Intake of green beans during pregnancy offers nutritional support for baby development, balances body fluids and electrolytes, boosts immunity, and wards off chronic disease. It is a great choice of food to make a healthy diet for both Mom and baby. Green beans are a rich source of several nutrients that support mother and child health.
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Green Bean Nutritional Value
Green Beans Nutrition. Some minerals and vitamins can not be stored for later use in our bodies, hence they need to be taken daily. Also, regular intake of a healthy balanced diet is important during pregnancy. According to nutrition research,
including steam-cooked beets, okra, eggplant, asparagus, carrots, green beans, cucumbers, and other healthy and nutritious veggies is a great choice to supplement lacking nutrients, and prevent chronic conditions like heart disease and cancer.
Are Green Beans Good For Pregnancy?
Intake of green beans during pregnancy may supplement lacking nutrients especially those that can not be stored in our body. According to FDC, green beans contain a high amount of Potassium, Calcium, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Choline. However, nutrients like folate, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Copper, Zinc, Iron, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin A (alpha + beta Carotene), Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), and Vitamin K (phylloquinone) exist in a small quantity [1, 2].
Vitamin C: Acts as an antioxidant and boosts the immune defense.
Calcium: Supports strong bone development
Nicotinamide: Improves fetal growth and prevents preeclampsia [k3].
Pyridoxine: Prevents cardiovascular malformations and orofacial clefts [k4].
Selenium: This nutrient may help reduce the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes like preterm birth and low birth weight .
Thiamine: Boost the production of ATP from glucose in the brain, this enables Mom and baby to use carbohydrates as energy [k8].
Iron: Helps to prevent anemia, Boost the production of red blood cells, for proper blood circulation and the health of the nervous system. This will reduce lack of energy or extreme tiredness during pregnancy [k9]. It also Promotes the transportation of hemoglobin [k10].
Zinc: Reduces the risk of preterm births and low birth weight [k11].
Green Beans To Avoid During Pregnancy?
As much as we eat good food to supplement lacking nutrients, eating wrongly can put us at risk of contracting foodborne illnesses, or food poisoning, which can be dangerous. According to CDC, cooked foods are the safest to eat. Therefore, eating raw or freshly picked green beans during pregnancy is unsafe.
Safe Way To Eat Green Beans During Pregnancy
Green beans are a great source of nutrients during pregnancy, but it’s important to take precautions to ensure they are safe to eat. Here are some tips for safely consuming green beans during pregnancy:
- Wash the green beans thoroughly before cooking to remove any dirt or bacteria.
- Cook the green beans until they are tender. This will help to kill any bacteria that may be present.
- Avoid eating raw or undercooked green beans, as they may contain harmful bacteria.
- Store green beans properly in the refrigerator to prevent the growth of bacteria.
- If you are unsure about the safety of green beans, consult with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian.
By following these tips, you can safely enjoy the nutritional benefits of green beans during pregnancy.
Green Beans Benefits To Pregnant Women
- Support baby growth and development.
- Support Mother to child oxygen and nutrient transportation.
- Lowers cholesterol levels.
- Boosts body antioxidants and immune defense.
- Provide Calcium for baby bone development.
- Help balance body fluids and electrolytes during pregnancy.
- May help the baby develop better vision
1. Green beans support baby growth and development
They are rich in folate (Vitamin B9), Vitamin B-12, and choline which supports mental development for the baby, prevents neural tube defects, and improves the mother’s mood.
According to CDC, folate is important before and during pregnancy, it helps the baby during the early stage of pregnancy to form the neural tube, as well as prevent other birth defects related to the baby’s brain and spine [k12].
Therefore, the Intake of green bean beans during pregnancy may provide nutrient that supports baby growth and development.
2. Support Mother to child oxygen and nutrient transportation
The developing fetus has no way of getting the nutrients for its needs except from the mother. For this to be possible, Mother to child oxygen and nutrient transportation is very critical. The intake of green beans during pregnancy can be a source of Iron which supports oxygen and nutrient transportation.
Study finds that Iron provides hemoglobin which helps in transferring oxygen in the blood from the lungs, and other nutrients to the tissues where they are needed [k13]. A lack of Iron in the body may increase the risk of becoming anemic.
Therefore eating green beans during pregnancy can support mother-to-child oxygen and nutrient transportation and also lower the risk of anemia.
3. Lowers cholesterol levels
Green beans are a potential source of dietary fiber, which can help reduce high cholesterol. According to reports from recent studies, having high cholesterol levels during pregnancy may increase the risks of preterm delivery, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, and other complication [k14].
Also, research shows that reducing bile acid recirculation can help lowers cholesterol levels by reducing fat absorption [k15]. According to a report from a study, cooked beets, eggplant, asparagus, carrots, green beans, and cauliflower possess bile acid binding potential, which can help lower bad cholesterol [k16].
The fiber-rich content of green beans may also aid digestion and prevents constipation and gestational weight gain.
4. Boosts body antioxidants and immune defense
According to FDC, Green beans are high in vitamin C. It also contains a good amount of vitamins A and E, and the 3 vitamins possess an antioxidant proper thatch helps to protect us from cellular damage caused by oxidative stress. Every time we eat foods like green bean our body’s antioxidants increases, which as well boost our immune defense.
One study has equally shown that green bean is rich in flavonoid [k17], and flavonoids may help improve the health of the placenta, as well as protect against oxidative stress . Although flavonoid-rich food like green beans has promising results, however further intensive study is needed to understand the safety of flavonoids in foods during pregnancy [k19].
5. Provide Calcium for baby bone development
According to FDC, 100 grams of green beans contain about 37 mg of Calcium, and 38 mg of Phosphorus, while Potassium is in the highest amount about 211mg. This show that eating Green beans during pregnancy can provide calcium for the baby’s bone development [k20], and as well prevent osteoporosis.
6. Help balance body fluids and electrolytes during pregnancy
To maintain fluids and electrolytes balance during pregnancy you need potassium. Thankfully, Green beans are a rich source of potassium, eating them may be of help.
Similarly, Findings suggest having adequate potassium, especially during the first 3 months of pregnancy can help prevent beta cell dysfunction due to chronic insulin resistance, as well as lower the risk of severe pre-eclampsia [k21].
Note the way adequate potassium is beneficial during pregnancy, an overdose can result in hyperkalemia — a condition that may result in cardiac arrhythmias, muscle weakness, or even paralysis [K22].
Also, it is recommended to seek health advice regarding potassium intake as deficiency may as well lead to hypokalemia.
7. May help the baby develop better vision
Green beans are rich in vitamin A (both Alpha and Beta Carotene), which can help the baby develop better vision.
vitamin A can equally help improve immune system defense and ward off chronic disease [k23].
Green beans are rich in nutrients that support baby development, balance body fluids and electrolytes, boost immunity, and ward off chronic disease.
While intake provides tremendous benefits to Mom and baby’s health, it should be eaten moderately to avoid complications, and cooked to avoid foodborne diseases.
JC is passionate about finding the impact of foods (feeding habits) on human fertility and reproductive health and a way to improve fertility.