Green Beans

Green Beans

If you’re a green bean fan, you’re gonna love all the nutrition it offers your health. From helping prevent many types of disease to supporting the health of your digestive system, green beans nutrition is a dynamic fighter to add to your healing diet because they’re some of the best high-antioxidant foods on the planet.

Green beans are of course a part of the bean family, but many people incorporate them into their diets like a vegetable. The great thing about green beans, unlike traditional vegetables, is that you can freeze them and they will maintain their nutritional value! Plus, they’re extremely common and can be found at your local farmers market or grocery store year-round. They are considered to be “in season” and least expensive from summer to early fall.

Green Beans Nutrition Facts

Green beans are chock full of nutrition, which includes high levels of several proteins, carotenoids and other antioxidants that make it a cornucopia of nutrition! They belong to the Phaseolus Vulgaris classification of bean (a type of legume), which also includes kidney, red, white, pinto and other types of beans. These phaseolus vulgaris beans are often referred to as “common beans.”

Technically, green beans are classified an unripe fruit inside a protective pod. One prevalent type of green bean is known as the Haricot Vert (or French green bean) and is known to have a longer, thinner, more tender pod than others.

Many experts agree one of the factors that makes green beans so healthy is the level of starch and fiber green beans contain. Instead of being totally and immediately processed by our digestive systems, the beans are more “time released” in nature, offering longer, more sustained nutrition!

One serving of raw green beans (about half a cup or 100 grams) contains about:

31 calories
7.1 grams carbohydrates
1.8 grams protein
0.1 gram fat
3.4 grams fiber
16.3 milligrams vitamin C (27 percent DV)
14.4 micrograms vitamin K (18 percent DV)
690 IU vitamin A (14 percent DV)
0.2 mg manganese (11 percent DV)
37 micrograms folate (9 percent DV)
0.1 milligram thiamine (6 percent DV)
0.1 milligram riboflavin (6 percent DV)
1 milligram iron (6 percent DV)
25 milligrams magnesium (6 percent DV)
209 milligrams potassium (6 percent DV)

Benefits of Green Beans Nutrition


• Helps Fight and Prevent Cancer

Green beans have long been regarded as a healthy food that supports various areas of the body. One of the most heavily researched benefits is in the ability of green beans nutrition to help prevent and stop the spread of several cancers throughout the body. Studies show the anticarcinogenic activity of beans is related to the presence of resistant starch, soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, and phenolic compounds, as well as other microconstituents such as phytic acid, protease inhibitors, and saponins. This places green beans among the strongest cancer-fighting foods. Research also supports that in addition to preventative measures, peptides in green beans can also slow or stop the growth of cancer cells.

Regular consumption of green beans is associated with a lower risk of breast, colon and prostate cancer. Eating varieties of Phaseolus Vulgaris (the formal legume name) is also associated with slowed or inhibited growth of leukemia, breast cancer and lymphoma cells.

Several nutrients in green beans have cancer-fighting properties on their own. Lutein, one of the types of antioxidants known as Carotenoids, is found in large quantities in green beans. It’s suggested that people who consume high quantities of dietary Lutein have a lowered risk of breast, colon, cervical and lung cancer, and green beans is No. 8 on the list of foods highest in lutein. Vitamin C is also a commonly known anticancer vitamin, as it has been known, in large doses, to treat cancer. 

The amount of vitamin K in a serving of green beans provides over half of one day’s recommended intake as well. It has had success in reducing the risk of prostate, colon, stomach, nasal and oral cancers!

• Viral Inhibitor

Studies find French green beans have a dramatic effect on fighting viruses, including HIV, which is an incredible discover! A proper diet accompanied by antiretroviral therapy, leafy greens, superfoods like spirulina, and of course, green beans, may be a long-term treatment solution for patients suffering from a myriad of viruses!

• Diabetes Manager

Like so many other superfoods, green beans help reduce symptoms of diabetes, but green beans are one of the strongest disease fighters out there, with a specifically beneficial impact on diabetes. When you consume whole-grain foods such as green beans (and other legumes) three or more times a week, you can decrease your risk of diabetes by as much as 35%, keeping your glycemic index low and your health meter high.

• Great for Weight Loss

As we know, green beans are an excellent food for managing glucose levels due to its low glycemic index scale. But this isn’t just for people at risk for diabetes. Adding green beans to a balanced meal is clinically proven to help you lose weight by reducing your blood glucose levels, making you feel full faster and slowing the secretion of the hunger hormone known as Ghrelin, which makes you want to eat. Green beans slow and balance the secretion of ghrelin, keeping you satisfied longer before craving your next meal.

• Great for Your Heart

In addition to lowering cholesterol, reducing risk of diabetes and helping you lose weight, green beans also keeps your heart beating strong! Beans help support heart health by managing your metabolic rate, due to its resistant starch and dietary fiber content. Bean greens actually change the way your body uses fat and increase satiety (food satisfaction after eating) to control the appetite.

Did you know?  If you ate just 3/4 of a cup of beans daily, it can decrease your risk of heart attack by an staggering 38 percent!

• Natural Artery Cleaners

Green beans are especially powerful in protecting the heart due to their vitamin K and Lutein content. Vitamin K carries calcium out of your arteries, preventing it from forming large plaque deposits and eventually calcifying those arteries. Getting enough vitamin K in your diet helps protect the lining of your arteries and other body tissues, as well as reduces inflammation to maintain healthy blood pressure and reduces your risk of heart attack. Low levels of lutein are also associated with hardening of the artery walls, and high lutein in the bloodstream is connected with a reduced risk of coronary disease and heart attack, although the reasons why are still unclear.

• Improved Fertility and Good For Babies

Green beans and other legumes are excellent sources of nutrition for those at risk for infertility, as they’re low on the glycemic index and rich in folate, folic acid, iron and other antioxidants.


What is Folate and Folic Acid?

Folate and folic acid are forms of a water-soluble B vitamin. Folate occurs naturally in food, while folic acid is the synthetic form of this vitamin. Folic acid is well-tolerated in amounts found in fortified foods and supplements.

Folate and folic acid doesn’t just help men and women with fertility, it’s good for babies, too! Dietary folate decreases the risk of a large number of birth defects. This is why you want to avoid folate deficiency, something you can do with green beans nutrition.

Green Beans Are Great for Healthy Digestion

The fiber in green beans also helps your digestive system maintain optimal health, as it prevents many digestive problems. One method by which they help your digestive system is by protecting the lining of your gastrointestinal tract from becoming damaged. That protection, combined with a regular dietary intake of vitamin B12 and vitamin C, helps your body absorb iron (also found in green beans nutrition), which also impacts digestive health.

Keeps the Bones Strong

Because of its high vitamin K content, green beans nutrition can also help your body build and maintain strong bones. From the elderly at risk for osteoporosis to athletes, consuming high levels of vitamin K helps your body maintain bone density, reduce the risk of bone fracture and even help heal broken bones.

Green Bean Nutrition History and Interesting Facts

There are over 130 different varieties of green beans, divided into two categories:  Bush and Pole

The Bush varieties grow on short plants that need no assistance to remain straight (between eight and 20 inches at full height).

The Pole varieties must be supported by trellises or other means, to keep them growing upright and can grow up to seven feet long!

The green bean origin has been traced back to Mexico as far back as 7,000 years ago! Of course today, they are produced around the world. The top producers of green beans include Indonesia, India and China, and U.S.

Green bean crops thrive on sandy clay soils, commonly found in desert regions. Unlike other legumes, green beans need a little blast of nitrogen for their full beneficial potency, so farmers will infuse the green beans with nitrogen rich minerals for optimal nutrition.

While the beans and pods from green beans are the edible parts of the plant, they aren’t the only parts of a green bean plant! Green bean leaves can be green or purple, and the flowers of the green bean plant are white, pink or purple and often pollinated by insects.

A Green Bean By Any Other Name…

Green beans are also known as string beans or snap beans (although string beans aren’t as tasty!). In 1894, botanist Calvin Keeney successfully removed the string of some green bean species through selective breeding, earning him the nickname “father of the stringless bean.”

In addition to their many health benefits for humans, green beans also help plant health by killing fungi that are commonly responsible for various types of plant death.

How to Use and Cook Green Beans

The best way to get green beans is to find them loose at a local farmers market where you can buy organic. Choose green beans with a smooth texture and vibrant green color, free from brown spots and bruising. Good green beans are firm and should make a “snapping” sound when opened. You can keep unwashed, fresh green beans in a plastic bag in your refrigerator’s crisper for about seven days.

Green beans may also be frozen and still maintain a lot of their nutritional value. You can freeze the fresh beans you purchase for up to six months without decreasing their nutrition, although green beans nutrition at three months does start to decline somewhat by the time they get to six months frozen. It’s a good idea to steam the fresh green beans, allow them to cool and dry, then place them in the freezer. You can also purchase frozen green beans if buying fresh isn’t always an option.

When using green beans for cooking, run them under cold water, then snap or cut off the ends. One of the most common methods of preparation is to steam your green beans.

Green Bean Caution

While they have many benefits, there are a few cautions to consider when eating green beans regularly, one being the presence of oxalic acid (common in many green vegetables). This acid can crystallize and cause stones in the urinary tract. Always drink plenty of water to help reduce your risk, and consult your doctor if you have a history of oxalate urinary tract stones before consuming large amounts of green beans.

If you have conditions that cause mineral deficiency, you may want to limit your intake of green beans due to their small amount of phytic acid. You can also decrease phytic acid greatly by cooking your green beans and avoiding them raw if you suffer from one of these conditions.

It’s also possible to be allergic to green beans, as is true of all legumes. If you suspect you have a green bean allergy, stop eating them and consult your physician immediately.


Nearly everyone can benefit from eating green beans. Adults, children, athletes, and every day people alike. They are definitely a superfood to rely on regularly for vibrant health.

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