If you're a fan of green beans, the lesser-known yellow wax bean is a veggie that should be on your radar. This versatile veggie can be prepared in a variety of ways, and it's full of nutrients and health benefits.
Yellow wax beans are a variety of wax bush beans that are yellow in color. They're nearly identical to green beans in taste and texture, with the obvious difference being that wax beans are yellow. This is because yellow wax beans lack chlorophyll, the compound that gives green beans their hue.
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If you're trying to eat more vegetables, pick up a container of yellow wax beans on your next farmers market run. They are high in fiber and vitamin C.
Yellow Wax Beans Nutrition
A single serving of yellow wax beans is 3/4 cup (or 85 grams). One serving of yellow wax beans has the following nutrients, according to the USDA:
- Calories: 24.6
- Total fat: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 5.1 mg
- Total carbs: 6 g
- Dietary fiber: 2.98 g
- Sugar: 3 g
- Protein: 2 g
Yellow Wax Beans Macronutrients
- Total fat: One serving of yellow wax beans hass 0 grams of total fat, including 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 grams of monounsaturated fat and 0 grams of polyunsaturated fat.
- Carbohydrates: One serving of yellow wax beans has 6 grams of carbs, including 2.98 grams of fiber and 3 grams of naturally occurring sugar.
- Protein: One serving of yellow wax beans has 2 grams of protein.
Vitamins, Minerals and Other Micronutrients
- Vitamin C: 25% of your Daily Value (DV)
- Potassium: 5% DV
- Calcium: 4% DV
- Iron: 4% DV
Yellow Wax Beans vs. Green Beans
Aside from the visual difference in color, yellow and green beans vary slightly in their nutrition profiles, according to the USDA. That said, the differences are usually insignificant. Both are low-calorie, cholesterol-free and fiber-rich options.
Yellow Wax Beans vs. Green Beans
Yellow wax beans (85 g)
Green beans (85 g)
Health Benefits of Yellow Wax Beans
Many of the health benefits of yellow wax beans can be attributed to their vitamin and fiber content.
1. They're a Good Source of Vitamin C
Yellow wax beans provide an impressive 25 percent of your DV for vitamin C. The vegetable is a surprising source of antioxidants, which fend off free radicals that can damage DNA and lead to a list of health issues. Eating foods rich in vitamin C is associated with lowering the risk of cancer, preventing the common cold and promoting eye health, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Getting enough vitamin C also helps with iron absorption. An estimated 10 million people in the United States are iron deficient, according to July 2013 research in Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine. It's the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States, and vitamin C greatly affects how iron from plant sources is absorbed, per Michigan State University.
2. They’re Rich in Gut-Friendly Fiber
Dietary fiber is an essential nutrient, but it's one that many Americans are lacking. In fact, an estimated 95 percent of Americans don't meet the recommendations for fiber, according to the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine.
Yellow wax beans contain approximately 3 grams of fiber per 3/4 cup, which is about 14 percent DV for people assigned female at birth (AFAB) and 10 percent DV for people assigned male at birth (AMAB). Adding a side of yellow wax beans to your lunch or dinner can get you that much closer to meeting your fiber needs, which is beneficial for your gut health.
How Much Fiber Do You Need?
The requirements for fiber are at least 21 grams a day for people AFAB and 30 grams for people AMAB, according to the Mayo Clinic.
3. They May Promote a Healthy Heart
Fiber isn't just for your digestion: It's also good for your heart. Those who eat a lot of fiber can significantly lower their risk of mortality from heart disease, according to a December 2017 review in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine.
Researchers believe this is because fiber may lower LDL cholesterol levels (that's the "bad" type), which can build up over time and cause narrow blood vessels.
How to Eat Yellow Wax Beans
Yellow wax beans may look unusual if you're used to eating green beans, but they're very similar in taste and nutrition. You can swap green beans for yellow wax beans in any recipe that calls for them.
There are different ways to cook wax beans: Try them in the microwave, roast them, steam them or stir-fry them. Use them in salads, casseroles, soups, stir fries and various other side dishes. Just like green beans, they taste amazing with a little butter, lemon and garlic for a quick and nutritious side dish.
- USDA FoodData Central: "WAX BEANS"
- MyFoodData: "Cooked Green Beans (Previously Frozen)"
- Cold Springs Harbor Perspectives in Medicine: "Iron Deficiency Anemia: A Common and Curable Disease"
- Mayo Clinic: "Vitamin C"
- Michigan State University: "Iron and vitamin C: the perfect pair?"
- American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine: "Closing America’s Fiber Intake Gap"
- Mayo Clinic: "Chart of high-fiber foods"
- Journal of Chiropractic Medicine: "Dietary Fiber Is Beneficial for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: An Umbrella Review of Meta-analyses"