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Healthnotes Index:

Green Beans

Green Beans: Main Image

Buying Tips

Fresh green beans are available year-round; however, peak season is May to October. Baby green beans are extra-tender and choice. Canned and frozen green beans are available, too. When purchasing fresh green beans, choose those that are slender, crisp, bright colored, and blemish-free. A fresh green bean snaps crisply and feels velvety to the touch. Old beans are paler in color, bulging, and leathery or limp.


The most common varieties of green beans include plain green beans (Blue Lake is a good variety), Italian (flat Romano), purple-podded (indistinguishable from baby green beans when cooked), yard-long, and wax beans (which are usually pale yellow).

Many similar varieties are also available, including baby French, haricot, and Chinese long. Baby French and haricot beans are thinner and more tender than conventional long beans. Chinese long beans measure 12 to 14 inches (30.48–35.56cm) in length and are prepared the same as regular green beans.

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The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

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