Pass the Green Beans!
This is a great time of year to find just-picked green beans. Fresh green beans are delicious, economical and healthy, especially when they're straight from the garden or your local vegetable stand. In fact, sixty percent of all commercially grown green beans are produced in the United States! One of the few beans eaten whole, they're actually unripe pods that are picked when still tender enough to eat raw or cooked. They come with a long list of nutritional benefits.
Green beans are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which helps protect the colon against toxins and cancer-causing chemicals. Fiber helps to reduce blood cholesterol! They're also a good source of folates which -- as an essential factor in DNA synthesis and cell division -- are particularly important during preconception and pregnancy. The fiber in green beans can also help in the regulation of sugar in your blood stream. They're also packed flavonoid antioxidants to protect against free radicals that play a role in aging and many disease processes.
Then we get to the vitamins and minerals:
- Green beans are a great source of vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against cancer, heart disease and high blood cholesterol. It's also known for eliminating signs of skin aging, such as wrinkles, fine lines, dull skin and age spots.
- Vitamin C is also found in high amounts in green beans. Vitamin C also helps speed up the healing of cuts, bruises and burns. It protects cell DNA against mutation and damage and boosts the immune system. Vitamin C also helps lower bad cholesterol, regulates high blood pressure and prevent stroke and heart disease.
- Green beans are also a good source of vitamin K, which also helps the process of healing. Vitamin K assist in absorption of calcium and may help prevent bone density loss and osteoporosis. It's important to note that vitamin K helps stimulate blood clotting, so excessive bleeding does not occur.
- Rich in manganese, green beans not only help relieve symptoms of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, Manganese can help reduce the irritability and mood swings caused by PMS ... all while helping your body absorb other nutrients such as vitamins B, E and the mineral magnesium.
You'll also get a good dose of potassium
and calcium ... all essential for your body's metabolism. Best cooked steamed until just tender, they're also great added to soups and stews.
Green beans ... they're a seasonal treasure!