Navy bean

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Navy Bean
Species Phaseolus vulgaris
White beans.jpg
Raw white cannellini beans
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,468 kJ (351 kcal)
60.75 g
Sugars 3.88 g
Dietary fiber 24.4 g
1.5 g
22.33 g
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

The navy bean, haricot, pearl haricot bean,[1] boston bean,[2] white pea bean,[3] or pea bean,[4] is a variety of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) native to the Americas, where it was domesticated.[5] It is a small, dry white bean which is smaller than many other types of white beans, and has an oval, slightly flattened shape.[1] It features in such dishes as baked beans,[1] and even pies, as well as in various soups such as Senate bean soup.[6] Unlike most canned vegetables, which lose much of their nutritive value in the canning process,[better source needed] navy beans maintain their nutritive value when canned.[7]

The green bean or kidney bean plants[2] that produce navy beans may be either of the bush type or vining type, depending on which cultivar they are.[8]


Navy bean cultivars include:

  • 'Rainy River',[9]
  • 'Robust', resistant to the bean common mosaic virus (BCMV),[10] which is transmitted through seeds[9]
  • Michelite, descended from 'Robust', but with higher yields and better seed quality[9]
  • Sanilac, the first bush navy bean cultivar[9]

Other white beans[edit]

Other white beans include:

  • Cannellini (or fazolia,[2]), a variety popular in central and southern Italy, but was first developed in Argentina.[2] They are larger than navy beans, related to the kidney bean and, like the kidney bean, has higher levels of the toxic lectin phytohaemagglutinin.[citation needed] They are used in minestrone soups.[2]
  • 'Great northern', also called "large white" beans are also larger than navy beans but smaller than cannellini beans, with a flattened shape similar to lima beans. They have a delicate flavour.[citation needed]
  • The large white beans known in Greece as gígantes (Greek: γίγαντες, giants) and eléfantes (ελέφαντες, elephants) are from the runner bean, Phaseolus coccineus.

Nutritional value[edit]

White beans are the most abundant plant-based source of phosphatidylserine (PS) yet known.[11] It contains notably high levels of apigenin, 452±192 µg/kg, which vary widely among legumes.[12]

Consumption of baked beans has been shown to lower total cholesterol levels and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.[13][14] This might be at least partly explained by high saponin content of navy bean. Saponins also exhibit antibacterial and anti-fungal activity, and have been found to inhibit cancer cell growth.[15] Furthermore, navy bean is the richest source of ferulic acid and p-coumaric acid among the common bean varieties.[16]

Storage and safety[edit]

Dried and canned beans stay fresh longer by storing them in a pantry or other cool, dark place under 75 °F (24 °C). With normal seed storage, seeds should last from one to four years for replanting, with a very large timetable for cooking for well-kept seeds, nearing on indefinite. Avoid beans which are discolored from the pure white color of these beans, as they may have been poorly handled while they dried.[17]


  1. ^ a b c "Beans, White Pearl Haricot, Dried, per kilo". Retrieved 12 February 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Anne Willan La Varenne Pratique: Part 3, Vegetables, Pasta & Grains (2013), p. 205, at Google Books
  3. ^ "Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris)". Pulse Canada. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "Pea bean". The American Heritage Dictionary. Retrieved 2013-09-17. 
  5. ^ Paul Gepts (December 1998). "Origin and evolution of common bean: past events and recent trends" (PDF). HortScience. 33 (7): 1124–1130. 
  6. ^ [ Senate Bean Soup]
  7. ^
  8. ^ Mark Goodwin (2003). "Crop Profile for Dry Beans" (PDF). Pulse Canada. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c d James D. Kelly. "One Hundred Years of Bean Breeding at Michigan State University: A Chronology" (PDF). Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  10. ^ Schwartz, H.F.; Corrales, M.A.P. (1989). Bean Production Problems in the Tropics. Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT). ISBN 9789589183045. 
  11. ^ Souci SW, Fachmann E, Kraut H (2008). Food Composition and Nutrition Tables. Medpharm Scientific Publishers Stuttgart.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Susan M. Shutler, Gemma M. Bircher, Jacki A. Tredger, Linda M. Morgan, Ann F. Whine Rand and A. G. LOW (1989). The effect of daily baked bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) consumption on the plasma lipid levels of young, normo-cholesterolaemic men. British Journal of Nutrition, 61, pp. 257–265 doi:10.1079/BJN19890114.
  14. ^ Donna M. Winham, Andrea M. Hutchins. Baked bean consumption reduces serum cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic adults. Nutrition research (New York, N.Y.) 1 July 2007 (volume 27 issue 7 pp. 380–386 doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2007.04.017).
  15. ^ John Shi, Sophia Jun Xue, Ying Mab, Dong Li, Yukio Kakuda, Yubin Lan. Kinetic study of saponins B stability in navy beans under different processing conditions. Journal of Food Engineering 93 (2009) 59–65.
  16. ^ Devanand L. Luthria, Marcial A. Pastor-Corrales. Phenolic acids content of fifteen dry edible bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) varieties. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 19 (2006) 205–211.
  17. ^ "How Long Do Beans Last?". Retrieved 23 November 2014.