Considering the amazing health benefits of beans, it is a wonder that they are referred to as “poor people’s meat” instead of “healthy people’s meat”. Beans include legumes and pulses and they belong to the family Fabaceae (alternately Leguminosae) which is the 3rd largest land plant family and is only second to grains in being a supplier of calories and proteins to the world’s population!

Assortment of Beans!

Assortment of Beans!

Health Benefits of Beans

1. Healthy heart: Beans are low in fat, are free of saturated fat and trans-fat, and are a cholesterol-free source of protein, very much unlike meat-based proteins. Studies have shown that diets that include hearty amounts of beans may considerably reduce the risk of heart disease.

2. Cancer fighting properties: Beans contain an impressive list of plant antioxidant pigments called flavonoids, including kaempferol and quercetin. Studies have shown that the presence of such antioxidants have a positive influence on the reduction of growth of cancerous cells. Beans are also a good source of phytochemicals which have been studied for their cancer inhibiting properties.

3. Blood sugar management: Beans are great for maintaining a normal blood sugar level.  It is because they have a low glycemic index and contain complex carbohydrates that are digested slowly by the body, hence keeping blood sugar levels in check.

4. Weight management: Beans are naturally low in fats, have high dietary fiber content and are a great source of protein. These traits make beans ideal in one’s weight management diet.

5. Excellent for pregnant women: Folate is a vitamin that is very important for pregnant women and their unborn babies. Beans have an adequate amount of folate hence including beans in a pregnant women’s diet can help reduce the risk of birth defects.

6. Help control PMS: Women who consumed high amounts of manganese each day had reduced cramps and mood swings, in a clinical trial.

7. Energy and vitality: Beans are a nutrient-rich food that contains protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants and important vitamins and minerals, such as folate, manganese, potassium, iron, phosphorous, copper and magnesium. Thus beans are great as a sustained energy source while providing lean protein for maintaining and promoting muscle.

8. Bone health: Low levels of vitamin K are associated to higher rates of osteoarthritis in the hands and knees. Beans are a good source of vitamin K which is also involved in the clotting of blood. A study at the Rayne Institute in the UK showed silicon in green beans was very much absorbable by the body thus making it readily available for bone building, in turn providing for better bone density.  

9. Helps protect against macular degeneration: Zeaxanthin, an important carotenoid in beans is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes where it is believed to act as an antioxidant and protective filter against UV light.

Nutritional Content of  Green Snap Beans (raw)

Serving size- 100 grams

Calories per serving               31

Calories from fat                    01

% Daily Value*

Total Fat                               0 g                                       0%

Saturated Fat                         0 g                                       0%

Trans Fat

Cholesterol                           0 mg                                     0%

Sodium                                 6 mg                                     0%

Total Carbohydrate                7 g                                        2%

Dietary Fiber                          3 g                                       14%

Sugars                                   1 g

Protein                                  2 g

Vitamin A    14%

Calcium       4%

            Vitamin C   27%

            Iron             6%

*% Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Nutrition Values are based on USDA Nutrient Database SR18. 

Having read the amazing health benefits of beans you must be inspired to grow some for yourself, if you aren’t already growing them that is! Look at our wide range of certified bean heirlooms at our online store. In order to get you going, we’ve written a short guide on how to grow beans