rich in nutrients and vitamins.
They offer many health benefits like improving heart, gut, and bone health. They may also prevent congenital disabilities in pregnant women, prevent anaemia, and even cancer. Additionally, they may boost immunity. The abundance of vitamins and minerals present in green beans is beneficial to our health. You can incorporate French beans into your diets easily. There are various ways to prepare green beans, from boiling to roasting.
Nutritional Value of French Beans
According to the USDA, every 100 g of green beans contains:
- Carbohydrates: 7 g
- Proteins: 1.8 g
- Fats: 0.1 g
- Dietary fibre: 3.4 g
- Energy (calories): 31 kcal
9 Health Benefits of Green Beans
Promotes Weight Loss
French beans aid weight-loss. They can help lose weight as they are highly nutritious vegetable with fewer calories and fats. Also, they have a high protein and dietary fibre content. The high fibre content keeps you satiated. It’ll make you feel less hungry between meals and keep you full. A high-protein and low-calorie diet are essential for losing weight.
The dietary fibre also help decrease carbohydrate absorption. As a result, French beans can improve your metabolism and reduce the sugar content in the blood.
French beans have a low glycemic index. When consumed, they don’t increase the glucose level in the blood. They are beneficial to the body because they provide nutrients, minerals, and energy while maintaining blood sugar. That’s why it is considered to be one of the healthiest vegetables for people with diabetes.
Additionally, the dietary fibre in green beans also helps regulate blood sugar. That is because the fibres in the intestine slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. Therefore, it helps keep the blood sugar level stable for a longer time.
Improves Heart Health
French beans contain less fat and almost no cholesterol and sodium. It is excellent for people with hypertension or other types of heart diseases. The leading cause of heart diseases is lifestyle choices like a diet. One of the unhealthiest fats you find in your diet is LDL cholesterol. This cholesterol can build up in arteries and cause plaque formation. It increases your risk for heart diseases like stroke and heart attacks.
High fibre present in French beans reduces the amount of LDL cholesterol in the blood. As a result, they can help lower blood pressure in people with hypertension or high blood pressure. It can also improve blood circulation. Also, it helps reduce inflammation in the body.
Improves Bone Health
Minerals like calcium, magnesium and vitamins like vitamin K are necessary for healthy bones. Any deficiency of these nutrients may cause bone disorders like osteoporosis, bone fractures, and brittle bones.
One hundred grams of French beans contain 20% of the daily recommended intake value of vitamin K. Vitamin K can improve calcium absorption in the bones. As a result, it can make the bone stronger and improve bone health. Also, it can increase the proteins in bones that glue them together. As a result, it reduces the risk of cancers and other bone-related disorders.
A study suggests that regular consumption of French beans may reduce the chances of cancer. French beans get their green colour from a molecule called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll molecules have anti-cancerous properties. They can help block carcinogens in our bodies, which may cause cancer. Chlorophyll can bind to the carcinogen and prevent its absorption in the body. Instead, they get eliminated as toxic waste products. Therefore, French bean consumption may lower your risk of cancer.
It is due to the presence of many bioactive compounds, specifically, gluten and beta carotene’s presence in French beans that may lower cancer risks. These bioactive compounds can stop the cell cycle in cancerous cells and prevent their growth.
Depression can occur in people of any age due to many reasons. One of the main reasons is an imbalance of chemicals and neurotransmitters in the brain. Serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine levels are essential for good brain health. However, sometimes their levels may reduce in the brain, leading to mental health disorders like depression.
A chemical called homocysteine interferes with the production of serotonin and norepinephrine. You may reduce homocysteine levels in the body by consuming folate or vitamin B9. French beans contain a good amount of folate and B9 thus, consuming it may help you to fight depression.
Rich Source of Vitamins
One hundred grams of French beans contain 27% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to boost immunity and since it is an antioxidant it also helps to neutralize free radicals from the body. Also, it protects our skin and other cells from oxidative stress.
Vitamin K also helps boost the immune system. For example, it speeds up the blood-clotting process in open wounds. Furthermore, vitamin A is essential for healthy eyes. 100g of green beans contains 16% of the required vitamin A. It may also have an immunity-boosting effect.
French beans are also a rich source of folate or vitamin B9. These boost your mood and regulate mental health. Also, french beans are a wonder food since vitamin B9 in it prevents congenital issues in the developing foetus, like neural tube defects.
Rich Source of Iron
Iron is an essential mineral in our body needed to create new red blood cells. These cells help in oxygen transportation in the body. In other words, iron is crucial for the proper functioning of the body. A person with iron deficiency, or anaemia, will have low energy. Also, they may have a slower metabolism and experience fatigue and weakness.
One hundred grams of French beans can fulfil 25% of the daily intake of iron. Therefore, French beans can benefit people suffering from anaemia. However, the vegetarian diet doesn’t contain a lot of iron-rich foods.
French Beans: Uses
People mainly use French beans as food. You can use them in frozen, canned, or fresh form. Before eating these beans, it is important to rinse them thoroughly. You should not eat raw green beans because they may contain high sodium, especially if they’re canned. Cooking can significantly reduce the sodium content. Therefore, you should always cook French beans. You can cook French beans in many ways. Some ways include boiling, roasting, sit-frying, etc.
French Beans Recipes
1. Buttery French Beans
- Servings: 4
- Calories: 116 kcal
- Preparation Time: 20 mins
- French beans: 400-500 g
- Butter: 1 ½ tbsp
- Water: 473 ml
- Garlic: 3 cloves (minced)
- Salt (to taste)
- Lemon Pepper (to taste)
- Put French beans and water in a large skillet.
- Cover the lid and bring it to a boil.
- Drain the water.
- Add butter to the French beans and cook for 2-3 mins.
- Now, add the garlic and stir for 1-2 mins.
- Then, add the seasoning and salt for taste.
2. Green Bean Salad
- Servings: 4
- Calories: 80 kcal
- Preparation Time: 30 mins
- Green beans: 450 g (chopped)
- Olive oil: 2 tbsp
- Almond: 43 g
- Lemon juice: 1 tbsp
- Mustard: 2 tsp
- Garlic: 2 cloves (minced)
- Black pepper: ½ tsp
- Feta Cheese: 32 g (optional)
- Basil leaves: 3-4 leaves
- Salt: ½ tsp
- Black Pepper: ½ tsp
- Red Pepper Flakes (pinch)
- Add the almonds to a large skillet and roast for 2-3 mins. Keep aside.
- Add green beans, water and salt. Cook for 7-10 mins.
- Cover the lid and bring it to a boil.
- Drain the water.
- Add olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
- Next out in the feta cheese or a substitute.
- Add the roasted almonds on top.
Possible Side Effects of Green Beans
Although French beans are incredibly healthy and offer many benefits, there may be some side effects. Also, some people should not consume French beans. For example, people taking blood thinners should avoid eating French beans because they contain a high amount of vitamin K. It speeds up blood clotting in wounds. Moreover, they can interfere with blood-thinning medications.
Excessive consumption of French beans can lead to digestive problems like bloating, gas, and flatulence. Therefore, French beans’ daily recommended intake value is 1-2 cups a day. In addition, they contain lectin, which may lead to several gut-related issues.
It is essential to cook French beans before eating them. Cooking the beans also reduces sodium, especially if they’re canned.
Green beans, or French beans, are a type of common bean consumed in many countries. They are rich in nutrients, vitamins, minerals, proteins, and dietary fibres. As a result, they can lead to multiple health benefits that can improve the health of many organs. Additionally, it can also prevent many disorders and defects. It is especially excellent for people trying to lose weight because it is nutritionally dense and low in calories. Also, it is an excellent source of iron for vegetarians.
French beans may be unsuitable for some people, like people undergoing blood-thinning treatment. Just like anything else, excessive consumption may lead to possible side effects like bloating, gas, blood clotting etc. Nevertheless, you may avoid these side effects. On the bright side, French beans are highly advantageous to health. Therefore, you should integrate them into your diet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the nutritional value of 100g?
A. 100g of green beans contains 7 g of carbohydrates, almost 2 g of proteins, nearly 3 g of dietary fibres, and 31 kcal of calories. It also contains vitamins like vitamin A, B complex, and C. In addition, other minerals like iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium are also present.
Q. What are the benefits of French beans?
A. French beans have a lot of health benefits. For example, it can improve heart, gut, and bone health. It may boost immunity, prevent congenital disabilities, and regulate anaemia. Additionally, it may also boost mood and prevent depression.
Q. What are French beans good for?
A. French beans are good for regulating the heart, bones, and gut health. It can also prevent cancer, depression, anaemia, and congenital disabilities. In addition, it contains an abundance of minerals and vitamins, which help efficient body functioning.
Q. Are French beans good for weight loss?
A.Yes, French beans are good for weight loss. It is a nutritionally dense food containing many vitamins, minerals, proteins, and dietary fibres but with lower calories. They are one of the best foods for losing weight.
Q. Are French beans good for diabetes?
A. Yes, French beans are good food for diabetes. It is a low glycemic food that doesn’t increase blood sugar levels. Also, dietary fibres reduce carbohydrate absorption in the intestines. So that makes it a healthy snack for people who have diabetes.
Q. Which beans are high in protein?
A. Green beans or French beans are a protein-rich food. For example, 100 g of French beans contains almost 2g of proteins. Other protein-rich beans are chickpeas, black beans, and pinto beans.
Q. Is French bean suitable for diet?
A. Yes, French beans are suitable for our diet. They are high in protein, dietary fibres, and minerals but low in calories. Therefore, it can improve metabolism and aid in weight loss. That makes it a very healthy food.
Q. Can you eat French beans raw?
A. You should avoid consuming raw French beans. It contains high sodium, especially if canned. Therefore, you should always cook French beans before eating them.
Q. Do French beans cause gas?
A. Yes, excessive consumption of French beans or eating them raw may cause flatulence. The daily recommended intake value of cooked French beans is 1-2 cups a day.
Q. Are French beans good for pregnant women?
A. Yes, French beans are beneficial for pregnant women. That is because French beans contain a high quantity of folate or vitamin B9. As a result, it can reduce the risks of congenital disabilities in fetuses. It also helps prevent neural tube defects.
Q. When can a baby eat French beans?
A. Babies can eat French beans as soon as they eat solid foods, around 6-7 months. However, it is recommended to consult your physician before introducing new foods to babies.