What are French Beans (Fansi)? 7 Proven Health Benefits

The right choice in food is becoming more and more important day by day. Beans are a great addition if you are looking for some healthy green veggies to include in your diet.

Planning and selecting the best meals is what it takes to begin a journey of good eating and proper health.

Well, the French beans can be your friend in this journey. They are packed with all the goodness you need. Let us know:

  • What are French beans?
  • Are French beans healthy?
  • What are the benefits of eating French beans?
  • What are the nutritional components of the French beans?

And so much more about these green beans. So let us dig right into it!

What are French beans (Fansi)?

What are French beans (Fansi)

French beans are smaller in size than the common green beans. They are also commonly known as Fansi or Phansi to Indians. This bean is a great addition to many cooked and raw dishes.

The French beans are usually an average hand span or so long. It is light and fresh green in colour.

These beans are pod-like and have a soft and velvety outer pod cover. They are fleshy on the inside, but also crunchy. The bean seeds are inside the pod.

Its seeds are eaten with the pods. The seeds are also sometimes separated, cooked, and eaten without the pod. They are usually cream or white-coloured.

The French beans grow bunched on bushes. They are around 6 to 7 feet tall. There are many varieties available, and some plants are even similar to climbing vines.

Fresh French beans can be cooked with curries, fried separately, added to salads, etc. they also make great soup and fried rice ingredients.

These can be chopped into long diamond-like pieces, diced into small cylinders, sliced, or cut as per your choice. They taste amazing as fried beans. Blanching, pickling, boiling, roasting, etc. all make this French bean taste heavenly.

To get the best taste, you do need to pay heed to the beans that you buy and pick out. Here are some pointers to keep in mind while you go to buy these French green beans.

How to select the best and fresh French beans?

How to select the best and fresh French beans

It is essential to pick the best beans to get the tastiest and healthy ingredients. It is also great for avoiding wastage in the kitchen ingredients.

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To pick out the best beans always look for the freshest green colours. Avoid faded greens, browns, or blackened beans.

Go for the firm and sturdy beans. These turn out the best and crunchiest.

Avoid picking up soft and limp beans. They can be spoilt and feel chewy rather than crunchy.

Look out for a fresh tip and stem. Rotting stems can be indications of insect infestations. They may even go stale sooner.

Thinner and s beans are better if you want to include the pod in your food. When it comes to longer and wider beans, they can provide you with bigger and harder bean seeds. You can pick one according to your preference and needs.

With the rightly chosen beans, you can move on washing them. After a good cleaning to remove any dirt, you are ready to add them to your soups, curries, rice, paratha, etc. 

How to store French Beans without losing freshness?

Be sure to use then fresh if possible, to gain the best health benefits. Otherwise, they can be stored in zip-lock bags or containers and kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 to 7 days.

You can also peel the pods and remove the beans from the inside. These can be separately stored in airtight containers. They last longer; almost up to two weeks.

Are French beans good for Diabetes?

Are French beans good for Diabetes

The French beans, which are a more common Indian variety, are filled with many essential elements. They are very healthy and diet essentials.

It is said to be good to keep away many chronic diseases. Moreover, it is great for managing one’s digestive system. The fibre-content in the French beans makes it great and easy on the digestive tract.

It is also beneficial for diabetics. The Glycemic ranges of French beans are very low. This is what helps the beans to qualify as a diabetic safe vegetable.

The Glycemic Index of French beans is only 15. The foods that are ranked from 0 to 55 are said to be low GI. They are safe to be included in a diabetic diet and do not harm the blood sugar levels.

Coming to the Glycemic Load of these beans also proves its safety for diabetic health. The Glycemic Load is only 1! It is extremely safe and useful for controlling the blood sugars of the body.

Patients with heart diseases can also enjoy French beans without any worries. The flavonoids found in these green beans are great for keeping the heart healthy and away from risks.

It is also filled with numerous antioxidants. They prevent diseases and aid in boosting the overall immunity of the body.

Hence, the French beans are extremely great to be added to your healthy diets.

Let us look at the nutrients it has to offer.

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What is the Nutritional Composition of French Beans

French beans may appear tiny and slender, but they are packed with several necessary nutrients.

The following table records the various nutrients and their quantities in one cup of raw French beans. One cup of it accounts for around 130 grams of beans.

Sl. No.Nutrients available in 130 grams of raw French beansAmount available
1.Calories34
2.Carbs5.9 g
3.Fats0.1 g
4.Proteins2.2 g
5.Fibres2.4 g
6.Iron0.8 mg
7.Calcium65 mg
8.Sodium5.6 mg
9.Zinc0.84 mg
10.Magnesium49.4 mg
11.Phosphorus36.4 mg
12.Potassium156 mg
13.Vitamin A171.6 mcg
14.Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.1 mg
15.Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.08 mg
16.Vitamin B9 (Folic acid)59.2 mcg
17.Vitamin C31.2 mg

Let us move onto a more detailed list of benefits that these nutritional elements have on us.

What are the benefits of eating French beans?

By now, we already know that French beans are healthy for a lot of people with different diet and lifestyle goals. They are also packed with good numbers of macro as well as micronutrients.

Let us see how these elements make the French beans the best for one’s diet and meal options.

Here are some notable advantages and health facts that French beans have on our body when taken in good amounts and frequency:

  1. They are low in calories.

If you are one of the conscious individuals and worry about overdoing your calories, then the French bean is the best for you. You do not have to keep counting on how many calories you added.

A cup of these beans is only around 34 calories. They do not add any excess or unnecessary fat or carbohydrates onto your controlled lifestyle.

It can be cooked in any way without having to worry about any health harms. It is best for health and fitness enthusiasts.

  1. A rich source of Vitamin C

The French beans are packed with lots of vitamin C. It is one of the most crucial elements for protecting the body and boosting health and immunity.

This vitamin has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant qualities. They aid in keeping the body protected against free radicals and other chronic ailments.

Not just that, vitamin C also ensures proper absorption of minerals such as iron and calcium.

It is also a nutritional supplement for the skin and hair.

  1. Prevents blood and related deficiencies

The presence of Folic acid helps manage healthy blood composition. It assists in the proper synthesis of DNA and also keeps the blood supplied with red blood cells (RBCs)

It is as important as iron to prevent Anemia in individuals. The presence of folic acid is also great for pregnant women throughout their pregnancy. 

  1. Keeps the body digestion healthy

The presence of fibre in French beans is a boon to the whole digestive system.

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It aids in the smooth and efficient absorption of nutrients. This is important to promote proper digestion in further processes.

It also assists in keeping the gut active and healthy. Fibre adds the necessary bulk to stools. This ensures regular and healthy bowel movements.

Therefore, it is also helpful in keeping away constipation, indigestion, gastric issues, etc.

Fibre also is important for diabetes patients. It leads to a slow release of sugars in the bloodstream. This, in turn, prevents extreme and sudden spikes in the sugar levels.

  1. Filled with Anti-oxidants

The abundant presence of minerals and vitamins makes the French bean perfect for health management.

The antioxidants fight the free-radicals. These are known to create discomforts in the body over time, leading to chronic, long-lasting conditions such as cancer, heart risks, diabetes, etc.

The presence of phytochemicals and flavonoids in the French beans, along with many other elements, is great to keep the body safe and immune.

  1. Healthy for the heart

The amount of fats found in the French green beans is very low. This makes it an ideal food for the heart.

Lesser quantities of fats mean lesser risks on the cholesterol. This helps keep the arteries free from clotting. It reduces the excess burden of the heart and keeps it healthily active.

  1. Also promote fertility

The French beans are also equipped with nutrients that enhance fertility levels. It also helps in decreasing the risks of congenital disabilities.

Thus, with plenty of benefits, the French bean is perfect for finding a place in your good diet and a healthy lifestyle. Adding this is equal to adding nourishment.

You can now relish your bean-filled dish with total satisfaction!

References

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Dr Sharon Baisil MD

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