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Raw green beans

beate64beate64 Raw Newbie

Hi there, I tried out yesterday the delicious recipe listed here with raw beans and ginger. It was awesome, but… my green beans I picked were already a bit advanced and many of them had big seeds in their pods. I added some other ingredients (swiss chard, mushrooms, peppers) to them, put them into a ziplock bag like it was suggested and tried by one poster and had them for 2 hours in the dehydrator.

We liked the recipe, but the green beans seemed a bit hard to eat, so we just had a few. I have had maybe a handful.

Well, I tell you, after 1 short hour I became dizzy, my stomach bloated like crazy to a balloon, I’ve had cramps, thought I needed to vomit but couldnt. It was terrible! The worst stomach ache I’ve ever had… and my night was one big nightmare, and yes, I’ve had also nightmares on top of it.

Well, I got taught that raw green beans are toxic and should not be eaten but with all those delicious recipes I gave it a try… Well, after researching this topic in a few languages I came up with some good info I like to share and please give me your input on it.

Maybe it is easier to eat the tender fresh and early beans and maybe some people can just take it better, but the matter of fact is that there is a poison in and it cant be talked away:

A toxic compound – the lectin phytohaemagglutinin – found in the bean can cause severe gastric upset. This protein, lectin, binds itself with the red blood cells and can clump those. These molecules also stick to the colon and can produce severe metabolism problems.

This compound is present in many varieties of green beans (and in some other species of bean), but is especially concentrated in red kidney beans and white kidney beans (Cannellini beans). Although in the case of dry beans the ten minutes required to degrade the toxin is much shorter than the hours required to fully cook the beans themselves, outbreaks of poisoning have been associated with the use of slow cookers whose low cooking temperatures may be unable to degrade the toxin. Sprouts of pulses high in haemaglutins should not be eaten. Kidney beans, especially, should not be sprouted.

After a certain amount is consumed, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach and intestinal cramps occur. Toxic reactions appear quickly, usually 1-3 hours after consumption, and disappear 3-4 hours after the meal.

I know many of you eat raw green beans, but maybe some other varieties are better to eat and/or it is different when they are very young and tender.

Anyway, I have had those exact reactions and still have a bloated stomach the night after and dont feel quite right yet.

I like to have your input on this topic. Thanks so much.



  • beanybeeganbeanybeegan Raw Newbie

    Was going to dry my small french yellow beans but will forgo it. Thanks for the information. I really don’t like raw green beans but this one brand is not to bad. Probably wont plant them next year. .

  • Thanks for sharing that info! I hope you get to feeling better real soon!

  • beate64beate64 Raw Newbie

    Hey, thanks for the good wishes :)) I am somewhat better now, but it took me until the evening when I finally was able to do what I usually do right in the morning in the bathroom… and that not very great. Still looking like a bit pregnant and a bit off, but nothing like last night…

    I took it easy food wise, had one of my great smoothies (will have to post the recipe but want to make a photo first), and then a raw chocolate pudding.

    I am wondering if anyone else had similar experiences?

    Great group by the way, lots of good information and one feels right at home and not weird ;)))

  • BeTheChangeBeTheChange Raw Newbie

    I had this same experience last summer, and now I know why!!! It was absolutely dreadful. Man, I still can’t even put a raw green bean to my mouth.

  • I too had a bad experience with raw green beans. TERRIBLE constipation. Felt like an intestinal blockage. Hope you are feeling better beate64.


  • I bought fresh green beans (locally grown) just a short time ago and was going to marinate them. Glad I saw this forum…they are going in the garbage!

    Thanks everyone.

  • wow- ive eaten fresh picked green beans raw all the time and have never had a problem. Ive always found them to be fine. how very odd…

  • SamiliciousSamilicious Raw Newbie

    I also feel fine after eating green beans. In fact, I’ve been craving this raw soup I made using a whole bunch of green beans, juice of two lemons, salt, half an avocado, a garlic clove amd some onion, all blended in the blender and topped with chopped green onion. It was so good that I’ve been craving for more!

  • chicorychicory Raw Newbie

    interesting….. I have always eating green beans fresh by the handful as a child, and now. We grew them in our garden. Never had a problem.

  • I’ve been eating copious amounts fresh from my garden and haven’t had a problem either! And I’m usually super senitive to well..everything. I’m sure glad though because I do love me green beans! :) What came to mind though was maybe they were picked at a bad time (i.e. when it was wet outside)..Rain can cause the beans to become rusty and infested with fungi.

  • beate64beate64 Raw Newbie

    Hey, thanks for all your great input! I feel better now but it took 48 hours and also for my digestion to be normal again. Still think with horror at this event and green beans, which I always liked. No bad weather or so when I picked them, all was fine, no fungi either.

    Maybe there are certain varieties that dont have those poisons anymore… or/and some just can handle it better than others…

    Anyway it was good to have both sides there and also some that had the same experience as I ;)) one does not feel that weired then ;))) We are weired enough here for others for what we eat and our life-style ;))

    Thanks guys and have an awesome day! :))

  • chicorychicory Raw Newbie

    I know that we never ate them once the bean bumps were visible from the outside of the pod. not for toxic reasons, just because they were too tough. Most veggies change when they begin to go to seed. Maybe it is to protect themselves from being eaten, so that they can come back next year? lettuce gets that bitter milky sap

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    I digest green beans just fine.

    To make them soft, freeze then thaw them. They’ll have a more ‘cooked’ texture!

  • beate64beate64 Raw Newbie

    Hmm, interesting Chicory, I think you are on to something there… If I see somewhere really tender young and fresh ones, I will give it another try… just trying a few though to see what happens…

    But that with the changing and wanting to go to seed is probably very much right. Thanks.

    Also a good idea to freeze them, thanks Winona :)

  • GillyBeanGillyBean Raw Newbie

    I LOVE raw fresh green beans.  Years ago my sister made a cheesy fondue type dip in a pumpkin for Thanksgiving and it was DELICIOUS!! One of the things she brought to dip was green beans.  So yummy.  I very nearly didn't make it home.  Since then I have (sadly) stayed away from them.  About a month ago I made the decision to go Raw Vegan and have since had a few bean's here and there so, last week when I was shopping I couldn't resist.  Yesterday as a late night snack I cleaned and ate most of them.  It was like you explained. A nightmare.  Here 24+ hours later and finally feeling better but still not great.

    Happy I'm not the only one.  Sorry you've all had to go through it too.  Quite glad it isn't ANOTHER food allergy.


    Now to figure out a way around it......lol.

  • CatherineRCatherineR Raw Superstar

    Huh. I've picked up the pack of Trader Joe's green beans and never had a problem. 

  • bettykleebettyklee Raw Jr. Leader

    I have stomach gas and first thing doctor said was to stop eating beans. 

  • rinetaorinetao Raw Newbie

    The very same thing happened to me, I had to go to the hospital. Definitely an evening/ into night I have never forgotten. The cramps were like nothing I’ve ever experienced before, and after vomiting (with a runny stomach on top) for 5 hours, I could barely get a word out or move and had to be taken to the hospital. Luckily I received a shot at the hospital to control the vomiting as it went on at a frequent intervals from 6pm until 2am! Never ever will I eat them raw again, it’s just not worth the risk. 

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