Green beans aren’t exactly the “coolest” vegetable of the hour, but there’s more to this crispy legume than meets the eye.
Also referred to as “snap beans” or “string beans,” green beans have been gracing dinner plates for centuries. Though we don’t usually give green beans as much attention as say, kale or sprouts, they are actually incredibly high in nutrients and even have some “superfood” qualities.
Green beans always seem to get pushed to side-dish status or shoved in a casserole with cream-of-something soup. We never think to eat green beans raw, but the thing is, they’re actually really easy to bite into and make a great snack on their own. We’re so used to having them cooked that we don’t even consider using them in place of our baby carrots. Seriously, green beans dipped in hummus is amazing and you’ll be happy knowing that you’re getting your “greens” in while you’re at it.
One thing you might not know about green beans is that they contain a very high amount of chlorophyll. Just try biting into a fresh one and you’ll be able to taste a grassy-green kinda flavor. This is what chlorophyll tastes like. The great thing about chlorophyll is that it’s known to counteract the carcinogenic effects of heterocyclic amines which can cause cancer and green beans have got plenty of chlorophyll, so don’t be shy when it comes to this cancer-fighting veg.
Another cool thing about green beans is that it contains about 20% of your daily vitamin K intake (per 1 cup serving). Vitamin K is crucial for bone health and a deficiency of this vitamin is often associated with a higher risk of bone fracture. No bueno.
Some other vitamins and minerals you can guarantee you’re getting when eating green beans are vitamin A as well as potassium, magnesium, iron, riboflavin, thiamine and folate.
From an energetic standpoint, green beans are considered to be a cooling food and are tolerated by all dosha types. They are also one of the few legumes that Vata-types can digest so if you’re a Vata-type, have at them beans! Green beans are best enjoyed by the body in the summer time, which is when the harvest is most abundant.
After hearing about all the crazy benefits of green beans, I decided to go “green” one morning and toss some into my daily juice, and man was it ever good! The second I pushed them down the shoot I was hit with the scent of freshly cut grass. I knew that whatever’s in those green beans, is going to be really cleansing for my body.
I juiced my green beans with a relatively neutral base of celery, cucumber and apple. The result was an extremely “fresh” tasting juice that tasted like a just-rained-on spring garden.
Here are the ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of raw green beans
2 medium green apples
4 stalks of celery
1 whole English cucumber
Press all ingredients through a centrifugal or masticating juicer. Alternatively, you could blend in a high-speed blender and then press through a cheesecloth. Drink immediately or store up to one day in the fridge.