Edamame is a young soybean. Edamame beans are a popular, plant based food and snack that may have various health benefits.
People harvest edamame beans before they ripen or harden. They are available shelled, in the pod, fresh, or frozen.
Edamame beans are naturally gluten free and low in calories, contain no cholesterol, and they are an excellent source of protein, iron, and calcium.
Soybeans are one of the world’s most popular and versatile food crops.
They are processed into a variety of food products, such as soy protein, tofu, soybean oil, soy sauce, miso, natto and tempeh.
Soybeans are also eaten whole, including as immature soybeans known as edamame. Traditionally eaten in Asia, edamame is gaining popularity in Western countries, where it is typically eaten as a snack.
Here’s what you’ll find in a half-cup serving of shelled edamame (or 1 1/8 cup edamame in the pods):
- 120 calories
- 9 grams fiber
- 2.5 grams fat
- 1.5 grams polyunsaturated fat
- (0.3 grams plant omega-3 fatty acids)
- 0.5 gram 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
What Are the Health Benefits of Edamame?Edamame is a good source of plant-based protein. In fact, it’s purportedly as good in quality as animal protein, and it doesn’t contain unhealthy saturated fat. It’s also much higher in vitamins, minerals, and fiber compared with animal protein. Eating 25 g per day of soy protein, such as tofu, may reduce your overall risk of heart disease.
Doesn’t Raise Blood Sugar
Edamame is low in carbs. It is suitable for people with type 2 diabetes, as well as those who follow a low-carb diet.
Those who eat lots of easily digested carbs, such as sugar, on a regular basis are at an increased risk of chronic disease.
This is because fast digestion and carb absorption spikes blood sugar levels, a condition known as hyperglycemia.
Like other beans, edamame does not excessively raise blood sugar levels.
It is low in carbs, relative to protein and fat. It also measures very low on the glycemic index, a measure of the extent to which foods raise blood sugar levels.
This makes edamame suitable for people with diabetes. It’s also an excellent addition to a low-carb diet.
Edamame contains folate, which the body needs to produce DNA and for proper cell division.
Past studies suggest that having an adequate folate intake may help prevent depression.
It may do this by stopping too much of a substance called homocysteine from forming in the body.
High levels of homocysteine can prevent blood and other nutrients from reaching the brain, and they can interfere with the production of the “feel-good” hormone serotonin. This hormone helps mood, sleep, and appetite.
May Lower Cholesterol
Edamame is rich in protein, antioxidants and fiber that may lower circulating cholesterol levels. However, it is unclear whether eating edamame has any effects on the risk of heart disease.
Observational studies have linked abnormally high levels of cholesterol with an increased risk of heart disease.
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%.
Another analysis of studies found that 50 grams of soy protein per day reduced LDL cholesterol levels by 3%.
It is unclear if these small-to-modest changes in cholesterol levels translate into a lower risk of heart disease.
Despite these uncertainties, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves health claims for soy protein in the prevention of heart disease.
In addition to being a decent source of soy protein, edamame is rich in healthy fiber, antioxidants and vitamin K.
These plant compounds may reduce the risk of heart disease and improve the blood lipid profile, a measure of fats including cholesterol and triglycerides.
Stronger Bone HealthEdamame contains calcium, which helps build strong bones. Eating edamame and soy foods regularly can help lower the risk of bone fractures and reduce joint pain in people with osteoporosis, especially postmenopausal women. If you’re concerned about your bone density, adding edamame to your diet is a tasty way to boost your bone health. Studies suggest that eating soy-based foods is more effective for increasing bone density than taking supplements.
Improved Menopausal SymptomsOne of the health benefits of eating edamame is reduced symptoms of menopause. The isoflavones in soy work wonders for alleviating common symptoms, such as mood swings, hot flashes, and night sweats. Keep in mind, it doesn’t work for everyone. You need to have the right bacteria in your digestive system that turns isoflavones into equol and helps the soy do its work. But edamame is a delicious snack and certainly worth a try.
Reduced Risk of Heart DiseaseThe extra fat and cholesterol linked to eating red meat is often associated with a higher risk of heart disease. If you’re working on reducing fat and cholesterol in your diet to improve your cardiovascular health, edamame is a good protein replacement. Soy foods also contain an omega-3 fatty acid that’s thought to lower cholesterol levels in the blood. As a bonus, edamame is low in sodium, which benefits heart disease patients who also have high blood pressure.
Superior Skin ProtectionThese tiny green soybeans that are protected by their pod can also protect your skin. Edamame is chock full of antioxidants that help repair skin damage caused by the environment, sun exposure, and injury. Antioxidants battle the free radicals that age your skin and create the appearance of wrinkles and sagging. Studies have shown that a soy-based isoflavone called genistein may be able to improve skin elasticity and prevent skin cancer. Eating edamame could also lessen the effects of skin aging in postmenopausal women.
Better DigestionFiber is essential for proper digestion and edamame is filled with it. One cup of edamame has 8 grams of fiber and provides 32% of the daily recommended amount. Getting fiber from eating edamame helps your body move food through your bowels more effectively and can provide relief from bloating, constipation, and hemorrhoids. Improved digestion from consuming edamame can also increase your energy levels by providing the maximum nutrition from what you eat.
Enhanced Weight ManagementDid you know eating edamame can help you lose or maintain weight? This high-fiber soy food makes your stomach feel full and satisfied, which can keep you from reaching for a second helping or dessert. Fiber takes longer to digest and it absorbs water in your stomach to make it expand and feel full. If you’re watching your weight, try heating up some edamame for a snack or adding a handful of beans to soups and stir fries.
MIMI (Multi ion mask insert)
- Can be worn with any facemask and provides additional heavy-duty protection.
- Adult & Youth Sizes Available
Rich in FolateEating edamame can help you recover faster after exercising because it contains folates and protein that help build muscle tissue. These important muscle-supporting folates are a form of B-vitamin that performs vital cell functions that include helping with cell division, growth, and DNA production. Folate is also beneficial for pregnant women to protect their developing baby from neural birth defects. Add edamame to your diet for a yummy folic acid boost.
Packed With ProteinOne of the most unique nutritional benefits of edamame is that it’s a complete protein, unlike many other beans, and it’s a staple for vegetarian and vegan diets. One cup of cooked edamame provides approximately 18.5 grams of protein and includes all of the essential amino acids your body needs to repair vital muscle tissue after daily wear and tear. If you’re interested in following a plant-based diet, add a few edamame recipes to your weekly meal plan.
How to Cook and Eat Edamame
Edamame can be used in much the same way as other types of beans.
However, it tends to be used more like a vegetable — added to salads or eaten on its own like a snack.
Edamame is often served in its inedible pods. Pop the beans out of the pod before you eat them.
Cooking it is simple. Unlike most other beans, edamame doesn’t require a long time to cook. Boiling it for 3–5 minutes is usually sufficient, but it can also be steamed, microwaved or pan-fried.
Edamame is a tasty, nutritious legume that’s an excellent low-calorie snack option.
Edamame, similarly to other soy products, contains many essential nutrients. It can be a healthful addition to a person’s diet and an alternative to sweetened and processed snacks.
However, no studies have examined the health effects of edamame directly.
Much of the research is based on isolated soy components and it is often unclear if whole soy foods have similar benefits.
While the evidence is encouraging, more studies are needed before researchers can reach definite conclusions about the benefits of edamame.