Green beans

To find out all there is to know about vegetables, health and nutrition.

Scientific Name

Phaseolus vulgaris Linneaus (Fabaceae family)

Common name

Green beans
Green beans

Varieties and seasons

The harvest lasts from June to October in the South, and August to September in the North. That’s why green beans are available throughout the year, in jars, cans or frozen.

These leguminous vegetables are consumed before maturity: the finer they are, the less you will feel the seeds.

Several varieties are grown: French filet beans (very long pods), “mange tout” beans, including a yellow variety called “butter beans”, and different hybrids.

Depending on the maturity of the green beans, they are known as extra fine, very fine and fine. Their nutritional content changes slightly during the maturing period and, with time it is essentially their fibre content that increases.

The weather conditions during the development and maturing of the string beans has a major impact on their nutritional content: during heatwaves, the plants develop fibre and enhance their nutritional and taste benefits. Under normal weather conditions, the water content of the plants is higher and the beans are are more tender and less fibrous.

Creating a vegetable garden

Production

The main producers in the world are China, Indonesia, Turkey, India. The main European exporters are France (28.9 %), the Netherlands (23.1%), Belgium-Luxembourg (19.1%), Italy (11.6 %) and Germany (10.2 %). France is producing 50 % of the European production: 85,000 tonnes for the fresh consumption & 310,000 tonnes for the  industry.

Consumption

The green bean is the most frequently consumed canned and frozen vegetable in France with almost 4 kg per person and per year, without counting green beans grown in individual gardens (where it is one of the top vegetables)!

Nutritional values (per 100 g)

Raw*

Cooked*

Frozen**

Tinned**

RDI***

Energy

24 kcal

24 kcal

31.6 kcal

24.8 kcal

Proteins

2.1 g

1.8 g

2 g

1.4 g

Carbohydrates

3.6 g

3.9 g

5.4 g

4.2 g

Fat

0.2 g

0.2 g

0.23 g

0.27 g

Fibres

3.1 g

3 g

2.8 g

1.8 g

30 g

Sodium

4 mg

3 mg

33.7 mg

298 mg

Potassium

243 mg

240 mg

nd

nd

2,000 mg

Provitamin A

340 µg

336 µg

nd

382 µg

4,800 µg

Vitamin C

16 mg

10 mg

4 mg

3.6 mg

80 mg

Vitamin B5

0.9 mg

0.07 mg

6 mg

Vitamin B9

70 µg

45 µg

36 µg

52.5 µg

200 µg

Lutein+Zeaxanthin****

640 µg

709 µg

* Ciqual 1995 ** Bonduelle data *** Recommended Daily Intake ****USDA nd : undetermined

Nutritionist’s advice

Green beans are low in calories, and a source of fibre essential to ensure regular bowel movements.

They are an important source of vitamins C and B9. The first is vital for the formation and maintenance of connective tissues; it is also a highly effective antioxidant in protecting the cornea, skin, and tissues. The second – vitamin B9 or Folate – is required by cells to grow and multiply: it is recommended for women hoping to get pregnant, children and anyone whose body requires cellular renewal (during growth or convalescence, etc.).

Physiotherapist’s advice

Green beans contain fibres, the thickness of which depends directly on their maturity (extra fine = extra soft fibres; very fine = very soft fibres).

This fibre is easily absorbed even by the delicate digestive systems, such as those of small babies. In fact, green beans, along with carrots and peas, are among the first vegetables given to babies.

When it comes to portions...?

- a child portion : two little handfuls

- an adult portion : two big handfuls

Cooking and nutrition: tasty combinations

-Green beans, parsley and grilled meat: the vitamin contained in the parsley and green beans makes it easier to absorb the iron in the meat, while providing a nutritionally balanced meal (carbohydrates/fat/protein).

-Green beans, chicken liver or confit of gizzards and diced tomato salad. This is an excellent cocktail to protect the skin and tissues, thanks to the vitamins contain in the green beans, the proteins in the liver and gizzards, the iron and group B vitamins in the liver, and the provitamin A and antioxidant of the tomatoes.

 >> See all of the foundation’s recipes

Tip

Green beans get stringy if the plant has been stressed because of a heat wave, lack of water etc. Current growing techniques have now eliminated stringiness to a very large extent.

Additional info

Green beans contain soft fibre that everyone can digest easily. A serving of green beans (about 200 g) provides around 18 to 25% of your daily fibre needs, 15% of your provitamin A requirement, 12 to 25% of your vitamin C needs and 35 to 50% of your vitamin B9 requirement.

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