Thought to have been domesticated in Central and South Americas, around 5000 years back, French Beans or Fansi as they are known in India, have become an integral part of Indian kitchen due to its taste and its obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality reducing health benefits.
French beans are also known as green beans, string beans, or fansi are thin, cylindrical beans. French beans have beans inside which are shelled tightly within the bean flesh. The beans within are lime green in color. The tip and the bottom of the fansi need to be removed and then the entire bean is edible.
Nutritional Facts of French Beans
As per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, 100 gm of french beans contains 31 kcal, 1.83 gm of proteins, 2.7 gm of fiber, 6.97 gm of carbohydrates, 0.22 gm of fats,
37 mg of calcium, 1.03 mg of iron, 211 mg of potassium, 25 mg of magnesium, 38 mg of phosphorus, 6 mg of sodium, 0.2 mg of manganese, 0.24 mg of zinc, 0.6 mcg of selenium, 19 mcg of fluoride, 0.7 mg of niacin, 0.2 mg of pantothenic acid, 0.8 mg of thiamine, 12.2 mg of vitamin C, 33 mcg of folate, 35 mcg of vitamin A, 43 mcg of vitamin K, and 640 mcg of lutein & zeaxanthin.
Potential Health Benefits of French Beans ‘Fansi’
1/5. Strengthen Bones
1. The manganese content of French beans helps in calcium absorption and in boosting bone strength and density.
2. The vitamin K and calcium content of fansi help in strengthening the bones.
3. French beans reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis and prevents rheumatoid arthritis.
2/5. Improves Vision
1. The high content of lutein and zeaxanthin in green beans aids in promoting vision.
2. Lutein and zeaxanthin help in preventing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
3/5. Promotes Heart Health
1. The high content of dietary fiber in French beans decreases high cholesterol levels.
2. The potassium content of French beans helps in controlling blood pressure and maintains a healthy heart.
3. The magnesium present in green beans plays a role in preserving heart health.
4/5. Promotes Gastrointestinal Health
The fiber content in green beans boosts gastrointestinal function. French beans are also beneficial in irritable bowel syndrome and constipation.
5/5. Other possible Benefits
Green Beans produces several health benefits, apart from the health benefits mentioned above, it also produces a few more such as combats cancer, controls diabetes, maintains ideal weight, promotes immunity, treats depression, benefits during pregnancy, helps in foetal development, prevents premature ageing, helps in depression, and promotes skin, hair, and nail health.
A word of caution: Green beans contain phytic acid – an acid that easily bonds with body minerals and hinders their absorption. People with low body minerals should consult a health professional before including green peas ‘fansi’ a part of their diet.
How to include Green Beans in Diet?
Green beans can be consumed raw, steamed, or cooked. They are available frozen, fresh, or canned. There are several ways by which French beans can be added to the diet. Some of them are as follows…
- Added to hummus.
- Used to prepare curry.
- Cooked in soups, or stews.
- Added to a vegetable salad.
- Can be added to sandwich filling.
How to prepare french bean curry?
Take a large kadai and heat 2 tbsp of oil and saute ½ tsp cumin and 1 tsp kasuri methi.
Add 1 finely chopped onion, 1 tsp ginger garlic paste and saute well.
Add 400 grams of chopped beans and stir fry it for 2 minutes.
Add ½ tsp chilli powder, ½ tsp turmeric, ½ tsp garam masala, 1 tsp coriander powder, ½ tsp aamchur, and ¾ tsp salt. Saute it for a minute till the spices are well cooked.
Cover and cook until the beans are half cooked.
Add 1 roughly chopped tomato an0d mix well.
Cover and simmer until the tomatoes soften.
Serve the beans curry with chapati or rice.