We’re not hating on green beans, that’s not what’s happening here! We actually love them. We’re just saying that, alongside being delicious, green beans are more of a vegetable and less of a legume. Which of course, reflects in their nutritional value.
When we eat green beans, most of what we actually eat is the pod. The seeds are still green, young and fresh, which is a good thing, but in this case it also means less protein and iron and more, well, water.
100 grams of cooked green beans contain about 2 grams of protein. The same amount of some dried white beans contain almost 10 grams of protein! That’s why if protein and iron is what you’re looking for, dry beans are the best choice for you.
Also, keep in mind that paired with grain such as rice, fresh greens won’t provide all of the amino acids necessary for a complete protein, while dry beans will.
So green beans are more of a vegetable as we mentioned, and less of a legume, but they’re still a great vegetable! To prove that we're not just hating on them, here are a few interesting facts about green beans:
Green beans are native to America (north, south and central), but nowadays you’ll find them pretty much everywhere in the world. They grow year-round, so you’ll be able to enjoy them whenever you want but they’re at their best between May and October.
Are green beans good for you?
Even Though protein and iron, as we mentioned, are not their strong suits, green beans still pack a great nutritional value! One cup of green beans will contain only 35 calories, but also approximately 25% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C, 15% of vitamin A’s, and about 33% of the DRI for folic acid. It’s also a great source for dietary fiber!
What about how green and dried beans are actually made? Can any type of green beans turn into dried beans? Well, on paper yes, but in reality, not quite. It really depends on the type of seeds used.
Agriculturally green beans have been selected to grow pods quickly and then take a long time to mature, which gives them long shelf-life. Dry beans have been selected to mature quickly. Dry beans have also been selected so that the pods separate more easily from the seeds later on, but they’re not very edible as young beans because their pods tend to be too fibrous.
So dry or fresh, beans are cool, delicious, and definitely worth a spot on your plate!
This post was written with the aid of a professional nutritionist.