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Green Beans Nutrition Facts
Green beans, while quite low in calories (just 43.75 calories in a whole cup), are loaded with nutrients — an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, manganese, vitamin A, dietary fiber, potassium, folate, and iron. And, green beans are a good source of magnesium, thiamin, riboflavin, copper, calcium, phosphorus, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and niacin.
The vitamin K provided by green beans — a spectacular 122.0% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) in one cup — is important for maintaining strong bones. Vitamin K is known to be needed to maintain proper bone density and to coagulate blood. It plays a key role in proper development of the fetus.
Deficiencies of vitamin K have been linked to heavy menstrual bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, hematuria (blood in the urine), nosebleeds, eye hemorrhages, anemia, gum bleeding, prolonged clotting times, hematomas, hemorrhaging, easy bruising, purpura, osteopenia, osteoporosis, fractures, hypercalciuria, and calcification of soft tissue, especially heart valves.
According to the website The World’s Healthiest Foods, few foods compare to green beans in their number of helpful nutrients for atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. “Green beans are a very good source of vitamin A, notably through their concentration of beta-carotene, and an excellent source of vitamin C. These two nutrients are important antioxidants that work to reduce the amounts of free radicals in the body, vitamin C as a water-soluble antioxidant and beta-carotene as a fat-soluble one. This water-and-fat-soluble antioxidant team helps to prevent cholesterol from becoming oxidized. Oxidized cholesterol is able to stick to and build up in blood vessel walls, where it can cause blocked arteries, heart attack or stroke. Getting plenty of beta-carotene and vitamin C can help prevent these complications, and a cup of green beans will provide you with 16.6% of the daily value for vitamin A along with 20.2% of the daily value for vitamin C.
“Green beans are also a very good source of fiber, a very good source of potassium and folate, and a good source of magnesium and riboflavin. Each of these nutrients plays a significant cardio-protective role.”
Green beans are among a small number of foods that contain any measurable amount of oxalates, naturally occurring substances found in plants, animals, and human beings. “When oxalates become too concentrated in body fluids, they can crystallize and cause health problems. For this reason, individuals with already existing and untreated kidney or gallbladder problems may want to avoid eating green beans. Oxalates may also interfere with absorption of calcium from the body. For this reason, individuals trying to increase their calcium stores may want to avoid green beans, or if taking calcium supplements, may want to eat green beans 2-3 hours before or after taking their supplements,” says the website The World’s Healthiest Foods.
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