Are green beans a vegetable?

In this short article, we will answer the question, “Are green beans a vegetable?” with an in-depth analysis of green beans, what are green beans, nutritional profile, health benefits, how much to be consumed per day, Do legumes count as vegetables, what is the difference between vegetables and legumes, recipes of green beans. 

Are green beans a vegetable?

Yes, green beans are classified as a vegetable. Green beans are also named string beans, snap beans which have a high content of vitamins A, C, and K, and folic acid and fibre. They are closely similar to snap peas and okra in nutritional benefits. 

Vegetables, which are less sweet and more savoury, are occasionally served as a main dish or side dish. Fruit is typically offered as a dessert, snack, or juice and has a sweet or sour flavour. So, green beans come under the category of vegetables.

 What are green beans?

The most often used bean, green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), is a legume that is grown all over the world. Bean refers to both the dry and the immature fruit. Various types of beans are used in the canning process. 

When the pod is fleshy and seeds are little and green then beans should be harvested. After this, the quality of seed development decreases, and the pod becomes concise and hard.

To maintain the post-harvesting quality, the optimum temperature required is 5–7.5 °C. The expected shelf life could be 8-12 days. The best quality appears to be gained at 4 °C, but a chilling injury is achieved that is noticeable on transfer to 20 °C. 

Mostly, the problem after harvesting green beans is water loss with the pods which shrinks and becomes saggy after about 5% weight loss.

The nutritional profile of green beans:

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, a regular cup of canned snap beans weighs around 150 grams and includes 28 calories and 0.55 grams of fat, 5.66 grams of carbohydrates, 2.6 grams of fibre, 1.94 grams of sugar and 1.42 grams of protein. 

When it comes to nutrients, it consists of 17 milligrams (mg) of calcium, 1.2 milligrams of iron, 18 milligrams of magnesium, 30 mg of phosphorus, 130 mg of potassium, 24 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A, 52.5 mcg of vitamin K, 32 micrograms of folate. 

Other nutrients included in green beans are thiamin, riboflavin, iron, magnesium, folate, and potassium.

Health benefits of green beans:

  • Vitamin C is abundant in green beans which strengthens the immune system.
  • They also have anti-ageing benefits.
  • Green beans also include antioxidants (flavonoids and carotenoids). They fight inflammation and aid in a variety of medical alignments such as gout.
  • Green beans are high in iron and are recommended as a healthy food choice during pregnancy and lactation.
  • Green beans contain high content of chlorophyll which may reduce the risk of cancer
  • The bone fracture could occur if an inadequate amount of vegetables are consumed which are the rich source of vitamin K.

How many vegetables are to be consumed per day?

The consumption of vegetables depends upon age, gender, and physical activity but the recommended amount for a healthy adult is to have at least 2-3 cups of vegetables per day.

Are legumes considered vegetables?

Legumes and vegetables both have similar nutritional benefits and are rich in fibre so beans and other legumes are mostly categorized as part of the vegetable food group.

Is there any difference between vegetables and legumes?

The word legumes come from the Latin word legumen meaning vegetables which are derived from different parts of the plant which include leaves, stems, roots, flowers, stems, and seeds. 

The seeds of the plants are legumes and we can have them in their immature forms like green peas and beans and can have mature forms such as chickpeas, dried peas, lentils, and beans. 

Green beans recipes:

One can have raw green beans to fill up, or try these ideas:

  • Boil or steam fresh green beans and mix them with grape tomatoes and vinegar
  • Mix fresh green beans in olive oil, freshly grounded pepper, and freshly-grated cheddar cheese, and roast at 425°F (218°C) until crisp-tender
  • Put blanched or steamed green beans into a green salad
  • Fry fresh green beans in olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice
  • Place fresh green beans into hummus or plain, low-fat yoghurt flavoured with fresh herbs

Conclusion:

In this short article, we have answered the question, “Are green beans a vegetable?” with an in-depth analysis of green beans, their nutritional profile as well as their health benefits, and some recipes for green beans.

References: 

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/285753
https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/green-beans
https://mashable.com/article/are-green-beans-fruit-or-vegetable

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.