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Edamame – Nutrition, Health Benefits and Risks

Edamame beans are young green soybeans that get harvested before maturation. Farmers harvest them when the soybean pods are filled, nearly 80% mature, and just before they turn yellow. They are available shelled, new, or frozen. Edamame is a common ingredient in East Asian cuisine. People in China have used edamame for its nutritional and medicinal value as early as the 2nd century BC.

This well-known plant-based food offers several health benefits. Edamame beans are gluten-free and low in calories. They are a wellspring of vegetable protein, fibre and significant nutrients and minerals. Clinical studies have proven that isoflavones in soybean proteins reduce blood cholesterol and thus the risk of heart diseases. Soybean isoflavones are also known to prevent some forms of cancer, reduce osteoporosis and alleviate diabetes.

Soybeans harvested at this stage have more sucrose and free amino acids, which contribute to a distinct flavour. As a result, edamame has a sweet and nutty flavour and soft texture, similar to pea. The pods can be boiled in salt water or roasted like peanuts. They can also be stir-fried or added to soups, stews, salads and even pasta dishes. As per studies, vegetable soybeans are healthier and more delicious than soybean legumes. Therefore, you shouldn’t hold back when adding edamame to your diet.

The HealthifyMe Note

Edamame beans are fresh vegetable soybean seeds harvested before maturation. Also, they have a greater fraction of vitamins and minerals than mature soybeans. Also, edamame’s sweet, nutty flavour seamlessly enriches several delicious recipes.

Nutritional Properties of Edamame Beans

As per USDA data, 100 grams of cooked edamame serving contains:

Energy: 140 KcalCarbohydrate: 8.63gFibre: 5gSugars: 2.11gProtein: 11.5gFat: 7.57gCholesterol: 2 mg

Vitamins and Minerals 

Calcium: 61mgIron: 2.2mgSodium: 128 mgCholine: 54.7 mgZinc: 1.33mgFolate: 286 µgMagnesium: 62mgPhosphorus: 164 mgPotassium: 422 mgVitamin C: 5.3mg

Fats

A cup full of cooked edamame comprises 7.57 grams of fat and 1 gram of immersed fat. As per research, a large quantity of fat is monounsaturated, which is advantageous for decreasing cardiovascular disease. In addition, it comprises 3.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat and omega-6 fatty acids, which reduce cholesterol levels. 

Carbohydrates

One cup of shelled, cooked edamame contains approximately 14 grams of carbs, which is lower than other varieties of beans. A low-carb diet has several health benefits, including weight loss, increased good cholesterol, decreased risk of heart diseases etc.

Protein

Edamame involves about 11.5 grams of protein. Soy protein is generally highly nutritious. According to research, it has several health benefits like regulating blood cholesterol, weight loss, reduced risk of cancer etc.

Micronutrients

Edamame includes plenty of micronutrients, particularly magnesium and L-ascorbic acid. A cup full of soaked, cooked edamame beans contains:

11% of your daily L-ascorbic acid requirements.8% of the calcium you expect every day.20% of your daily iron requirement.

Edamame offers almost 14% of your day-to-day potassium needs, in addition to copper, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin K. zinc and phosphorus.

The edamame health profile is similar to regular soybeans, soy flour, or tofu. Edamame has more vitamin K, manganese, and folate than mature soybeans; however, it contains less iron and copper. Additionally, the nutrients and minerals included in edamame may differ a little depending on where the seeds get cultivated. 

Edamame has incredibly improved degrees of soy isoflavones. Isoflavones are frequently attributed to as “normal estrogens” since they can act like oestrogen in your body. They can also prevent chemical-dependent malignant growths, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular illness and assist with easing side effects from menopause. Also, each cup of steamed edamame has around 28 milligrams of isoflavones. Therefore, it is 20% more phytoestrogen than cooked mature soybeans. 

The HealthifyMe Note

Edamame beans are rich in isoflavones which can fight oestrogen deficiency in the body. As a result, they are beneficial for side effects caused by menopause.

Health Benefits of Edamame Beans

Edamame, a favourable soy protein source, is rich in health benefits. According to research, it is suitable for people with high cholesterol and high blood pressure. It is also beneficial for bone fitness, skin, ocular, gut health etc.

Perfect Source of Dietary Protein

Edamame contains every one of the nine essential amino acids and is the main plant-based wellspring of complete protein. Studies have proposed that substituting meat-based protein with edamame can reduce the risk of coronary illness. Soy protein, in particular, has been linked to cardiovascular health. It decreases LDL (bad cholesterol) and increases the body’s HDL(good cholesterol). Studies have noted low incidences of CVD (cardiovascular diseases) in people who consume soy foods as a dietary staple.

Edamame is a Good Source of Isoflavones

Phytoestrogens (a kind of isoflavone) found in edamame beans can reduce the symptoms and conditions caused by estrogen deficiency. As per research, dietary intake of phytoestrogens can decrease the incidence of postmenopausal cardiovascular diseases. In addition, soy isoflavone lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of strokes and heart diseases. Soy isoflavone also reduces the risk of specific tumours by regulating oestrogen levels and lowering cholesterol. 

Abundant in Good Fats

A cup of boiled edamame beans consists of 8 gms of fat and 3 grams of polyunsaturated fat. Consuming unsaturated fats can help in reducing cholesterol and keeping the heart healthy. Polyunsaturated fats in edamame incorporate omega-3 unsaturated fats and have significant health benefits. Omega-3 can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart diseases and arthritis.

Good Fibre Content

A cup of edamame comprises 4 grams of fibre, which helps keep the stomach-related disorder and lowers cholesterol levels. Dietary fibre can also aid weight loss and support gut health. In addition, studies have reported a significant increase in satiety and a decrease in hunger with an increase in dietary fibre intake. 

Edamame Benefits the Immune System

Edamame generally contains 60% of the suggested daily copper intake. As per studies, zinc and copper are essential for immune function. Copper deficiency can decrease neutrophils and macrophages (white blood cells) and thus decrease immunity. Moreover, research shows that phytoestrogens present in edamame assist with defending specific malignant growths and diseases.

Abundant with Antioxidants

Edamame contains antioxidants which can enhance cell function and flush out poisons, toxins, free radicals and damage-causing free components. Antioxidants help prevent oxidative damage caused by free radicals, which are responsible for conditions like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, ocular diseases etc. In addition, edamame is rich in beta carotene, which reduces Alzheimer’s and age-related cognitive decline symptoms.

Outstanding for the Skin Health 

Edamame has a good amount of vitamin A, which helps keep the skin healthy. It prevents collagen breakdown caused by the sun and thus offers UV protection. It also stimulates collagen production and prevents wrinkles and sagging of skin, as per studies.

Bone Health and Osteoporosis

Soy protein correlates with favourable aspects of bone health in some medical analyses. For example, as per research, soy diets enhance bone mineral density and decrease the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. In addition, edamame beans are also rich in minerals like calcium, potassium and phosphorus, which promote bone health. Calcium is the major component of bone and is instrumental in bone metabolism.

Soy isoflavone supplements reduce the chance of osteoporosis in women. In a study, soy isoflavones increased bone mineral density by 54% and reduced the bone absorption marker by 23%. 

Scientific evidence suggests that deficiency of calcium may impair bone development in children. Studies have found dietary intake of potassium decreases calcium loss from bone and increases bone mineral density. Phosphorus is also crucial for bone growth and mineralisation. According to studies, its deficiency may cause conditions like rickets and osteomalacia (bone softening).

How to Include Edamame Beans in Your Diet

To prepare edamame beans, cook them for 5 to 10 minutes, whether on the burner or in the microwave. Then, it can be boiled and served with pepper and salt.A sticky baked tofu noodle bowl combines edamame with tofu for a vegetarian supper.Pasta with prosciutto, edamame, and carrots add a bright green tone and flavour to a popular pasta recipe. You can put it in your pasta to make a nutritious meal.Garlicky Olive, Walnut and Edamame Mix combines flavour and nutrition in a snack.

Edamame Wraps

Servings: 3

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

Frozen edamame beans: 100 gChickpeas: 400 gGarlic clove (chopped): 1Cumin (ground): 1 tspPlain flour: 1 tbspOlive oil: 1 tbsp

To serve:

Red cabbage (shredded): ¼ (75 g)Lemon (juiced): 4-5 dropsFlatbreads or wraps: 4Hummus: 4 tbspCucumber (chopped): ¼ (approx. 50 g)Red chilli (thinly sliced): 1

Procedure:

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Line a baking tray with parchment.Put edamame, chickpeas, garlic, cumin and flour in a blender. Blend until you have a smooth mixture.Oil your hands and scoop the mixture to make balls. Put the balls on the baking tray and gently press with the palm of your hand.Brush each falafel with oil and bake for about 20 minutes until they turn golden.Mix shredded red cabbage with lemon juice and salt and set aside for five minutes.Warm the wraps and spread hummus on top with falafel, cabbage, cucumber and chilli.

Nutritional Value

Calories: 433 kcalFat: 15 gSugars: 4 gFibre: 11 gProtein: 18 gSalt: 1 g

The HealthifyMe Note

At room temperature, edamame beans have a short lifespan of natural usability. However, fresh and raw edamame, whether hulled or in units, will not withstand more than a day. After that, you must put fresh edamame in a refrigerator in a plastic bag. It will retain its flavour and quality for 12 months. If the edamame gets cooked, try consuming it immediately or refrigerate it for up to 4 days.

Precautions and Possible Side Effects of Edamame Beans

Allergies and Interactions

Edamame is an additional name for green soybeans. Therefore, any individual susceptible to soy should avoid edamame and dishes made with edamame. Likewise, those with soy sensitivity should avoid edamame. It can cause allergic reactions like rashes, hives, facial enlarging, or even hypersensitivity. Look for clinical consultation if you experience side effects after eating edamame.

Stomach-related Issues:

When edamame is consumed in excess or eaten raw or half-cooked, it can cause bloating, gas, and cramping. In addition, people with irritable gut disorders must avoid edamame beans since they might experience gastric irritation after consumption.

Contain Antinutrients

Edamame contains antinutrients. Unfortunately, they reduce the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients. Also, it includes intensifiers. As a result, they can inhibit iodine assimilation and affect thyroid function.

Summary

Edamame beans, identical to different soy commodities, are packed with essential nutrients. They are full of proteins, vitamins and minerals. In addition, they are gluten-free, low in calories, and high in essential unsaturated fats.  

Edamame has been famous for its health benefits and delicious flavour since the 2nd century BC. Also, it promotes healthy bones, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, improves skin health, assists in weight reduction etc. So it can be a healthful addition to an individual’s diet and an alternative to sweetened and processed foods.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Is eating edamame good for you?

A. Yes, edamame is abundant in fibre, antioxidants, and vitamin K. These plant compounds may decrease the risk of heart disease and improve the blood lipid profile. A fibre-rich diet is also good for the digestive system and assists in weight loss.

Q. Is edamame a carb or protein?

A. It has a good balance of carbs and proteins. Edamame is a moderately low-carb food. According to the USDA, 100 g of cooked edamame contains 8.63 g of carbs. However, it is also a quality protein source with around 11.5 grams per 100 grams of edamame.

Q. Is edamame a Superfood?

A. Yes, edamame can be called a superfood because of its abundant health benefits and impressive nutrient profile. It is rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals. As a result, it offers health benefits like increased bone mineral density, improved gut health, reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases etc.

Q. Is edamame good for weight loss?

A. Yes, Edamame is a weight loss-friendly food. It is rich in proteins and fibres, increasing satiety and decreasing hunger. Interestingly, protein helps one to gain muscles and improve one’s metabolism, which reduces fat percentage and works well for weight loss, fat loss, and ultimately inch loss.

Q. Is it OK to eat edamame every day?

A. Edamame beans are gluten-free, low in calories, and a good source of essential fatty acids. They also offer innumerable health benefits. However, it is not advisable to consume them if you are allergic to soy. You should also not consume them daily since overconsumption may cause bloating and gas, especially in people with stomach sensitivity.

Q. Is edamame OK on keto?

A. Edamame beans are legumes; you should not include a large portion of them in the keto diet. However, they’re big in dietary fibre, which helps compensate for some of the carbs. As a result, modest proportions of these beans are outstanding on a keto diet. Consequently, the low-carb content also makes edamame keto-friendly.  

Q. How much edamame is too much?

A. Limit yourself to two to four servings per week. Overconsumption of edamame can cause bloating, gas and cramping. In addition, people with irritable gut disorders must avoid edamame beans since they might experience gastric irritation after consumption.

Q. Does edamame count as a vegetable?

A. Yes, edamame is a vegetable form of soybean since it gets harvested before maturation.

Q. Is edamame high in oestrogen?

A. Phytoestrogens (a kind of isoflavone) found in edamame beans mimic oestrogen-like activity in the body. It does that by imitating the reactions of normal oestrogen. Therefore, edamame can help reduce the symptoms and conditions caused by oestrogen deficiency. 

Q. Is edamame high in carbs?

A. Edamame includes about 5 grams of net carbs per 100 gms. Therefore, it can be an excellent addition to a low-carb diet. Also, low-carb diets are good for weight loss and promote heart health.

Q. Does edamame cause belly fat?

A. Edamame is rich in proteins and fibre. Furthermore, dietary fibre and protein increase satiety and decreases hunger. Therefore, this makes edamame an excellent addition to your weight loss regimen.

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