Edamame may seem like an unassuming food. Its green colour makes it look just like any other vegetable on the shelves. However, edamame is chock full of nutrients that you might not expect. This article will introduce you to edamame and show you why you should be snacking on this more often!
What Is Edamame?
Edamame is a green, immature soybean that is often served as an appetizer in Japanese restaurants. The word literally means ‘stem beans’ likely because they were traditionally sold with their stems still attached. Edamame beans are often sold while still encased in their pods, which are not meant to be eaten. You can also buy shelled edamame, without the pods. Some supermarkets even carry frozen edamame which can be easily consumed at your convenience. Traditionally, the edamame would be boiled in a pot of salted water, added as a side dish, or even eaten on its own as a snack. While it is currently unclear who first started eating soybeans before they were fully ripened, the taste probably played a big part in enjoying the beans young.
How To Pronounce Edamame?
This Japanese word may seem like a tongue twister, but here’s how to pronounce it. There are four syllables, and it is pronounced as eh-da-ma-meh.
Health Benefits Of Edamame
A half-cup serving of shelled edamame (or 1 1/8 cup edamame in the pods):
- 120 calories
- 9 grams fiber
- 5 grams fat
- 5 grams polyunsaturated fat (0.3 grams plant omega-3 fatty acids)
- 5 grams monounsaturated fat
- 11 grams protein
- 13 grams carbohydrate
- 15 mg sodium
- 10% of the Daily Value for vitamin C
- 10% Daily Value for iron
- 8% Daily Value for vitamin A
- 4% Daily Value for calcium
#1 High In Protein
Edamame is widely praised as one of the few plant-based foods that can be considered a complete protein. This means that edamame contains sufficient amounts of the nine essential amino acids that human beings need. It also contains about 12% protein. This makes edamame a wonderful option for those looking to reduce their consumption of meat. In fact, many vegans and vegetarians consider edamame the cornerstone of their diets to ensure they get the protein needed to remain healthy and strong.
#2 Lowers Cholesterol
We all know that high levels of ‘bad’, or low-density lipoprotein ‘LDL’ cholesterol can be bad for one’s health. LDL has been linked to many serious health issues, such as coronary artery disease, heart disease, heart attacks, stroke, and others. None of us want that! As such, eating soy products such as edamame can be one way to begin to reduce your LDL levels. One review concluded that eating 47 grams of soy protein per day can lower total cholesterol levels by 9.3% and LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol by 12.9%. In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves health claims for soy protein in the prevention of heart disease. Additionally, edamame also contains other compounds such as fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin K. All of these compounds could reduce the risk of heart disease and improve the blood lipid profile, which is a measure of fat in the body.
#3 Does Not Increase Blood Sugar
Different foods have different rankings on the Glycemic Index (GI). The GI is an indicator of how quickly a food releases sugar into the bloodstream. Those who eat large amounts of simple carbohydrates such as refined sugar may find that they have significant spikes and drops in their blood sugar levels, leading to a corresponding energy spike and dip. This can be counterproductive for one’s focus and mood. In comparison, beans such as edamame measure very low on the GI. This means that as edamame is being digested, it does not cause blood sugar levels to spike. This makes edamame an excellent snack, while also being a wonderful food for those who may be diabetic or looking to lose weight.
#4 Packed With Vitamins And Minerals
Besides protein, edamame also contains many vitamins and minerals, all of which are essential for proper bodily function. Most notably, eating 100 grams of edamame would provide you with 78% of the recommended daily intake of folate as well as 33% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K1. Folate is key in ensuring proper red blood cell formation and cell growth. This is especially important in pregnant women! Vitamin K plays a crucial role in ensuring that blood clotting, bone metabolism, and blood calcium levels are regulated. Way to go, edamame!
Grab Some Edamame Today!
Edamame is a convenient, yet nutritious snack that is an overall boost for your health. If you’re looking for a convenient way to start introducing edamame into your diet (and maybe even your family’s and friend’s!), try out our scrumptious edamame snack now!