Edamame may be the most underappreciated bean in existence. It isn’t as popular as, say, black or garbanzo beans, but it can be used in a number of cuisines and is pleasant enough to have as a snack on its own.
By ignoring this bean at your grocery store or on menus at restaurants, you can be missing out on the diversity and nutritional benefits of edamame. Intrigued? Continue reading to find out more about edamame’s nutritional advantages and the ideal home preparation methods.
WHO MADE EDAMAME? According to Lauren Manaker, M.S., R.D.N., L.D. , a qualified nutritionist and dietitian, edamame beans are young, immature soybeans that are picked while still in their pods. They have a mild flavor and can be eaten steamed, roasted, or boiling. As previously said by Shape, soybeans are a sort of bean that originated in China but has since gained popularity in the United States and other countries. According to Laura Iu , R.D., C.D.N., C.N.S.C, R.Y.T, a registered dietitian nutritionist headquartered in New York, “edamame are distinct from mature soybeans, which are brown and used to make popular meals like soybean or tofu.” Simply put, the only distinction between edamame and soybeans is that the latter are harvested earlier and aren’t as mature as the former.
With roughly 18 grams of protein per cup, edamame is one of the best plant-based protein sources. Soy products are well known for this. But edamame’s health advantages don’t end there. Iu asserts that edamame is a nutritious powerhouse in addition to being enjoyable to consume.
Edamame is a fantastic source of plant-based protein with no cholesterol, just like other soy products. Additionally, it has a lot of fiber, minerals, and vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting and bone building . According to Manaker, eating edamame delivers satiating fiber and vital minerals like calcium and zinc. (Related: White Rice and Brown Rice Don’t Have the Same Nutritional Benefits as You Think.)
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) , the nutritional profile of 1 cup (160 grams) of cooked edamame is as follows:
Calories: 224 13.8 grams of carbs and 18.4 grams of protein 12.1 g of fat, 8 g of fiber, and 2 g of sugar EDAMAME HEALTH BENEFITS If you haven’t already, these edamame benefits will persuade you to give the meal a try.
MUSCLE BUILDING AND REPAIR Once more, the protein content of edamame is a key selling factor. In general, the nutrient promotes healthy growth and development, aids in blood clotting, fluid balance, and more as well as the production and repair of cells, tissue, and muscle.
Edamame are one of the few plant-based meals that have complete proteins, which means they contain all nine essential amino acids, according to Iu. This is one of their coolest qualities. There are nine essential amino acids (also known as the building blocks of protein) that your body needs, in case you need a refresher. Some of the essential amino acids can be produced by your body, but others must be obtained from diet, as previously mentioned by Shape.
Edamame is an excellent choice for omnivores who wish to get more of their protein from plant sources as well as vegans and vegetarians who need to eat enough protein. Instead of only eating meat, poultry, and eggs, it’s beneficial to eat a range of protein-rich foods. This can help you receive enough nutrients like unsaturated fats and dietary fiber in your diet. (Related: 10 Easy-to-Digest High-Protein Plant-Based Foods)
FAVORABLE FOR HEALTHY CELL FUNCTION Edamame is another food you should think about including in your diet because it contains a lot of potassium, with a total of 675 milligrams in one cup. According to Harvard Health Publishing , potassium is a crucial mineral that supports the healthy operation of every cell. According to Harvard Health, potassium is essential for cardiac rhythm regulation, healthy neuron and muscle function, protein synthesis, and glucose metabolism.
COULD LOWER RISK OF HEART DISEASE As previously reported by Shape, edamame includes isoflavones, which are plant components that act like estrogen and are naturally found in soy, much like other soy-based meals like tofu. According to Iu, antioxidants called isoflavones “may reduce the risk of cancer by battling inflammation.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the Several studies have suggested that isoflavones help lower LDL levels, sometimes known as “bad” cholesterol, which has been associated to cardiovascular problems like stroke. Omega 3 fatty acids, which are polyunsaturated fats that support heart health, are also abundant in edamame, according to Iu.
CONSEQUENCES OF EDAMAME Studies investigating the connection are “inconclusive” because the majority were conducted on animals, according to Iu, despite the fact that some individuals think consuming too much soy-based foods can increase the risk of breast cancer or interfere with thyroid function. Many of the research used rats, and she points out that animals digest soy in a different way than people. “Epidemiological research on humans, mainly in Asian nations where lifetime soy product intake is higher than in the United States, have not demonstrated a link between consuming edamame and increased risk of cancer.”
Manaker concurs and claims that there is inconclusive evidence linking soy to breast cancer. Although earlier research revealed a connection between soy consumption and an increased risk of breast cancer, more recent research contradicts this idea, according to the author. In the end, Manaker concludes that “edamame is generally a safe and healthful complement to an overall diet.”
EDMAME EATING GUIDE In the produce or frozen food section of your supermarket, you can purchase edamame with or without the shell. To enjoy the unshelled type, you must crack open each pod because the pods are not edible by themselves. To take advantage of each edamame benefit, there are many various ways to include the bean into meals.
by itself. Iu advises those who are tasting edamame for the first time to eat it straight from the pod. To add layers of flavor, Iu advises steaming them first before adding a dash of salt or “a little toasted sesame oil in a wok with fresh garlic and chili paste.” Manaker suggests toasting shelled edamame for a crispy snack.
within a stir-fry. Manaker thinks that shelled edamame are a wonderful addition to any stir fry. Iu advises mixing edamame with some rice and, always, always, an egg once it has been shelled.
the salad. Include some edamame beans in your salad if you want to give it a protein boost. Iu claims that you can very much add it to any salad and it will pick up the flavors of the dressing and seasonings.
inside hummus. The next time you make homemade hummus, try using edamame instead of chickpeas for more protein, advises Manaker.