If you have ever seen edamame before, it can be easy to confuse the food with peas, since the pods look very similar. Edamame is mainly found in countries on the Pacific Rim, and are frequently found in meals with some eating them everyday. Edamame is actually a soybean that is eaten directly with the pod in most cases, and can be prepared in a lot of different ways.
Whether you are making a stir fry with edamame or just eating it on its own, it can help you increase your overall health. Edamame has been praised in the health world as having a large range of benefits, and are packed with vitamins and nutrients. Let’s take a close look at edamame and what those health benefits could mean for you.
Nutrition of Edamame
Eating one cup of edamame is going to get you a lot of the fiber you need, as that serving will have 32 percent of your daily fiber recommendation. You are also getting a lot of protein, with just about the same amount of your recommendation. The most abundant vitamin that you can find in edamame is folate, with 121 percent of your daily value. Edamame also contains more than 50 percent of your vitamin K needs, while adding significant amounts of vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin and vitamin B6.
There are plenty of minerals to be found, in addition. You can get nearly 80 percent of your manganese intake with each serving. Other minerals that are at least 20 percent daily value include iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and copper. Throw in some calcium, zinc and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and you have a pretty well rounded food.
Those vitamins that we mentioned, especially vitamin C, will help you to prevent a lot of different diseases by boosting your immune system. You will fight off a lot of those minor diseases such as the common cold, but you can also prevent chronic diseases through eating more edamame. Edamame, along with other soy products, has been shown to have properties that can help treat cancer.
Soy has been shown in some of these studies to help reverse the size of a tumor. You can reduce your chances of developing certain types of cancer (such as breast cancer) through eating more soy. The main cause of this is isoflavones that are found in edamame, which resemble estrogen and can fight cancer cells. Though the total effect still needs to be researched further, the early evidence is encouraging.
Eating more soy such as edamame has been shown to have a positive benefit for your heart health, starting with cholesterol. Studies have found that soy proteins can lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol by around 10 percent. Not every study has shown the same numbers, but it has been as high as nearly 13 percent. While that was happening, there was a rise in the HDL (good) cholesterol levels in patients.
Not only can you lower your cholesterol levels, but you can also avoid problems that come from inflammation, the basis of many forms of heart disease. The fiber and other minerals can also help you control your insulin levels. This will play a big part in your overall heart health as you are reducing your chance of getting diabetes.
With fewer than 200 calories per serving, edamame makes for a good addition to a meal or even as a snack. Edamame also contains a lot of fiber and protein, which helps your digestive system while also building muscle. When you help out both of those systems, you are going to see a metabolism boost where you are burning more calories throughout the day even when not exercising.
That fiber content will also help make you more regular, alleviating some of the digestive problems that you can suffer from such as constipation or indigestion. If you want to add more exercise to your diet, the protein content will help you get through workouts, and edamame even contains genistein, which helps your lung function. All around, edamame a good tool for a solid diet.
All of those minerals that you find in edamame is likely to lead to an increase in bone health. There have been several studies that have looked at the effect of soy on bone health, and the results have been positive. Isoflavone found in soy can help you prevent bone loss and the problems that come with it, including osteoporosis.
It is also important for young children to eat foods that contain similar minerals to help them develop stronger bones. It will help keep those problems from aging away, and bone density can be one of the first things to go. The anti-inflammatory properties can also reduce some of the pain that is associated with bone loss.
Eating more edamame can enhance your appearance, with your skin seeing the biggest benefit. Antioxidants that fight off free radicals in edamame can reduce the signs of aging such as wrinkles and sun damage. It has also been found to be very beneficial for women that have gone through menopause maintain healthier skin.
Those nutrients will also have a positive effect on your hair. The antioxidants allow for better scalp health, making your hair stronger and grow faster. Even if you weren’t too worried about your overall skin’s appearance, it is important to take care of your skin to prevent certain forms of cancer.
Summing it Up
As a member of the soy family, there isn’t too much about edamame that would be considered unhealthy. Eating a cup of edamame each day is the recommended amount if you plan on adding more to your diet, though you don’t want to eat too much soy. An overabundance of soy could possible cause hypothyroidism, but this is considered pretty rare and would take a diet made up of a lot of soy.
Outside of that, there isn’t much to worry about when eating edamame. It’s a very versatile food that you can use in a lot of different ways, with most of them being healthy. Some people might not find it to have much taste, but it can be very filling and a nice addition to your diet. Eating a few servings per week will cause you to experience a lot of great health benefits that will improve your life overall.