Possible health benefits of consuming edamame
Consuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions. Many
studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like edamame decreases the risk of obesity and overall mortality, diabetes,
heart disease and promotes a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, overall lower weight.
The isoflavones (a type of compound called phytoestrogens) in soy foods have been linked to a decreased risk for osteoporosis, while the
calcium and magnesium in soy may help to lessen PMS symptoms, regulate blood sugar and prevent migraine headaches. Soy-food
consumption has been associated with a lower risk of several specific age and lifestyle-related conditions and improving overall general health.
Age-related brain diseases
Based on geographic epidemiological findings, it has been observed that populations that consume greater amounts of soy have, in general, less
incidence of age-related mental disorders.4
Consuming soy protein as an alternative to animal protein lowers levels of LDL cholesterol, which in turn decreases the risk of atherosclerosis
and high-blood pressure.3
Breast and prostate cancer
Genistein, the predominant isoflavone in soy, contains antioxidant properties that inhibit the growth of cancer cells.4 Moderate amounts of soy
foods do not affect tumor growth or a woman's risk of developing breast cancer. In fact, at least 10mg of soy per day can decrease breast cancer
recurrence by 25%.
The folate in edamame may help with depression by preventing an excess of homocysteine from forming in the body, which can prevent blood
and other nutrients from reaching the brain. Excess homocysteine interferes with the production of the feel-good hormones serotonin, dopamine,
and norepinephrine, which regulate not only mood, but sleep and appetite as well.8
People who suffer from type 2 diabetes often experience kidney disease, causing the body to excrete an excessive amount of protein in the
urine. Evidence from a recent study has indicated that those who consumed only soy protein in their diet excreted less protein than those that
consumed only animal protein.5
For women of child-bearing age, consuming more iron from plant sources such as edamame, spinach, beans, pumpkin, tomatoes, and beets
appear to promote fertility, according Harvard Medical School's Harvard Health Publications. Also of note, adequate folic acid intake is essential
for pregnant women to protect against neural tube defects in infants. One cup of edamame per day provides 121% of daily folate needs.
Not getting enough iron in your diet can also affect how efficiently your body uses energy. Edamame is a great non-heme source of iron, along
with lentils, spinach and eggs.
Choline is a very important and versatile nutrient in edamame that aids our bodies in sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline
also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and
reduces chronic inflammation.6
Soy isoflavones are known to decrease bone loss and increase bone mineral density during menopause, and have also been reported to reduce
other menopausal symptoms.
A 1-cup serving of edamame provides eight grams of fiber. This is the equivalent of the fiber found in four pieces of whole-wheat bread. A 1-cup
serving has 190 calories. It is low in fat, containing only 8 grams per serving. Edamame is also high in protein with a whopping 17 grams per
serving. This makes it a good plant-based protein alternative to meat.
Edamame is the perfect little pick-me-up snack. You may
have had it as an appetizer at a Japanese restaurant,
tucked away in their fuzzy little pods and sprinkled with
salt. But what exactly are those little green bean-looking
Edamame is a young soybean that has been harvested before
the beans have had a chance to harden. You can buy them
shelled or in the pod, fresh or frozen.
Edamame is naturally gluten-free and low calorie, contains no
cholesterol and is an excellent source of protein, iron, and
calcium. It is an especially important source of protein for those
who follow a plant-based diet.
Nutritional breakdown of edamame
Edamame is a complete source of dietary protein; meaning that like
meat and dairy, it provides all of the essential amino acids needed in
the diet that humans cannot make themselves.
The little beans are also high in healthy polyunsaturated fats,
especially omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid.
According the USDA National Nutrient Database, one cup (155 grams)
of frozen, prepared edamame contains 189 calories, 8 grams of fat (1
gram saturated, 16 grams of total carbohydrate (8 grams of fiber and
3 grams of sugar) and a whopping 17 grams of protein.
A one-cup serving of edamame provides 10% of calcium needs, 16%
of vitamin C, 20% of iron, 52% of vitamin K and 121% of your daily
needs for folate.
Edamame also contains vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B-6,
pantothenic acid, choline, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc,
copper and manganese.
Edamame is a young soybean that has been harvested before the beans
have had a chance to harden.