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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Calories >>  Green Beans

Calories In Green Beans

Green beans are also known as string beans or snap beans. These are bright green beans that add a delicious crunch to any dish. Green beans are best consumed from summer to early fall though they may be available at your local market around the year. According to the USDA, there are 22 calories in one serving of green beans (equivalent to half cup).

Apart from being a low-fat addition to any meal, green beans are also rich in nutrients:

  • Green beans are a good source of the mineral silicon that is important for bone health and the development of tissue.
  • Green beans are rich in both flavonoids and carotenoids such as lutein, beta-carotene, catechins, quercetin and epicatechins.
  • Vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K are all found in green beans.
  • Additionally, they contain manganese, iron, calcium, phosphorus, copper and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Green beans are an important source of dietary fiber and folates, vitamin B6 and vitamin B1.
  • To sum it up, green beans are low in fat, have no cholesterol and low in sodium. On the other hand, they are high in dietary fiber, minerals, vitamin A and C, and vitamin B6.
    They are also relatively high in sugar as compared to some other vegetables.

Calories in 1 cup of green beans

There are 31 calories in one cup of fresh green beans with the nutrient content as follows:

1.83 grams of protein
2.7 dietary fiber grams
6.97 carb grams
37 mg calcium
1.03 mg of iron
12.2 mg of Vitamin C

Calories In A Can Of Green Beans

Aside from buying fresh green beans, you can also find them in the canned food aisle in your supermarket. When buying canned green beans, look out for those with a low sodium content. Half a cup of canned green beans are approximately 22 calories.

Calories In Boiled Green Beans

There are 44 calories in a cup of boiled or steamed green beans. If you add any dressing or sauce to these beans, the calorie count will increase accordingly.

Side Effects Of Green Beans

The big concern about green beans is the amount of oxalates they contain. Oxalates occur naturally in a number of plants and animals and in humans as well. When the amount of oxalates increases in body fluids, it can lead to crystallization and a number of associated health problems. For example, people who suffer from kidney or gallbladder problems should avoid eating foods high in oxalates such as green beans. Recent research also indicates that oxalates may interfere with the absorption of calcium in the body. However, there is not sufficient evidence to support these claims. The common consensus is as long as you are in good health, the benefits of eating moderate amounts of green beans far outweighs these minor health side effects. That said, one way of minimizing the risk of stones developing in the urinary tract is by drinking plenty of liquids and maintaining a normal output of urine.

Tips On Green Beans Intake

When buying green beans, try and buy them loose so that you can sort through the bunch and choose the best quality beans. Farmer’s markets and stores that sell organic produce are your best bet when buying fresh vegetables. The best quality green beans are those that are a vibrant green in color, are smooth to touch and do not have any bruises or brown spots. When broken, green beans should have a nice ‘snap’ and a firm texture as a measure of freshness.

Storage tips - Whole, unbroken, and unwashed beans should be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator until use. When kept this way, beans should keep for about a week. Green beans also freeze well, so if you don’t have access to fresh green beans year round you can either buy them frozen or store them in the freezer for later use. Studies show that freezing does not affect the nutrient content in green beans for at least three to six months. Keeping this in mind, it is recommended that you use frozen beans after three months to make the most of their nutritional benefits. There is therefore no restriction on when to consume green beans. The recommended intake of green beans ranges between half to one cup in your meal. This provides you with all the necessary nutrients and health beans the vegetable has to offer.

Healthy ways to consume green beans include steaming or sautéing. Steaming is by far the healthiest option when serving most vegetables and green beans are no exception. Simply wash green beans under running water, snap off both ends and place in a steamer. Steam the beans in boiling water for five minutes for optimum crunch and eat plain or tossed in your favorite salad.

Submitted on January 16, 2014