Once your baby is ready for solid food, you can certainly add green beans to this list as they are excellent for your baby. Green beans can be included in your baby’s diet anytime from 6-8 months of age. Read on to know more about the benefits of green beans.
Green beans are members of the common bean family, Phaseolus vulgaris, and are a popular part of diets around the world. There are slight variations in shape in different areas of cultivation and green beans may be called many different things, including French beans, fine beans, string beans, or even squeaky beans, depending on where you are eating them. There are approximately 150 varieties of green beans throughout the world that come in all shapes and colors, even purple! Despite the variable appearance of the beans, their nutritional content and health benefits remain similar.
The health benefits of green beans for babies include good supply of proteins, good source of vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, high amount of dietary fiber, supply of antioxidants and supply of essential minerals like calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, sodium and zinc.
Green beans can be introduced to your baby’s diet at about 6 months of age, but introducing beans so early can cause certain issues such as increase in flatulence and there is also a chance of indigestion as well. So, it is advisable to wait until your baby is at least 1 year old.
The best way to cook green beans for homemade baby food:
Green beans are best when steamed or boiled gently in a scant amount of water; no more than 1 inch of water. Let the water come to a boil and then add the green beans. Cook the green beans uncovered for a few minutes then cover for the remainder of the cooking time. One pound of fresh green beans should be cooked for no longer than 15 minutes to retain the color and avoid a mushy green bean. Overcooking green beans for your baby’s food is fine, just keep in mind the color will change. Here are some of the health benefits offered by green beans for babies.
Very High source of Proteins
Beans are one of the highest source of protein in the plant kingdom. The seeds of most beans including green beans are good source of protein. But there is one catch, the amount of protein in fresh beans might be small but in dried form, the protein content is very high.
Supplies Vitamin C
Vitamin C is another vitamin that is known to improve the immune system in the body. It is also helpful in preventing common cold, cough, asthma, etc. Apart from inflammation, vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant and keeps free radicals at bay.
Good Source of Folate
Folate or folic acid belongs to the group of vitamin B. This vitamin helps in producing red blood cells which are essential in an infant who needs to supply nutrients to every organ in the body for quick development. Folate is also useful in strengthening brain cells and for proper functioning of the brain.
Apart from the vitamins, green beans are also home to other types of antioxidants such as flavonoids, alkaloids, catechin and anthocyanin, etc have been isolated from green beans. These biochemicals act as powerful antioxidants that neutralize free radicals that are produced in the body through metabolism. Metabolism definitely produces free radicals and without countering these free radicals, there is a chance that these free radicals can damage the cells and worse, the DNA. So, it is necessary to include that diet which supplies good amount of antioxidants.
The pods of green beans are full of dietary fiber. This dietary fiber is very much useful in keeping the colon or the large intestine clean by regulating bowel movements. Dietary fiber absorbs water in the body and flushes out all the impurities in the colon through the stool. Regular bowel movements are good for your baby as it keeps diseases at bay and promotes appetite.