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French Beans

What are French Beans?
French beans are defined as the unripe fruits of any kind of beans, especially common beans, the pods of which are known as string beans. Scientifically known as 'Phaseolus vulgaris', the other names by which they are commonly known are green beans, runner beans, climbing beans, wax beans, etc. Though they are typically referred to as string beans, many of their contemporary varieties no longer have fibrous strings that were once a common feature of the earlier varieties. The size of French beans is about four inches in length and have a slight point at both their ends. The color of the French beans is deep emerald and tiny seeds can be found within their pods.

History of French Beans
French beans are thought to have been originated in South and Central America. The cultivation of French beans was started 7000 years ago, by the Indian tribes settled in Tehuacan Valley of Mexico and in Callejon de Huaylas, Peru. When Christopher Columbus returned from his second voyage to the New World in the year 1493, he brought French beans with him in the Mediterranean region. French beans were considered to be rare to find and expensive but soon became one of the commonly used beans in the 19th century. In France, French beans were introduced in the year 1597 by the Conquistadors.


Cultivation of French Beans
The land for the growth of French beans or green beans should have a good tillage as well as a good depth. The soil should be properly pulverised as it can increase soil capping. As far as the climatic conditions are concerned, French beans are very sensitive to frost but cannot stand hot conditions either. Thus, ideally, they can be grown in the frost free portion of the year. The ideal temperature for the growth of French beans is between 15°C to 27°C while the minimum temperature required for the germination of seeds of French beans is 10°C. French beans can grow in a variety of soils but are highly sensitive to high boron content in soils.

Nutritional Components of French Beans

French beans are a healthy option for many health conscious people as they are rich in many vital nutrients that are considered essential for the proper growth and metabolism of the body. The various nutrients that are found in French beans can be described as follows:

  • Vitamins: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Riboflavin, Niacin, Thiamine, Vitamin K, Folate and Pantotheinic Acid
  • Minerals: Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium and Zinc
  • Other Nutrients: Amino Acids, Carbohydrates, Dietary Fibers, Water, Sugar, Protein, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, etc.

Health Benefits of French Beans or Green Beans

The following are some of the major health benefits that are found in French beans:

  • French beans are filled with healthy dietary fibers that help in the prevention of cholesterol. These fibers are also beneficial for diabetic people as they help in preventing the sugar levels from rising up immediately after having a meal
  • French beans are also helpful in energizing the body as they are rich in iron, the nutrients found in hemoglobin which helps in giving energy to the body. The presence of copper in French beans, in turn, helps in the proper synthesis of hemoglobin
  • French beans also help in improving the immune system of the body as they are a rich source of Vitamin C. This vitamin helps in stimulating the white cells to fight against infection by directly killing the bacteria and viruses responsible for these infections
  • It has been observed that people suffering from severe migraine attacks can benefit from eating French beans as they are a very good source of riboflavin, the source that helps in mitigating migraine attacks
  • French beans have many anti-inflammatory nutrients like beta-carotene and, of course, Vitamin C. These nutrients help in preventing many disease and ailments where there are chances of inflammation, such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. They also contribute in preventing fatal diseases like colon cancer.

How to Make French Beans Salad
Salads are a favorite side dish for many food lovers, while at the same time healthy as well. Salad comprising of French beans is a very good option and also easy to prepare. Before using French beans, wash them by keeping them under the running water. Then remove both ends of the beans by snapping them off or by cutting them with a knife. Put the beans into boiling water and cook them for about 15 minutes without covering them. Cook them only until they are slightly tender. Drain the water and put the beans in a bowl and add black pepper, salt, lemon, sliced tomato and onions, etc. and mix them properly. Thus, a tasty and healthy blend of French beans salad is ready to be served and enjoyed thoroughly by everybody.

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