Health benefits of French beans

Along with being a delicious addition to our plate, there are a number of health benefits of French beans. As they come into season in the summer months, read on to discover the wealth of wellbeing benefits you can enjoy.

Where do French beans come from?

Contrary to their name’s suggestion, French beans were not actually discovered in France. French beans have become a strong staple in our diets since they were introduced in the sixteenth century from America. It’s believed they’ve been eaten in America for well over 2,000 years.

French beans are vigorous croppers throughout the summer months. You can find them in abundance in the summer months in farmers’ markets, or on the shop shelves. Look out for the gorgeous yellow and purple varieties to add some late summer colour to the dinner table.

The health benefits of French beans

Packed full of green goodness, French beans offer up a multitude of nutritional benefits. French beans are are a fantastic source of vital nutrients, particularly vitamins C and A. They also include a number of minerals, including iron, calcium and magneisum. They’re also low in calories and contain no saturated fat. Plus, if that wasn’t enough, they’re rich in dietary fibre – ideal for good gut health. The seeds within the green bean pods are pulses, making French beans a great source of protein.

How to know when French beans are ready

Fresh beans should be stiff to hold but flexible. They give a very satisfying snap sound when you break them. Store your beans for a few days in the fridge, but eat within two or three days as the natural sugars start turning to starch after picking, reducing the quality of the taste.

Cook French beans in plenty of boiling water with the lid off – this reduces acidity and avoids trapped steam, both of which can make beans turn from a beautifully deep green shade into more unappealing olive hue. Boil for just three or four minutes – don’t overcook!

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Wellbeing Wisdom

  • French beans are a fantastic source of vitamins C, which helps our bodies fight bugs
  • They are also rich in dietary fibre, helping to keep you fuller for longer and keep your digestive system working smoothly