Canned green beans make a healthful addition to your diet. They help you increase your nutrient intake and, because they have such a long shelf life, you don't need to worry about spoilage the way you would with fresh beans. Green beans' nutritional profile includes several of the nutrients you need to maintain healthy tissue function.
Calories and Carbohydrates
One cup of canned green beans contains 35 calories. The majority of these calories come from carbohydrates, of which there are 6.8 grams per cup. They're naturally low in sugar -- one cup contains only 1.2 grams of sugar, in a combination of sucrose, glucose and fructose. One cup also contains 1.5 grams of starch and 3.5 grams of fiber, which is 13 percent of the recommended daily intake for women.
Protein and Fat
Green beans are low in protein and fat. One cup contains only 1.8 grams of protein. This protein is made up of trace of amounts of 18 different amino acids, such as leucine and alanine. Like all plant products, green beans are not a complete source of protein because they do not contain all of the essential amino acids. A cup of green beans also contains only .17 grams of fat.
Canned green beans contain a wide variety of essential minerals. One cup contains 1.33 milligrams of iron, which provides 7 percent of the DRI for women and 17 percent for men. One cup contains a significant amount of manganese as well, providing 17.3 percent of the DRI for women and 13.6 percent for men. One cup of canned green beans also supplies 8.5 percent of the DRI for potassium and 6.7 percent of the DRI for copper, as well as smaller amounts of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.
Green beans' nutritional profile also includes essential vitamins. Each cup of beans contains 770 international units of vitamin A, or 15 percent of the daily value, as well as 16 percent of your daily value of folate. The vitamin A in beans supports visual health, while folate helps support new cell growth and promotes cardiovascular health.
Green bean's major nutritional drawback is related to its sodium content. One cup of standard green beans contains 16.7 percent of the DRI for sodium, making them relatively high in salt. Consuming canned green beans in a high-sodium diet contributes to chronic diseases, including kidney disease and cardiovascular diseases. Look for low-sodium canned beans, where available, or opt for fresh green beans, which are naturally low in sodium.
Canned green beans contain numerous water-soluble vitamins. One cup contains 12.3 percent of the DRI for folate, which is a B vitamin important for protein metabolism and the prevention of some types of anemia. One cup also provides over 7 percent of the DRI for vitamin C and riboflavin, as well as smaller amounts of thiamine, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6 and choline.
While canned beans provide no vitamin D, less than 1 percent of vitamin E and less than 5 percent of vitamin A, they do provide a significant amount of vitamin K. One cup supplies 59.5 g mcg of vitamin A, which is 66 percent of the DRI for women and 50 percent of the DRI for men.
- green beans image by agno_agnus from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.