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8 Surprising Health Benefits Of Edamame You Should Know

Edamame beans are whole, immature, green soybeans, the younger version of the regular mature soybeans, which are light cream. Edamame beans are harvested when they are young, soft and green and they serve as an excellent plant-based protein snack which is eaten traditionally in Asia.

Edamame beans are a good source of many nutrients, antioxidants, low in calories, contains no cholesterol and are naturally gluten-free. They are available fresh or frozen in pods, then shelled and eaten boiled or added to stir-fries, soups or salads.

Nutritional Value Of Edamame

100 g of edamame beans contain 129 kcal energy, 75.2 g water and they also contain

  • 4.12 g fat
  • 9.41 g protein
  • 14.12 g carbohydrate
  • 5.9 g fibre
  • 2.35 g sugar
  • 94 mg calcium
  • 3.18 mg iron
  • 7.1 mg vitamin C
  • 235 IU vitamin A

Health Benefits Of Edamame

1. Promote heart health

Edamame beans contain fibre and antioxidants that are said to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. As per a study, 50 g of soy protein per day lowered LDL cholesterol levels by 3% [1] .

Another review study showed that eating 47 g of soy protein daily can reduce total cholesterol levels by 9.3% and LDL cholesterol by 12.9% [2] .

2. Prevent diabetes

Edamame beans don't cause a rise in blood sugar levels as they are a low glycemic index food. This makes the green beans suitable for people with diabetes [3] .

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3. Help in weight loss

Edamame beans are a great source of fibre, which is known for helping in managing weight by working as a powerful natural appetite suppressant. This will prevent further food cravings and make you eat less [4] .

4. Lower cancer risk

The isoflavones in edamame are said to lower cancer risk, especially breast cancer. One of the main isoflavones called genistein, possesses antioxidant properties that could inhibit the growth of cancer cells, according to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry [5] .

5. Prevent neurological conditions

Studies have shown that the isoflavones in soy may reduce the risk of cognitive decline. A 2015 study showed that soy isoflavones can help enhance cognitive function after menopause [6] .

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6. Boost energy

Edamame beans contain all the nine essential amino acids, which make them a complete protein source. Protein is an excellent nutrient that provides the body fuel and helps repair and build body's tissues. Protein takes longer time to breakdown in the body, thereby serving as a long-lasting energy source [7] .

7. Improve menopausal symptoms

Studies have shown that soy-based products are rich in isoflavones, which are said to lower the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women [8] . Another 2017 study found that women who ate soy-based products for 12 weeks had fewer menopausal symptoms including hot flashes, fatigue, and depression [9] .

8. Enhance eye health

Edamame beans are a good source of vitamin A, an essential vitamin known for improving eye health. This vitamin is also a component of rhodopsin, a protein present in your eyes that lets you see in low light conditions. Vitamin A is also linked to lowering the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration [10] .

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Possible Risks Of Edamame

Many are allergic to soy and soy-based products. So, consuming edamame beans can cause allergies like swelling, hives, and inflammation in the skin.

How To Select And Store Edamame

You can buy fresh or frozen edamame. Choose frozen edamame beans which are free of added salt and spices. And if you are buying fresh edamame beans, you can refrigerate them for 7 to 10 days.

Edamame Recipes

Salt and vinegar roasted edamame [11]

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shelled edamame
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F
  • In a bowl, add edamame, vinegar, salt and pepper
  • Mix it properly and let it sit for 5-10 minutes
  • Grease a baking sheet and place the edamame on to it in a single layer
  • Bake for 30 minutes, toss gently and then bake for 10 more minutes
  • Take it out and cool it
  • Serve and enjoy
View Article References
  1. [1] Sacks, F. M., Lichtenstein, A., Van Horn, L., Harris, W., Kris-Etherton, P., & Winston, M. (2006). Soy protein, isoflavones, and cardiovascular health: an American Heart Association Science Advisory for professionals from the Nutrition Committee.Circulation,113(7), 1034-1044.
  2. [2] Sacks, F. M., Lichtenstein, A., Van Horn, L., Harris, W., Kris-Etherton, P., & Winston, M. (2006). Soy protein, isoflavones, and cardiovascular health: an American Heart Association Science Advisory for professionals from the Nutrition Committee.Circulation,113(7), 1034-1044.
  3. [3] Blair, R. M., Henley, E. C., & Tabor, A. (2006). Soy foods have low glycemic and insulin response indices in normal weight subjects.Nutrition journal,5, 35.
  4. [4] Findlay, S. M., McKenzie, J., Al-Dujaili, E., & Davidson, H. I. M. (2015). Weight loss and reductions in body mass index, abdominal-girth and-depth after a 12 week dietary intervention of soya beans (edamame).Proceedings of the Nutrition Society,74(OCE1).
  5. [5] Simonne, A. H., Smith, M., Weaver, D. B., Vail, T., Barnes, S., & Wei, C. I. (2000). Retention and changes of soy isoflavones and carotenoids in immature soybean seeds (Edamame) during processing.Journal of agricultural and food chemistry,48(12), 6061-6069.
  6. [6] Cheng, P. F., Chen, J. J., Zhou, X. Y., Ren, Y. F., Huang, W., Zhou, J. J., & Xie, P. (2015). Do soy isoflavones improve cognitive function in postmenopausal women? A meta-analysis.Menopause,22(2), 198-206.
  7. [7] Walker, A. F. (1990). The contribution of weaning foods to protein–energy malnutrition.Nutrition research reviews,3(1), 25-47.
  8. [8] Potter, S. M., Baum, J. A., Teng, H., Stillman, R. J., Shay, N. F., & Erdman Jr, J. W. (1998). Soy protein and isoflavones: their effects on blood lipids and bone density in postmenopausal women.The American journal of clinical nutrition,68(6), 1375S-1379S.
  9. [9] Ahsan, M., & Mallick, A. K. (2017). The Effect of Soy Isoflavones on the Menopause Rating Scale Scoring in Perimenopausal and Postmenopausal Women: A Pilot Study.Journal of clinical and diagnostic research : JCDR,11(9), FC13–FC16.
  10. [10] Wang, A., Han, J., Jiang, Y., & Zhang, D. (2014). Association of vitamin A and β-carotene with risk for age-related cataract: A meta-analysis.Nutrition,30(10), 1113-1121.
  11. [11] https://www.emilieeats.com/salt-vinegar-roasted-edamame/

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