Are Raw Green Beans Healthier Than Cooked?

Green beans are found across American plates. They go by many names, including snap beans, haricot verts, string beans, emotes, and French beans.

They also come in a wide variety, such as Blue Lake, which comes as a bush and a pole bean. Then there are contenders that are stringless and ideal if you love canning. But is eating raw green beans healthier than cooked or canned?


Raw green beans have a higher nutritional content, but it is healthier to eat them lightly cooked, such as steamed or blanched. Raw green beans are hard on the digestive system due to their lectins. However, raw green beans freshly cooked is healthier than canned ones.

green beans
green beans

A fun fact about green beans is that they’re not always green. They come in waxy yellow and purple too. People use them in various dishes and sometimes serve them as a casserole for holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. But how you prepare them does impact their nutritional content.


Are Raw Green Beans Healthier Than Cooked?

Raw green beans have slightly more folate and vitamin C than cooked ones. However, cooking makes them more digestible, raising the likelihood that the body extracts the nutrients. In addition, cooking them enhances their antioxidants, which are beneficial to our health.


The lectins in green beans, rendered inactive by heat, irritate the human digestive system when consumed raw. They are not poisonous; eating a few raw won’t bother most people.  But eating a full portion will upset gut health. Depending on the quantities and the person’s digestive sensitivity, reactions to raw green beans include:

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting


Can Raw Mung Beans Be Eaten?

Mung beans can be eaten raw, provided that they have sprouted. Unsprouted raw mung beans are too high in lectin to be eaten raw without risking digestive complaints. But eating sprouted raw mung beans is highly nutritious.


However, raw sprouts do come with a slight bacteria risk. It is lessened if you make your own, but not eliminated. Thus, many people like to at least lightly stir fry them before eating as it is safer.


How To Cook Raw Green Beans

Raw green beans can be cooked in a variety of ways. But unlike dried beans, they don’t require any major prep or soaking. Instead, trim off the bits you don’t want (such as the stems and the ends) and then give them a rinse.

How To Cook Raw Green Beans
How To Cook Raw Green Beans

Cooking them lightly preserves the most nutrition while enjoying the benefits of adding heat. Generally, wait for the color to pop and then taste. It should be tender yet still crunch.


Stir-frying or sautéing can be a very tasty way to prepare them. They are delicious with lemon and garlic mixed with olive oil or butter. Sesame or peanut oil is another flavorful oil that blends well with various seasonings.


If steaming, you probably don’t need to do it longer than 2 minutes. The only exceptions are when using the broad and large bean varieties, such as Romano.


Boiling doesn’t take much longer than steaming, around 4 minutes.


Baking green beans in a casserole will turn out badly unless they are blanched or boiled first. However, they can be roasted in olive oil or butter with seasoning for 14-16 minutes in an oven that was preheated to 425 F (218 C).


Microwaving is easy. Place them in a shallow microwavable dish with water covering only the first third to half of the bean. Seal, with saranwrap, pierced to vent steam. Then zap them for 2-4 minutes, deepening on your preference. Once cooked, toss with your favorite dressing or vinaigrette and herbs and spices.


How Do You Make Mung Bean Sprouts?

Mung bean sprouts are easy to make. Just be aware that they “grow.” Thus, multiply the quantity of dry by about 5, to get an idea of how much room they’ll take up when finished.

How Do You Make Mung Bean Sprouts?
How Do You Make Mung Bean Sprouts?


  1. Take your dried mung beans and give them a rinse in a colander or strainer.
  2. Find a jar or container that can handle up to 7 times more volume than your current amount of bean
  3. Add water. 1 cup of beans = 1 ½ cups water
  4. Secure a breathable cover, such as a paper towel or cheesecloth, over the container with a rubber band
  5. Wait 8-12 hours
  6. Rinse the beans and jar
  7. Place in the jar damp and recover, keeping in a cool place of 64-72 F (18-22 C)
  8. Rinse and replace 2-3 times a day. You want them damp but not sitting in water
  9. After 3-4 days, your mung beans will sprout
  10. Place sprouts in a sealed container or bag in the fridge
  11. Refrigerated sprouts should be consumed within 2 weeks.


What Are The Benefits Of Eating Mung Beans?

Mung beans are nutritionally beneficial. They are known for the following health properties:

  • Low calorie
  • High fiber
  • High in essential amino acids
  • Excellent source of plant-based protein
  • Vitamin A
  • Folate (B9) and other B vitamins
  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin E
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium


Sprouted mung beans are nutritionally similar to their whole counterpart. However, they do have fewer calories and less phytic acid. In addition, the protein content is slightly higher and easier to digest. The sprouting process also reduces the lectins, making them kinder to your digestive


In addition, mung beans contain antioxidants believed to lower LDL cholesterol, the cholesterol associated with heart disease. Studies have found they and other non-soy legumes can lower LDL by as much as 5%. Mung beans are also recommended for people trying to lower their blood pressure.  


Are Cooked Green Beans Low FODMAP?

Cooked green beans are low FODMAP provided the servicing size is 75 grams or smaller (around 15 standard green beans). Unlike regular beans, there is no soaking required. However, you should avoid eating them raw if you have IBS or other digestive issues.


Are Sprouted Mung Beans Low FODMAP?

Sprouted mung beans are low FODMAP. A safe serving size is 2/3 cup. However, sprouts, including mung bean varieties, are known for giving people gas.  Thus, some people with digestive sensitives still avoid them. However, others have found raising them before consumption helps reduce their gassy tendency.



Green beans and mung beans are beneficial foods for a healthy diet, including those on low FODMAP meal plans. Cooking green beans lightly will minimize the loss of nutrition while boosting the antioxidants. However, it is best not to eat them raw unless they are mung bean sprouts.

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