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Health benefits of Green beans
- Fresh green beans are very low in calories (31 calories per 100 g of raw bean pods) and contain no saturated fat. Nevertheless, 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 mucosa 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 cofactor 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 controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
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