Green beans are the unripe, young fruit of a variety of popular bean cultivars (Phaseolus vulgaris). Runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus), yardlong bean (Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis), and hyacinth bean (Lablab purpureus) pods that are immature or young are used in a similar way.
Green beans are known by a number of names, including “green beans,” which is a very popular and traditional way to refer to this remarkable leguminous vegetable. All of these names, including the word “green beans,” may have advantages and drawbacks. Green beans, for example, are not necessarily green! Yellow wax beans, purple bush beans, and even some purple/beige heirloom varieties like Dragon’s Tongue are all common “green bean” varieties.
Green beans are sometimes referred to as “snap beans” (or simply “snaps”) and “string beans.” If you’ve ever cut off the ends or broken the center of a fresh green bean, you’ll understand why these vegetables are called “snap beans.” When they’re fresh, they give an unmistakable snapping sound.
Green beans are perhaps best known for their tasty pods, regardless of what name is used to refer to them or why a specific name has been given. Although the pod gives green beans their distinctive appearance, the presence of the seeds that are sheltered within the pod can be visible because the seeds allow the pod to bulge slightly outward. At other stages, though, the green bean seeds are young enough to be visible along the pod’s outer surface. You can also hear green beans referred to as “edible pod beans.”
When it comes to colour, the majority of green beans you’ll find in the store are still green. Yellow beans, purple beans, and purple/beige beans, on the other hand, are just various types of green beans. New beans with edible pods are what we’re talking about in any situation. Any given green bean variety’s name can end up incorporating many aspects of its characteristics. A variation may be called a “purple bush bean,” “purple string bean,” or “yellow pole bean,” for example.
Types (Species) of Green Beans
Green beans come in different varieties/species. The following are some of the most common species of green beans:
- Beyond Green Beans
- Green Beans
- Haricots Verts
- Long Beans
- Purple String Beans
- Romano Beans
- Wax Beans
Beyond Green Beans
In essence, green beans, string beans, wax beans, and snap beans are the same thing. Small color and shape differences differentiate one form from another. Both of these green beans can be used interchangeably in most dishes. Larger beans, like Romanos, take longer to cook and have more texture and chew than skinnier beans, like Haricots Verts. Feel free to throw the beans around as long as you remember those specifics.
Green beans, also known as string beans or snap beans, are a type of green bean that is long and rounded. Wax beans are yellow varieties, and purple varieties are also available. While some heirloom varieties do have a fibrous “string” running down their sides, most commercial varieties have had the inconvenience bred out. Steamed green beans with a pat of butter and a pinch of salt are wonderful.
Haricots Verts is also known as filet beans or French green beans. This thin green beans are very delicate. They’re normally green, but there are yellow variations as well. Haricots Verts are widely regarded as the best of the green beans, and they are priced accordingly. We like to use them in salads after instantly blanching them.
These beans are often referred to as yard-long beans, but they belong to a different plant family than green beans. Apart from their unusual length, they have a taste and appearance comparable to green beans, and can be cooked in the same manner. For the best taste and tender texture, use long beans that are 12 to 18 inches long (longer versions can get tough).
Purple String Beans
Purple string beans are a purple variant of traditional green or wax beans. They lose their purple color when cooked, but use them raw or gently steam them before dipping them in ice water to keep as much color as possible.
Romano beans (also known as Italian green beans or flat beans) are a type of bean native to Italy. They’re normally flat and wide, with a strong flavor. Smaller ones are more delicate. The beans within the larger ones will be more developed. Romanos take a little longer to cook than other pole beans, but they have a richer taste. To bring out their nutty-sweet flavor, braise them.
Wax beans resemble green beans but are yellow in color. That’s pretty much the only distinction, so use them like every other green bean—just keep in mind that the final dish will be a different colour.
Historical Background (Origin) of Green Beans
The common bean’s wild ancestor (Phaseolus vulgaris) originated in what is now Mesoamerica and spread across South America. Around 8,000 years ago, domestication happened independently in Mesoamerica and South America.
When Christopher Columbus returned from his second journey to the New World in 1493, he brought Phaseolus vulgaris to the Old World for the first time.
North, South, and Central America are also home to green beans. Plant experts have confirmed that they are native to Mexico, as well as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Green beans have been connected to the native status of Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina, Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru in South America. Green beans have been naturalized and grown all over the world, and they are used in almost every cuisine.
Green beans are cultivated in exportable quantities in many countries around the world due to their diverse naturalization and production. China, India, and Indonesia in Asia and Southeast Asia; Turkey, Egypt, and Morocco in the Middle East and Northern Africa; France, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, and Greece in Europe; Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Costa Rica in Central America; Argentina in South America; and Mexico, Canada, and the United States in North America are among the world’s green bean production nations.
Nutritional (Composition) Value of Green Beans
Fruits and vegetables of all sorts can help to minimize the risk of a variety of health problems. Many studies have shown that having more plant foods in one’s diet, such as green beans, lowers the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and mortality. Fruit and vegetable consumption also encourages a healthier skin, improved stamina, and overall weight loss.
One regular cup of canned snap beans (about 150 grams) contains 28 calories, 0.55 gram of fat, 5.66 gram of carbohydrate, 2.6 gram of fiber, 1.94 gram of sugar, and 1.42 gram of protein, according to the USDA’s National Nutrient Database.
It contains 17 milligrams (mg) of calcium, 1.2 milligrams (mg) of iron, 18 milligrams (mg) of magnesium, 30 milligrams (mg) of phosphorus, 130 milligrams (mg) of potassium, 24 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A, 52.5 milligrams (mcg) of vitamin K, and 32 milligrams (mcg) of folate. One cup of drained dried snap beans, on the other hand, has 362 micrograms of sodium. Before using canned beans, consumers should wash them. Choose fresh or frozen green beans for cooking to provide the most nutrients and the least sodium. Folate, thiamin, riboflavin, iron, magnesium, and potassium are all contained in green beans.
The beans’ fiber quality aids in the prevention of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. The fiber helps with digestion, the calcium in the beans helps with bone health, and the lutein and zeaxanthin in the beans help with vision. The following are the health benefits of green beans:
- Combats Cancer
- Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases
- Helps in Controlling Diabetes
- Promotes Smooth Digestion
- Enhances Bones’ Health
- Helps in Weight Management
- Boosts Immunity
- Enhances Good Eyesight
- Helps Treat Depression
- Improves Pregnancy Outcomes
Bean consumption has been attributed to a lower risk of breast cancer in general. This may be due to the beans’ high fiber content. Green bean consumption can also reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. These beans are high in bioactive compounds that can help protect you from cancer. The gut bacteria ferment their non-digestible carbohydrates, resulting in anti-inflammatory effects.
These beans also have a low glycemic index, which has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer. Green beans are high in saponins, gamma-tocopherol, and phytosterols, all of which have anti-cancer effects. Green beans are high in chlorophyll, which has been linked to cancer prevention. Chlorophyll bonds to many cancer-causing molecules, preventing their absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. This will help to prevent cancer.
Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases
Greens beans are a member of the legume family, which has been attributed to a lower risk of coronary heart disease. Beans’ fiber and folate are responsible for this. They also contain vitamin B12, which helps lower plasma homocysteine levels when taken together. Homocysteine is a type of amino acid that occurs naturally in the body and has been related to heart disease.
Green beans contain magnesium, which can help to keep the heart healthy. Green beans (and other vegetables) contain fiber that can help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure while also improving blood vessel function. This would almost certainly benefit your spirit.
Helps in Controlling Diabetes
Green beans have been shown in studies to have positive physiological effects in diabetics. While vegetables in general are nutritious, those with a high starch content may not be suitable for diabetics. Green beans are a non-starchy vegetable (they contain less starch). They have less carbohydrates and are an excellent complement to a diabetic diet. A cup of beans a day, combined with a low-glycemic diet, can help diabetics lower blood sugar levels and reduce their risk of heart disease.
Promotes Smooth Digestion
The fiber in the beans is crucial for this purpose. Constipation is often attributed to a lack of fiber consumption. Fiber also improves bowel function in general. Beans contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, with insoluble fiber being the most prevalent (75 percent ). Fiber of this kind passes quickly through the digestive system. This not only encourages digestive hygiene, but it also aids in the prevention of most types of digestive cancer. Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms can be alleviated by eating green beans. This can be due to the beans’ fiber content.
Enhances Bones’ Health
Beans are a healthy source of calcium in general. Calcium has been shown to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Green beans are also high in vitamin K, a nutrient that is essential for healthy bones. Beans’ only drawback in this respect is their high phytate content. Beans include phytates, which can prevent the absorption of some nutrients, including calcium. Phytates, in other words, are anti-nutrients. The phytate content of the beans can be reduced by soaking them in water for a few hours before boiling them in fresh water.
Helps in Weight Management
Green beans are a low-calorie vegetable. A cup of steamed green beans has about 44 calories in it. They could be a good way to spice up your dinner. Green beans low calorie content can aid in this endeavor.
Green beans are high in carotenoids and a good source of vitamin A. A cup of green beans contains about 20% of the daily dose of vitamin A. This nutrient helps to reduce inflammation and strengthen your immune system.
Enhances Good Eyesight
Green beans are high in lutein and zeaxanthin, two essential antioxidants that help maintain good vision. These nutrients have been shown in studies to help reduce age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. In patients who are genetically predisposed to AMD, a higher intake of lutein and zeaxanthin will also help reduce the disease. Green bean lutein and zeaxanthin, which may help increase macular pigment optical density, may be responsible for these effects.
Helps Treat Depression
Fruit and vegetable consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of depression in general. Green beans are high in vitamin C and B vitamins, all of which have been linked to improved mental health. These results were found to be more pronounced when fresh fruits and vegetables were consumed. Beans are high in magnesium, zinc, and the amino acids glutamine and tyrosine in general. Both of these were discovered to improve mental wellbeing by increasing neurotransmitter output.
The protein in beans will also help to improve your body’s amino acid profile, which can help your brain function and mental health. Green beans also contain chromium, a mineral that aids in the treatment of stress and the maintenance of brain function.
Improves Pregnancy Outcomes
Green beans are high in folate, an essential vitamin for pregnant women. Folate is essential for the human body’s development of red blood cells. It also aids in the development of the embryo’s nervous system. Infants with enough folate have a lower chance of neural tube defects. Beans are one of the healthiest foods available. Green beans are high in vitamins and minerals and make a nutritious supplement to any meal.