About Green Beans

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Green beans are a classic veggie favorite the world over. Nearly every culture has its own unique way of preparing this delicious vegetable. Green beans are a great addition to any meal and have many important vitamins and minerals.


The green bean was a much-sought-after vegetable in Europe in the sixteenth century. The bean was hard to cultivate and therefore highly valuable. Not until the nineteenth century did the green bean become a commonly consumed household favorite.


Green beans come in a variety of colors, but they all taste about the same and can be used more or less interchangeably. The same is true for pole beans, which grow on vines that wrap around poles, and bush beans, which grow on a bushy structure. Some types of green bean are long and thin, like the Rocquencourt green bean, while others are stouter and fatter, like the traditional green beans found in casseroles.


When cooking green beans, your main concern should be what you are going to cook with them. It does not really matter too much in most cases what type of beans you use, since they all taste very similar. However, if you wish to create a dish with purple green beans, then you should either serve them raw or cook them as little as possible, since the color will bleed out and make your food look funny.


Green beans may have a literal "string" running down the middle of the bean, which is why they are also called string beans. However, many types do not have the string. Green beans are thin and tender, and can be eaten raw or cooked. They are usually about 4 inches long, slightly pointed at each end, and hold a number of small seeds arranged in a row inside the bean itself.


The green bean is a great favorite of dieters everywhere because they can be served in a wide variety of ways, have lots of vitamins and minerals and are just plain good for you. They contain lots of vitamins C, A and K as well as manganese. This makes them great for bone, cardiovascular and colon health. Green beans also are anti-inflammatories, which means that they can help calm respiratory problems like asthma and other inflammatory disorders like arthritis.


If you have untreated kidney or gall bladder problems, consult your doctor before introducing green beans to your diet. Green beans can make digestion more complicated for people with these problems, and can cause other health issues as well. If you have any doubts about whether or not your health will suffer from eating green beans, talk to a doctor before making them a regular part of your diet.

About this Author

Carole VanSickle has over five years experience working with scientists and creative scholars to promote and explain their work. She is based in Atlanta, Ga., and specializes in scientific, medical and technical writing, SEO and educational content.

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