Soybeans that are collected before they reach maturity are known as edamame. They have a delicate texture, a moderate flavor that leans slightly nutty, and a vivid green hue. Although they are frequently eaten as a snack on their own, they can also be included in foods like salads, rice bowls, soups, and dips.

Edamame is a delicious legume that has several health benefits, including improved heart and digestive system health. It also contains essential elements including protein, iron, magnesium, and potassium.

Everything you need to know about edamame, its nutrition, possible health advantages, and how to include it in your diet is provided here.

An Excellent Source of Protein from Plants

The majority of protein is found in foods made from plants and animals. Edamame is one of the best plant-based protein sources available. Legumes are another.1.

A cooked cup of edamame has 18.5 grams (g) of protein, or over 32% more than a pair of hard-boiled eggs. This makes edamame a fantastic source of protein, particularly for people who adhere to plant-based diets like veganism.1.

Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, are essential for vital functions like the synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters as well as the development and repair of muscle tissue.

Additionally necessary for healthy bones is protein, and a diet low in protein can raise the risk of fractures and the onset of osteoporosis. Studies indicate that eating foods high in protein, such as edamame, on a regular basis may help lower the chance of developing low bone mineral density and may help protect against fracture risk. Protein makes up one-third of bone mass and around 50% of bone volume.23

Enhances Digestive Health

Consuming foods high in fiber, such as edamame, encourages regular bowel movements and fosters the growth of good bacteria, both of which improve digestive health.

Both soluble and insoluble fiber, found in edamame, are beneficial to intestinal health. Regular bowel movements are encouraged by insoluble fiber, which helps give your stools more volume. Water is drawn into stools by soluble fiber, making passage smoother and more comfortable. Additionally, soluble fibers promote the production of substances known as short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which are created when soluble fiber is fermented by bacteria. Butyrate, acetate, and propionate are examples of SCFAs that support gut health by supplying energy to the colon’s lining cells, controlling intestinal inflammation, and enhancing the integrity of the intestinal barrier.

A good strategy to lower your risk of digestive disorders, such as diverticulitis and colon cancer, is to increase your consumption of fiber.5.

Sadly, little fiber is included in the diets of most Americans. The average American, according to research, only gets about 15 grams of fiber a day, or 53% of what they need. A tasty and simple method to boost your fiber intake and help you reach your daily fiber goals is by including edamame in your diet.Six

Apart from providing fiber, research indicates that the amino acids present in edamame aid in the proliferation of probiotic gut bacteria, including Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli species, so promoting a gut environment that is overall healthy.7.

Could Assist You in Retaining a Healthy Weight

Eating a diet rich in fiber and protein, two nutrients that are known to satisfy hunger, may help you achieve and keep a healthy weight. Protein prolongs the time it takes for meals to pass through your digestive system and slows down digestion, which makes you feel fuller longer. Furthermore, hormones like cholecystokinin (CCK) and peptide YY (PYY), which work on specific brain regions to restrict food intake, are stimulated by protein.8

Edamame is a great source of fiber, another nutrient that’s critical for maintaining a healthy weight, in addition to being high in protein. Similar to protein, fiber promotes the production of satiety hormones, which signal your body to stop eating, and slows down digestion.

Edamame’s high fiber and protein content means that including it in your diet will help you feel fuller for longer, avoid overindulging, and maintain a healthy weight.9.

Diets rich in protein and fiber have been shown in numerous studies to be beneficial for boosting satiety and aiding in weight loss.8

In 2019, a study with 345 participants discovered that, while controlling for calories and macronutrient intake, fiber intake was the most significant predictor of body weight. This implies that by eating more foods high in fiber, like edamame, could assist encourage weight loss.10

Promotes Heart Health

A balanced diet is essential for preventing cardiovascular disease and maintaining heart health.

Heart disease risk factors include high blood pressure and blood lipids, which include excessive levels of triglycerides and cholesterol. Eating a diet rich in specific nutrients, like fiber, magnesium, and potassium, can help lower the chance of developing heart disease by preventing and reducing heart disease risk factors.

8.06 grams of fiber, or approximately 29% of the Daily Value (DV) of this vitamin that supports heart health, are found in one cup of edamame. Because fiber increases the outflow of cholesterol through your stool and decreases its absorption in the digestive tract, it helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Edamame also provides a significant portion of your daily requirements for magnesium and potassium, two minerals that are essential for controlling blood pressure.1.

Research indicates that those who consume a higher amount of legumes, such as edamame, typically have lower levels of heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. In 2022, for instance, a study including 7,522 participants revealed that those who consumed between 55 and 70 grams, or ¼ to ¾ of a cup, of legumes daily had a 43% decreased risk of high blood pressure in comparison to those who consumed the least amount of legumes.11

Edamame provides fiber, potassium, and magnesium; it also contains polyphenols known as isoflavones. By lowering cholesterol and preventing the onset and advancement of atherosclerosis, or the accumulation of plaque in the arteries, isoflavones safeguard heart health.12

According to a 2023 analysis, in Western populations, a high soy isoflavone diet was linked to an 11% lower risk of coronary heart disease and a 9% lower risk of total heart disease.Thirteen

Could Assist in Lowering the Risk of Specific Cancers

Edamame and other soy-based foods are rich in substances known as phytoestrogens. In the body, phytoestrogens can either have mild estrogenic action or prevent the absorption of estrogen. These effects are known as antiestrogenic or estrogenic effects.

Studies indicate that, in some populations, eating soy products may help protect against hormone-mediated malignancies, including some forms of breast cancer, because of its effect on estrogen. According to a 2020 analysis of 18 studies, women who consumed the most soy had a 12% lower risk of breast cancer than those who consumed the least. Women with estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer and premenopausal women showed a greater correlation with this connection.14

To fully understand how soy consumption affects cancer risk, more research is necessary, as this association is still being investigated.

Edamame’s Nutritional Information

Packed with nutrients, edamame is a wise choice for anybody looking to up their intake of fiber, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and plant-based protein.

The nutritional analysis of a cup of cooked edamame is as follows:1.

  • Calories: 224
  • Carbohydrates: 13.8 grams (g)
  • Fiber: 8.06 g
  • Protein: 18.4 g
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Folate: 458 micrograms (mcg) or 121% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin C: 8.48 milligrams (mg) or 11% of the DV
  • Thiamine: 0.29 mg or 26% of the DV
  • Copper: 0.534 mg or 59% of the DV
  • Iron: 3.52 mg or 20% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 99.2 mg or 24% of the DV
  • Manganese: 1.58 mg or 69% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 262 mg or 21% of the DV
  • Potassium: 675 mg or 14% of the DV
  • Zinc: 2.13 mg or 19% of the DV

Edamame is a great source of many vital elements, including iron, magnesium, and potassium—nutrients that are often underutilized.

Due to an over reliance on highly processed foods and a deficiency in fruits and vegetables, the majority of Americans often have diets deficient in potassium and magnesium. Low dietary intake of magnesium and potassium increases the chance of developing high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease. These minerals are essential for the control of blood pressure.

Less than 3% of Americans, on average, consume more potassium than the daily value (DV), which is set at 4,700 mg. Furthermore, research indicates that fewer than 50% of Americans consume the recommended amount of magnesium each day.1516

Thankfully, you can reduce your risk of heart disease and preserve heart health by choosing foods high in minerals, such as edamame, and increasing your intake of these nutrients.17

Edamame is a good source of protein, fiber, and a number of other vitamins and minerals, including iron, which is necessary for the synthesis of hormones, the transportation of oxygen, the production of energy, and the development of the nervous system. It is also a good source of magnesium and potassium.18

Since iron is largely found in animal products, persons who follow plant-based diets typically have low iron levels. Edamame is a great option for promoting healthy iron storage in people who follow vegetarian or vegan diets since it is a strong source of plant-based, or non-heme, iron.

The Dangers of Edamame Eating

For the majority of people, edamame is a healthy option. But since it’s a soy product, those who are allergic to soy shouldn’t use it.

Furthermore, eating a lot of edamame might produce symptoms like gas and bloating since it has a very high amount of fiber—especially if your current diet is low in fiber.19

As with any high-fiber food, it’s recommended to gradually increase the amount of edamame you eat. This will help your body adjust to a higher fiber intake and lessen the likelihood that you’ll have bothersome digestive problems.

Furthermore, a small body of research indicates that eating a lot of soy products may have a negative effect on thyroid function, possibly leading to a tiny increase in thyroid-stimulating hormone levels, which in turn causes the release of thyroid hormone. The majority of research, however, points to the improbable possibility that a typical soy diet will have a major effect on thyroid health, particularly in people with normal thyroid function.9.

However, it is advisable for those with thyroid disorders, such as hypothyroidism, to consume soy products in moderation as a high-soy diet may disrupt thyroid hormone levels.

Advice on How to Eat Edamame

Edamame is a tasty addition to salads and noodles, but it’s also great eaten on its own as a snack or appetizer.

Here are some ideas for including edamame in your diet:

  • For a quick and easy high-protein snack, try topping steamed edamame with a dash of soy sauce or sea salt.
  • To increase the amount of fiber and plant-based protein in noodle recipes, add edamame.
  • Add edamame to stews and soups.
  • Try including edamame in rice bowls and quinoa salads, among other grain meals.
  • Edamame and fresh vegetables combine to make a high-protein salad.
  • A brilliant green edamame hummus can be made by substituting edamame for chickpeas.

Most grocery stores have frozen edamame, either shelled or in their pods. Although it’s more difficult to find fresh, unfrozen edamame, you can buy it from nearby farms and specialist shops, depending on where you live.

A Brief Recap

Edamame are young soybeans that are nutrient-dense, high in iron, magnesium, fiber, and protein.

Consuming edamame has various health benefits, such as increasing fullness and lowering heart disease risk factors.

Edamame are not only nutrient-dense but also flavorful and adaptable; you can eat them in rice bowls, salads, and soups.

Topics #Edamame #health