Green beans are a delicious and healthy vegetable that forms part of a healthy and balanced diet.
This small but mighty bean also goes by a variety of names such as string beans, snap beans, emotes, french beans, or haricots verts.
Whatever you call them, you might be wondering whether they are safe or healthy to eat raw.
In this article, we will look at whether green beans are safe to consume before they have been cooked.
Can You Eat Green Beans Raw?
The short answer to this question is yes, you can eat green beans raw.
However, there is a somewhat large caveat that comes with that answer.
Consuming raw green beans should be absolutely fine when done in small quantities, preferably alongside other food.
However, consuming raw green beans can have some uncomfortable side effects that some people may want to avoid.
Consuming a large quantity of raw green beans can result in feelings of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and bloating.
While these are not likely to be serious, they are uncomfortable and inconvenient.
Are Raw Green Beans Toxic?
As we mentioned above, there can be some unpleasant effects from consuming raw green beans.
This can lead some people to believe that they are toxic.
Technically, those people would be right, but only to a certain extent.
You will not be poisoning yourself if you choose to consume raw green beans.
When eaten in small quantities, raw green beans cause little to no problems for your health or digestive tract.
In fact, raw green beans can actually be quite good for you as they contain vitamin C, folates, and antioxidants.
When you cook green beans, some of these nutrients are lost.
The component that causes the issues when you consume a large amount of green beans is lectins.
Lectins are natural antifungal and insecticides for plants which is very useful.
However, lectins are resistant to the digestive enzymes in your digestive tract.
Because of this, they bind to the cells in your digestive tract.
This is what causes the unpleasant side effects.
Too many lectins in your system can also cause damage to your gut cells and affect the good bacteria in your gut.
They can also lead to issues with absorbing nutrients from the food you eat which can cause other health issues.
Are There Benefits To Eating Green Beans Raw?
Despite the downsides to eating large amounts of green beans mentioned above, there are some potential health benefits to eating these mighty beans.
Below are some of the main health benefits of eating these beans raw.
High In Fiber
Raw green beans are incredibly high in fiber.
Cooked green beans also contain an impressive amount of fiber but the overall amount is lessened by the cooking process.
The high fiber content of raw green beans helps to keep your bowels and digestive system healthy.
The more fiber you have in your diet, the more regular and healthy your bowel movement will be.
This helps to maintain the good bacteria in your gut.
Raw green beans can also be beneficial in preventing uncomfortable issues such as constipation.
Rich In Magnesium
Another great benefit of eating raw green beans is the high magnesium content they possess.
The magnesium in raw green beans helps to regulate your body’s nervous system.
It can also help your body to produce new proteins that it needs to function properly.
People who consume enough magnesium also report feeling as though they have more energy.
It is because of this that some top athletes have been reported to consume raw green beans before workouts and competitions to help boost their endurance.
Very Vitamin Dense
Raw green beans are also bursting with a variety of different vitamins that all contribute to a healthy body.
The vitamins that are most prevalent in raw green beans are vitamins A, K, and C.
Vitamin A is known to help keep your eyesight clear and sharp.
This is particularly useful as you age. It is also great at supporting your immune system to protect you against common illnesses.
Vitamin K is known to help with blood clotting.
This can be particularly helpful if you are prone to scrapes and injuries at work or in daily life.
This is another thing that can be useful with age as the skin becomes thinner and more delicate.
Finally, vitamin C helps to boost your immune system to protect against colds and other illnesses.
It also helps to keep your skin looking and feeling supple and free from fine lines and wrinkles.
Vitamin C has also been linked to the prevention of certain cancers.
Is Cooking Green Beans Bad?
Cooking green beans isn’t bad.
In fact, it can help to avoid the unpleasant side effects of eating too many raw green beans.
When you cook green beans, you can enjoy a larger quantity of them without suffering from nausea or bloating.
However, as with all vegetables, the cooked version of the vegetable has a slightly deflated nutrient profile when compared to the raw version.
This is because the heat used in cooking breaks down some of the nutrients.
If you are concerned about the nutritional value of cooked green beans but are wary of consuming raw green beans, you can save the water that the beans were boiled in and drink it when it has cooled to ensure that you make the most of all the nutrients.
Frequently Asked Question
Are Cooked Or Raw Green Beans Healthier?
Raw green beans have a higher nutritional value than cooked beans due to the effect of the heat used during cooking.
However, cooked green beans do not produce bloating or nausea like they do when they are raw.
Raw green beans are fine to eat in reasonable amounts.
There are some unpleasant side effects that can come with eating too many raw green beans.
You can avoid these by eating small amounts or by cooking the beans prior to eating.
- 1 1/2 pounds green beans fresh & trimmed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Set aside a baking sheet lightly coated with nonstick spray.
- Coat the green beans in the olive oil, then add the parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper and mix to coat.
- Bake for 15 minutes in an equal layer on a baking sheet. Flip the green beans with a spatula and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until tender. Keep warm.