Green Beans vs String Beans: What’s the Difference
Unless you have extensive knowledge of different foods under your belt or have had long term experience working as a professional culinarian, it is only normal to be confused by the various names that certain foods are called. What you have always called green beans, you’re hearing them called string beans. Things like this can certainly cause head-scratching for the average person who isn’t a food expert; especially when trying to make distinctions between foods.
But in the case of green beans and string beans, there is no need to be confused as both are one and the same. Yup, that’s right! They are just different names for the same food. These beans are harvested when they are still immature and in their protective pods, and are typically bright green in color. Also, here’s an interesting fact for you: another name that they are occasionally called is snap beans!
Green Beans vs Runner Beans
Green beans/snap beans/string beans are, however, not to be mistaken as the same with runner beans. Although somewhat similar in appearance, runner beans are actually quite separate from green beans in that runner beans are larger in size. Apart from that, looking at how these plants grow, with green beans, when the seed starts to germinate, the first thing to appear from the ground is two halves of the seed. While in the case of green beans, the first things to spring from the ground are the stem and a set of leaves. In addition, runner beans usually produce relatively big, conspicuous flowers; around twenty in one stalk, that are bright orange (and sometimes red) in color); while green beans produce smaller and much less flashy flowers.
Benefits of Green Beans
Now that you know that there’s no difference between green beans and string beans, this is a great opportunity to let you know about the amazing benefits that these little pods of goodness have for you.
- Nutritional value
Did you know that one cup of green beans contains only 31 calories? Absolutely shocking. But it’s completely true! So you really can eat these superfoods until your heart’s content. And it only gets better. One cup of these beans contains literally zero fat, and only 3.6g of sugar, meaning that not only are green beans a low calorie addition to any meal, but they are also a low carb addition as well. Because of this, incorporating this food to your diet can help maintain your weight, or even lose weight when coupled with a healthy diet.
- Source of minerals and vitamins
Another great benefit of string beans is that they are an awesome source of essential minerals and vitamins. This food contains vitamin A, which is known for promoting a healthy immune system and great eyesight. It also contains vitamin C, which helps with the body’s manufacturing of collagen to promote healthy skin and bolsters the immune system. What’s more, vitamin B6 and K ensure good metabolism and liver function, as well as healthy skin and vision. Plus, green beans are a good source of manganese which helps boost your body’s metabolism and encourages quick healing of injuries. This food accommodates a whole lot of health supplements and can be an amazing companion to your daily meals.
- Source of protein
This is yet another advantage of eating green beans. It can be a good source of protein! Now green beans are a plant and only contain plant protein. This means they lack certain amino acids that are typically found in other non-plant foods, which the body still requires to function optimally. However, this doesn’t prevent green beans from being of value to you, because when eaten with other non-plant sources of protein foods, the combination provides complete proteins that are beneficial to the body. And it is no secret that proteins are essential in order to sustain muscles, strengthen bones, and maintain healthy organs.
- Reduces cholesterol
While the body needs a healthy amount of cholesterol for cell production, high cholesterol is never good. Green beans have zero cholesterol, low sodium and a cup has about 2.7g of fiber, which can help lower bad cholesterol in the body, and foster a healthy heart.
How Can Green Beans Be Prepared?
So, with the confusion cleared and benefits stated, green beans are a wonderful food that can be integrated into a lot of meals, and can be eaten raw, steamed, sautéed, added to salads, or even incorporated to soups and stews.