The Health Benefits of Green Beans

April 1, 2008

green beans

Brief History of Green Beans

Green beans, sometimes known as string beans, snap beans or French beans in the UK, are the green or unripe fruits of all beans including the common bean. French beans have been used since ancient times in the treatment of diabetes.

China is the world’s largest producer of green beans, with Indonesia, Turkey and India other top producing countries.

In comparison to the dried bean varieties, the green bean offers less protein and more fiber and other nutrients.

Green beans are an ideal vegetable for adding to Asian dishes such as stir fries and green curries.

Cooking reduces the amount of vitamin C in green beans but does not affect vitamin A content. The best way to cook green beans is to steam them very quickly so that they retain their vitamin C.

Nutrients in Green Beans

Green beans are an excellent source of manganese, vitamin K and vitamin C. They are very good source of dietary fiber, potassium, iron, folate, and vitamin A. They are a good source of calcium, protein, magnesium, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, and copper.

green beans (raw) Nutritional value per
100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 129 kJ (31 kcal)
* Carbohydrates 7.1 g
Dietary fiber 3.6 g
* Fat 0.1 g
* Protein 1.8 g
* Vitamin C 16 mg
* Iron 1 mg
Potassium 200 mg
A comprehensive breakdown of nutrients can be found in the Nutrition Database where this food can also be added to a meal planner.

Green Beans for Osteoporosis Prevention

Green beans and other green vegetables are a very good source of vitamin K, which plays an important role in bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis. Several studies have demonstrated that vitamin K deficiency is associated with low bone mineral density, and an increase in bone fractures. Vitamin K supplementation and an increase in consumption of vitamin K rich foods such as green beans have been shown to improve bone health. In one 3-year double blind placebo controlled study, 181 healthy postmenopausal women showed reduced bone loss of the femoral neck after vitamin K supplementation.

Green Beans as a Diuretic

The pods of the green bean are a medium strength diuretic, stimulating urine flow and the flushing of toxins from the body.

Green Beans for Eczema

Powdered beans may be dusted on areas of weeping eczema to relieve itching and help dry the skin.

Glycemic Index of Green Beans

In a study to determine the estimated glycemic index of various foods, it was concluded that green beans have a low GI of 15.

1. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno.
2. Benders’ Dictionary of Nutrition and Food Technology.
3. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.
4. Bügel S. Vitamin K and bone health in adult humans. Vitam Horm. 2008;78:393-416. PMID: 18374202.
5. Braam LA, Knapen MH, Geusens P, Brouns F, Hamulyák K, Gerichhausen MJ, Vermeer C. Vitamin K1 supplementation retards bone loss in postmenopausal women between 50 and 60 years of age. Calcif Tissue Int. 2003 Jul;73(1):21-6. PMID: 14506950.
6. Foster-Powell K, Holt SH, Brand-Miller JC. International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Jul;76(1):5-56. PMID: 12081815
7. Andrew Chevallier. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants

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  1. laine

    November 22, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    very informative

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