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Food Facts and Cooking Tips: Green Beans

Food Facts and Cooking Tips: Green Beans

Eating fruits and vegetables of all kinds helps reduce the risk of many inflammatory health conditions. Many studies have shown that including more plant foods, such as green beans, in your diet can help decrease your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality. Eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables also promotes a healthy complexion, increased energy and overall lower weight.

Did you know that there are more than 130 varieties of green beans? Green beans are a rich source of folic acid, fiber and vitamins A, C and K. Here are some other benefits:

  • According to Harvard Medical School, consuming more iron from plant sources such as spinach, pumpkin and green beans appear to promote fertility for women of child-bearing age.
  • A low intake of vitamin K is associated with a higher risk of bone fracture. One cup of green beans provides 20% vitamin K and 4% of your daily need for calcium.
  • Green beans are a low FODMAP food and can be enjoyed by many people who have chronic digestive issues.
  • Green beans are a plant-based source of protein, which your body needs to maintain healthy bones, hair, organs and muscles. Protein is also essential to a healthy immune system. One cup of raw green beans has almost 2 grams of protein.
  • Raw green beans are a good source of vitamin C, which helps boost your immune system and protects your skin. They are also a good source of vitamin A, which is vital for your immune health, reproduction and vision. Green beans are also a good source of minerals, especially manganese, which is essential to support your metabolism and bone health and promotes wound healing.

Green beans are available fresh, frozen or canned. For highest nutrient value, choose fresh green beans first, then frozen, then canned. Fresh beans should be crisp and bright green. You can blanch, sauté, roast or enjoy them raw.

A few quick tips:

  • Refrigerate fresh beans in a bag to maintain color and freshness.
  • Some green beans can be eaten raw. Just snap off each end and add to a salad or serve with a SHAPE-approved dip (like this Ranch Dressing).
  • Roast the beans by spraying with olive or coconut oil spray and sprinkling with garlic and fresh cracked pepper. Roast at 425°F for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway through cooking.

Try these healthy and delicious SHAPE-Certified green bean recipes: