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What Are the Benefits of Eating Raw Green Beans?

Green beans, also known as French beans, string beans, snap beans, or snaps are the unripe fruit and protective pods of various cultivars of the common bean. Although the beans inside a green bean are always green, the pods can be gold, purple, red or streaked, according to the California Department of Public Health. Raw green beans, also called string beans, provide a nutritious snack that is low in calories and has a wide array of vitamins and minerals. Cooking removes some of their nutrients, so eating them raw is more beneficial.

Weight Control and Macronutrients
A cup of raw green beans weighing 100 grams, has 31 calories and 2.7 grams of fiber. If you are trying to maintain your current weight or lose weight, raw green beans can help fill you up without excessive calories. Because they contain seeds, they also have 1.83 grams of protein. Although green beans are sweet to the taste, they only contain 3.26 grams of natural sugars per cup, making them a safe snack for diabetics.

Each cup of raw green beans provides about 1/6 of the vitamin C you need each day; boosting your intake of this antioxidant helps keep your cells healthy. It also has 1/7 of your recommended daily intake for vitamin K, a nutrient that promotes proper blood clotting and plays a role in your bone metabolism. Raw green beans contain small amounts of vitamins A and E, as well as the B-vitamins, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate and B-6.

Essential Minerals
If you are a man, a cup of raw green beans provides 1/8 of the iron you need each day. Women, who need more iron, get about six percent of their daily requirement of iron in a cup of green beans. Iron helps carry oxygen throughout your body and benefits your immune function and energy metabolism. Raw green beans also provide five to 10 percent of your recommended daily intake for calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, adding modest, supplemental amounts of these essential minerals.

Raw Vs. Cooked
Boiling green beans depletes them of some of their nutrients, particularly minerals and vitamin C. A 100-gram serving of cooked green beans has about the same amount of protein, B-vitamins and vitamins A and E as raw green beans, but cooking green beans causes them to lose 30 percent of their potassium, iron and magnesium, and 20 percent of their vitamin C content.

Source: Healthy Eating

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