Green Beans

imageApril’s ingredient is: green beans!

Green beans, also known as French beans or squeaky beans are a colorful and healthy addition to your diet. Though fresh green beans are available all year round, their peak season tends to fall between May and October and the frozen variety provides nutrients any time of year.

Primarily, green beans are known for being high in antioxidants. As people age, they require more and more antioxidants in their diets to counter the cell damage that occurs from high and chronic stress. Because stress also has a very profound effect on the cardiovascular system, vegetables like green beans are necessary to protect their hard and blood vessels.

Stress also impacts cognitive abilities and lowers memory. Incorporating foods such as green beans that are high in antioxidants can help boost memory and other cognitive functions to counteract the negative effect of stress.

Similarly, green beans are a good source of Vitamin C, which is also necessary to combat stress. During high stress times or during chronic stress, the adrenal glands become overworked as they produce higher and higher amounts of cortisol and adrenaline. Over time, these glands become weak from the stress and fatigue as well as depression as common side effects. Eating a diet rich in Vitamin C helps rebuild the weakened glands.

Green beans are also a good source of vitamin K, which is necessary to help metabolize vitamin D. As research has shifted its focus to vitamin D, many South Asians are being diagnosed with a deficiency. In addition to vitamin D supplements, it is important to also boost vitamin K intake. Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to depression, fatigue, low mood and irritability.

Finally, green beans are a source of vitamin A and manganese. Ensuring a healthy level of Vitamin A in your diet helps protect against declining memory and cognitive functioning as well as a decline in learning new skills which often precedes Alzheimer’s disease. Diets low in Vitamin A can result in insomnia, chronic fatigue and depression.

Manganese is necessary for optimal brain functioning. People who experience depressive symptoms such as irritability, sadness, low mood and fatigue are encouraged to increase their manganese intake.

Whether you eat them in a vegetable biryani or a raw salad with almonds, green beans are an excellent addition to a healthy diet for your physical and mental health.

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