Can you eat green beans raw?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you eat green beans raw” and provide answers on their benefits as well as the possible side effects. 

Can you eat green beans raw?

Yes, you can eat green beans raw. Green beans, also known as string beans, can be consumed raw but it does come with some disadvantages. It could cause nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea. Since it is a legume, there is a tendency for people to worry about eating them raw because it could be toxic. 

Legumes like green beans can be eaten raw because they retain all the nutrients in the raw state and they are easy to eat. All that is done is that they are washed thoroughly and eaten either directly or are added to salads. 

Why should you avoid raw green beans?

Green beans contain a carbohydrate-binding protein called lectin. All beans contain lectin because they act as a natural insecticide. When eaten raw, the lectins present in green beans can lead to issues in the digestive system and cause vomiting or diarrhoea. Therefore, cooking them can contribute to the reduction of lectin levels. It is safe to say that lectins are anti-nutrients. 

Consuming an excess of these green beans can result in the reduction of absorption of minerals because they contain phytic acid. Phytic acid binds to the minerals necessary for your dietary needs.  

Raw vs. cooked?

It is important to understand the fact that the dose makes the poison. Although eating raw green beans has its drawbacks and there are conflicting opinions on it, the number of raw beans consumed should be considered. Eating them in small quantities is generally safe. Folates, lutein (antioxidants) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) are nutrients present in green vegetables like green beans. 

Research shows that cooking green beans reduces the levels of folates and vitamin C. However, antioxidants like lutein are not impacted by cooking green beans. Although folates and vitamin C are lost in the process of cooking, it should be noted that cooking can increase digestibility and enhanced its taste. 

What are the benefits of raw green beans?

Rich in fiber content

Consumption of dietary fibre is essential to improve gut health. Eating green vegetables like green beans can improve satiety (the feeling of being full). As a result of which, hunger pangs can be controlled and they can aid in weight loss.

Rich in Vitamin A, C and K

Raw green beans contain abundant amounts of vitamin A. Foods rich in vitamin A can help improve eyesight and the immune system. Green beans are full of antioxidants like lutein and beta carotene. Vitamin C is essential for improving the immune system, getting rid of wrinkles and preventing cancer. Vitamin K can prevent the clotting of blood. 

Rich in Magnesium 

Raw green beans are rich in magnesium. Magnesium provides energy to the body, creates new proteins and regulates the nervous system. It may also improve your endurance during a workout. 

Can you lose weight by eating green beans?

As discussed earlier, raw green beans can contribute to the feeling of being full. This is due to the presence of dietary fibres. They also contain fewer calories. So you can eat them guilt-free without consuming those extra calories. There are approximately 31 calories in a cup (2.7 g). They are also low in sugar. Including this in a balanced diet with all the essential nutrients can lead to weight loss and keep you and your gut healthy. 

How to prepare green beans?

If you decide to consume green beans by cooking them instead of eating them raw, here are a few ways to prepare them properly

  • The first step is to thoroughly clean the green beans and drain out the excess water and debris.
  • Steaming: Add green beans to a steamer and cover it. Ensure the heat is not high and that the water covers the beans by 1-2 inches. Also, ensure that the water starts boiling so that the beans are cooked properly.
  • Broiling: Broiling can also be employed to cook the beans. Begin by preheating the oven and then placing them on a cookie sheet with aluminium foil. Once cooked, use them in your salad.
  • Microwave: Add some water to the green beans in a microwave-safe bowl and ensure that it is covered with a plastic wrap. Next, heat it for 3 mins and serve it hot with some salad. 
  • Boiling: Another simple method is to place the green beans in a cooking pot full of water and heat them until the water boils. 

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you eat green beans raw” and provided answers on their benefits as well as the possible side effects. 

If you have any comments or questions please let us know.


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