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The Health Benefits of Green Beans

The World’s Healthiest Foods has published on its website information on how green beans can be a healthy addition to your diet. Also known as “string beans” or “snap beans” this food packs a lot of healthy nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Originally from Peru, green beans spread throughout the Americas by Native Americans, and were first introduced to Europeans in the 16th century. Today, they are grown mainly in the United States, but are also raised in Mexico, Argentina, France, and Iraq. The beans are picked when they are immature, and are actually one of the few kinds of beans that can be eaten when fresh.  

Although they are green in color, these beans actually have similar nutrients found in carotenoid kinds of foods like tomatoes and carrots. These include:

  • Beta-carotene
  • Violaxanthin
  • Neoxanthin
  • Lutein

If fresh green beans aren’t available, the website says that frozen green beans are still a  healthy option. In fact, frozen green beans, when cooked, retain as much as 90% of their B2 and B6 vitamins.

Other nutrients contained in one cup of cooked green beans include:

  • Vitamin K
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin C
  • Folate
  • Copper
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Chromium
  • Phosphorus

Furthermore, green beans are an excellent source of fiber and contain antioxidants. They can be helpful in maintaining cardiovascular health, as well as preventing inflammation.

To prepare green beans, The World’s Healthiest Foods recommends first washing the beans, then flash steaming them for five minutes. Steaming allows you to cook the beans while maintaining the nutritional benefits, as opposed to boiling which can rob the food of its nutrients.

It should be noted that green beans contain oxalates, which when concentrated in bodily fluids, can crystalize. Therefore, people who have gallbladder problems or kidney issues shouldn’t eat green beans.  

Want to learn more about green beans, including their nutritional profile and serving ideas?

Read the full article here: Green Beans.