The Health Benefits of Eating Edamame

Dining in a Japanese restaurant is not complete without a platter of edamame. An edama-what? Well if you are not familiar with it and think it sounds too exotic for your liking, it is actually just a dish of young green soybeans that is either boiled or steamed in their pods and seasoned lightly with salt. It is often served as a popular appetizer or as food ingredient in Japanese green salads or stir-fry and in Taiwanese, Chinese and Indonesian cuisine.

edamame soy healthy plate

Soy- Edamame healthy plate. Credits by: elsiehui

It has a distinct taste similar to a combination of lima beans and black eye peas with a touch of saltiness. And if you are not too fussy, edamame can even be eaten with their pods on, which adds a bit of a crunch when you munch on it. But it is actually the edamame health benefits that are the reasons why it has become more and more popular as a healthy and yummy soy snack.   It is low in fat, cholesterol-free and low in sodium when left unsalted. It is also loaded in dietary fiber, protein and calories but without the guilt. In a fact, a half cup of shelled edamame contains the same amount of fiber you would get in 4 slices of whole wheat bread or 4 cup of zucchini. It also contains a high daily percentage value of Vitamins A & C. Plus, it rich iron content is almost equivalent to what you would get in a 4-ounce chicken breast. Now, edamame certainly exemplifies the saying that big things come in small packages.

health benefits of edamame

Credit for the original edamame picture to: unitedsoybean

Helps Build Strong Muscles One notable nutritional benefit of edamame is that it is a source of complete protein. It contains 86% protein compared to a regular soya bean. Because of this, it is ideal for individuals who are on the quest to building or maintaining their muscle mass. Also, its calorie content helps to provide energy and endurance for peak performance during workout sessions.   Promotes Healthy Bones Edamame contains high levels of calcium that are essential in the growth of healthy, strong bones and teeth. On top of that, it is also packed with other bone building nutrients like Vitamin E, Vitamin K, iron, folic acid and phosphorus. These help to strengthen the bones and maintain bone density. Edamame has even been linked to reduce bone fractures, especially in menopausal women, based on a research study. This helps in preventing the risk of osteoporosis and other bone related conditions.   Lowers Bad Cholesterol and Promotes Healthy Heart Its significant amount of dietary fiber helps to lower the levels of bad LDL cholesterol in the body. In addition, the isoflavones found in edamame have also been observed to have an effect in lowering cholesterol levels. Also, it contains mono and polysaturated fatty acids and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are beneficial for heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It is also high in Vitamin K, which is essential in blood clotting.   Contains Weight Loss Benefits First off, munching on edamame can help prevent cravings, as it keeps you fuller for long periods of time. Since it is high in protein and less in calories, it is an ideal snack for health conscious individuals.   Strengthens the Immunity Because of its essential nutritional benefits, it can help strengthen your overall immunity. It contains vitamins and antioxidants that are needed by the body to fight off infection and diseases. Specifically, it contains antioxidants called isoflavones and saponins that help protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals.   Ideal for Women’s Health Interestingly, it can help reduce hot flashes experienced by women during menopause. This is because of its phytoestrogen content, a plant-based chemical that helps to normalize the estrogen levels of the body. This helps to prevent the development of estrogen-sensitive cancers, like breast cancer. But, this very effect can also be beneficial for men because this can prevent uterine and prostate cancer from developing.   Loaded with Anti-inflammatory Properties It is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties. It is ideal for those suffering from arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. It has even been known to reduce wheezing and coughing for those with asthma. Combined with Cilantro in a tasty dish it becomes an incredible combatant against inflammation and many other diseases.

edamame with cilantro dish

A tasty dish with tortilla chips and an edamame-cilantro pasta that also contains miso, lime, garlic and chili peppers. Image credit goes to: sporkist

Promotes Youthful-looking Skin With its wide array of essential skin nutrients, like Vitamins A, C and E, it can help maintain healthy skin and repair damaged skin. Its isoflavones content is also responsible in managing age-related skin changes during menopause. Apart from that, the antioxidant daidzein helps to activate a protein that regulates ageing and longevity.   The great thing about edamame is that it can be easily incorporated into your diet. You can eat it plainly steamed, boiled or mixed together with your other food preparations. So, enjoying the edamame health benefits really is not that hard to experience. To top that off, it is generally safe to consume, in moderation of course. However, those allergic to soy may experience rashes and itching.   So, if you are keen on staying fit, try grabbing a bag of edamame from the grocery store instead of a bag of unhealthy potato chips. You will definitely not regret it. Not only is it beneficial and healthy for your body, it is also satisfying and addicting.

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