Juicing has become an increasingly popular way to get more vitamins and nutrients into your diet. With the wide variety of fruits and vegetables available, there are tons of options for making delicious and nutritious juice combinations. Some people have wondered if raw string beans can be juiced and whether doing so is beneficial or not. In this article, we’ll take a comprehensive look at juicing string beans, including the potential benefits and downsides.
Nutritional Profile of String Beans
First, let’s examine the nutritional makeup of string beans. Also known as green beans, snap beans or pole beans, string beans are a rich source of various vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Here’s an overview of the main nutrients found in 1 cup (125 grams) of raw green beans (1):
|Vitamin C||14% DV|
|Vitamin K||16% DV|
|Vitamin A||6% DV|
As you can see, string beans are low in calories and high in fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, manganese and folate. The fiber and nutrients in the beans support digestive and heart health, bone strength and immune function (1, 2).
Nutrients Retained When Juicing String Beans
When you make juice out of string beans, many of the nutrients get extracted into the liquid. For example, the vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese are soluble in water and juiceable. However, the fiber is removed when you extract the liquid from the string bean pulp.
Here’s a comparison of the nutrients in 1 cup (125 grams) of whole raw string beans versus 1 cup (240 ml) of raw string bean juice (1, 3):
|Nutrient||Whole (125g)||Juice (240ml)|
|Vitamin C||14% DV||14% DV|
|Vitamin K||16% DV||19% DV|
|Manganese||12% DV||12% DV|
While juicing results in some loss of fiber and calories, the vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese levels remain constant or become more concentrated in the juice. However, some fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A are not present in high amounts in the juice.
Potential Benefits of Juicing String Beans
There are a few reasons why someone may want to juice string beans. Here are some of the touted benefits:
- Increased vitamin and mineral intake: Juicing string beans can provide a concentrated dose of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese.
- Supports hydration: The high water content of string bean juice can help hydrate the body.
- Easy to digest: Removing the pulp makes the nutrients easier to absorb, especially for those with digestive issues.
- Kid-friendly: Children who don’t enjoy eating vegetables may be more inclined to drink string bean juice.
The increased nutrient availability is one of the main proposed benefits. Additionally, drinking the juice makes it simple to get veggies into picky eaters.
Downsides to Juicing String Beans
On the other side, there are some downsides associated with juicing string beans:
- Loss of fiber: The insoluble fiber is removed, which can increase risk of constipation.
- Reduced satiety: The juice may be less filling than eating the whole vegetable.
- Missing nutrients: Some nutrients are not extracted into the juice, such as B vitamins and vitamin A.
- Phytic acid: Beans contain phytic acid, which can block mineral absorption. Juicing may increase exposure to this compound.
The most notable disadvantage is the removal of fiber during juicing. The loss of fiber can impact digestive health. Additionally, some nutrients are not retained in the juice as well as when string beans are eaten whole.
How to Juice String Beans
If you want to try making string bean juice, follow these simple steps:
- Wash fresh string beans thoroughly under running water.
- Trim the ends and cut into pieces or leave whole.
- Run beans through a juicer according to manufacturer’s directions.
- Store juice in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours.
- Drink immediately for best quality and taste.
When preparing string beans for juicing, select fresh, crisp beans without brown spots. You can juice them alone or combine with fruits and veggies like kale, apple, lemon or ginger.
Here is a nutrient comparison of 1 cup (240 mL) servings of some mix-and-match options (3, 4, 5):
|Juicecombo||Vitamin C||Vitamin K|
|String beans||14% DV||19% DV|
|String beans + Kale||230% DV||1,062% DV|
|String beans + Lemon||100% DV||19% DV|
|String beans + Apple||15% DV||19% DV|
Adding kale or lemon can boost levels of vitamin C and vitamin K. Apples add sweetness to balance out the veggie flavors.
Alternatives to String Bean Juice
While string bean juice provides some key nutrients, there are alternatives that offer similar benefits without the downsides:
- Eat whole string beans: Retains fiber and nutrients that juicing removes.
- Try other vegetable juices: Beet, carrot and celery juice have less phytic acid.
- Make a smoothie: Blending retains fiber that juicing strips.
- Eat beans: Mung beans and lentils have vitamin K, fiber and protein.
- Take a supplement: A multivitamin can provide key nutrients missing from juice.
The most nutrient-dense option is eating whole vegetables and beans. Smoothies and supplements are other alternatives to obtain the benefits of string bean juice.
Juicing raw string beans can provide benefits like increased vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese intake. However, there are some downsides, including loss of fiber and other nutrients. While drinking string bean juice isn’t harmful for most people, there are healthier alternatives to obtain the same nutrients. Eating whole beans and greens may be your best option overall.
As with any dietary change, talk to your healthcare provider to see if juicing string beans is right for your needs and health status.