Food facts: Galangal - Green Beans

Facts and quirky pieces of information about the food we eat always interest me, both from an historical and a nutritional point of view.

Did you know that people who eat a fair amount of fish have lower chances of depression? Or that Australians on average eat 8 - 9 times more salt per day than is required by our bodies.

Up until just over 100 years ago Americans didn't eat tomatoes - they thought they were poisonous! I'm including lots of these food facts on each of the recipe pages on this web site. More are listed here on this page:



Galangal is a knobbly root plant very similar to ginger. It is used medicinally to treat nausea and stomach problems.


Garlic is a "wonder" food. It has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-cancer properties. It has been found to lower blood cholesterol, to boost the immune system, to lift one's mood and to create a calming effect. It is thought to have originated in central Asia. Garlic can exaggerate the effects of drugs used to combat high blood pressure so be careful. If your breath smells strongly of garlic try chewing on parsley.


The ginger we use in cooking is the rhizome (horizontal root) of the ginger plant. It is used both in its natural fresh form, dried and ground, pickled and also preserved in a thick sugar syrup. Ginger can also be stewed to make ginger tea and is the main flavour in ginger ale and ginger beer. Ginger has been found effective in treating some nauseas, particularly nausea caused by pregnancy, sea sickness and chemotherapy. Ginger is generally used fresh in savoury dishes and most usually ground for use in sweet dishes such as cakes, biscuits and desserts. Ginger tea is made by steeping a few slices of fresh ginger in water for several minutes. This tea is said to ward off colds and settle stomach disorders.

Globe Artichokes

Globe artichokes are often called French artichokes or green artichokes. Globe artichokes belong to the sunflower family and the part we eat is the flower bud of the plant. They are generally eaten by dipping them in garlic butter or vinaigrette. Marilyn Monroe was the first official California Artichoke Queen in 1949.


Gooseberries have been grown in Britain since the time of Henry Vlll. In the 16th century when the plague was rife gooseberry juice was recommended to alleviate the symptoms. They are rich in vitamin C and contain beta carotene, potassium and fibre.


Grapefruits are thought to have originated in Jamaica. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of inositol, a member of the vitamin B complex which plays a role in the health of cell membranes.


Grapes are one of the oldest fruits to be cultivated, going back to biblical times. Grape growing is the largest food industry in the world. Botanically grapes are berries. They are high in vitamin C and contain vitamin A, iron, potassium and fibre. Grapes are detoxifiers and can be helpful to those suffering gout, liver and kidney problems. Grape seeds are high in anti oxidants and they fight arthritis, cardiovascular problems, stress, and allergies.

Green Beans

Green beans is the general name given to runner beans, dwarf beans, string beans, snap beans and French beans. When eating green beans the whole pod is eaten - not just the bean seeds. They are a good source of protein and fibre.



Read other interesting food facts (in alphabetical order):

Allspice - Avocados
Allspice, almonds,amaranth, apples, apricots, asparagus, aubergines, avocados

Bananas - Buckwheat
Bananas, barley, basil, bay leaves, beans, beetroot, black berries, black currants, blueberries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, buckwheat

Cabbage - Chestnuts
Cabbage, capsicum, caraway, cardamom, carrots, cashews, cauliflower, cayenne, celeriac, celery, cheese, cherries, chestnuts

Chicken - Cumin
Chicken, chickpeas, chicory, chilies, chives, cinnamon, cloves, coconut, coriander, corn, couscous, cucumbers, cumin

Dates - Fish
Dates, dill, eggplant, eggs, fennel, fenugreek, figs, fish

Galangal - Green Beans
Galangal, garlic, ginger, globe artichokes, gooseberries, grapefruit, grapes, green beans

Hazelnuts - Limes
Hazel nuts, honey, horseradish, Jerusalem artichokes, kafir lime leaves, kale, leeks, lemon balm, lemon grass, lemons, lentils, lettuce, limes

Macadamia Nuts - Mustard
Macadamia nuts, mace, mandarins, mangoes, maple syrup, marjoram, mar ow, melons, milk, millet, mint, miso, molasses, mushrooms, mustard

Nectarines - Oregano
Nectarines, nutmeg, oats, olive oil, onions, oranges, oregano

Papayas - Pumpkin
Papayas, paprika, parsley, parsnips, peaches, peanuts, pears, peas, pecans, pineapples, pine nuts, plums, potatoes, pumpkin

Quince - Rye
Quinces, quinoa, radishes, raspberries, rice, rosemary, rye

Sage - Sweet Corn
Sage, sea vegetables, seeds, silver beet, soy sauce, sprouted seeds, squash, strawberries, swede, sweet corn

Tamari - Zucchini
Tamari, tarragon, tempeh, thyme, tofu, tomatoes, triticale, turkey, turmeric, turnips, vanilla, walnuts, wheat, zucchini