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by inKin
07 Jul

The Best Super Foods A-Z: E Is for Edamame

Edamame may be the best-kept secret in the superfood world. Edamame, pronounced ed-ah-MAH-may, are immature, green soybeans. They may be sold fresh, still in their pods, shelled, or frozen. You are most likely to see the salty superfood as an appetizer on restaurant menus.

 

That is just a glimpse of the Asian staple. In truth, edamame is more than just a starter and much more versatile than you might expect.

Toss edamame with green and purple cabbage, crunchy chow mein noodles, and sweet and tangy sesame seed dressing for a crisp, nutrition-packed salad.

Pulverize edamame with olive oil, lemon juice, and spices for a quick-and-easy edamame dip with a flavor and texture somewhere between hummus and guacamole, Eat, Drink, Love recommends.

However you like to prepare it, edamame is a hearty, salty, and flavorful source of protein with a ton of potential health benefits. 

 

A Quick Look At Edamame Nutrition 

When it comes to edamame, calories are not an issue. According to WebMD, a half-cup of filling, protein-packed shelled edamame contains just 120 calories. A half-cup portion also includes:

  • 11 grams of protein
  • 9 grams of fiber
  • 10% of the recommended daily value for iron and vitamin C 
  • 8% of the daily value for vitamin A, and 
  • 4% Daily Value for calcium

 

The Health Benefits of Edamame

1. More Energy
"Edamame is an excellent nonheme source of iron," Medical News Today writes. Maintaining healthy iron levels is essential for staving off anaemia and boosting your energy. 

 

2. Protection From Age-Related Brain Disease
Some studies suggest that the soy isoflavones present in edamame buoy verbal fluency and nonverbal memory and may improve overall cognitive function, Medical News Today adds. Improving brain health is an important part of reducing the likelihood of dementia or Alzheimer's with age.

 

3. Weight Loss Benefits
Live Strong recommends maximizing weight loss by following a high-protein, low-fat diet. Edamame is a high-protein, low-fat super food. Snacking on edamame helps you curb hunger and cravings.

 

4. Youthful-Looking Skin
If you are craving the crunchy, salty treat, don't forget about edamame benefits for skin! Regularly and safely consuming edamame can boost collagen levels, leading to firm, glowing, and youthful-looking skin.

 

5. Immune System Support
You may not realize that you require a certain copper intake for a healthy immune system. According to Live Strong, the average adult benefits from 900 micrograms of copper on a day-to-day basis. There are  535 micrograms of copper in one cup of edamame -- over half the amount you need per day.

 

6. Improved Cardiovascular Health
Edamame is called a super food for a reason! Each serving of edamame contains plenty of fiber as well as omega-3 fatty acids. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends diets high in both to reduce your risk of heart disease. 

Plus, when snacking on edamame estrogen often comes up. What is the difference between edamame and soybeans? Do they unfavorably boost estrogen levels? First, let's address the difference between edamame vs. soybeans. Simply put, edamame beans are young soybeans. They are harvested early when they are still green. Soybeans are harvested when they are fully mature and a pale-brown color. Both contain estrogen. While the hormone typically gets a bad rap, Healthline reveals that it is actually associated with many positive health benefits, including improved immune response and "a lower risk of certain types of cancer." 

 

Summer Corn & Edamame Salad

Are you wondering how to eat edamame? To eat the popular snack or starter, steamed edamame garnished with salt, place the pod in your mouth and use your front teeth to gently pop each edamame bean out of its shell. This is just one way to eat edamame. Remember, edamame is a versatile super food. There are all kinds of options available to you, like this Summer Corn & Edamame Salad edamame beans recipe from Kitchen Treaty.

This makes a perfect, light, and delicious side to any meal, and it's particularly enjoyable in the hot summer months.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag frozen edamame, shelled (10 ounces)
  • 2 cobs sweet corn, peeled and rinsed
  • 1 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 5 to 6 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


Instructions: 

  1.  Bring a medium-sized pot of water to boil. Boil the ears of corn together for about three minutes, remove from the water, and put them aside. Use the same boiling water to cook the edamame. Boil until tender or about three minutes. Remove from heat and drain. 
  2. Dice the red onion, cut the cherry tomatoes in half, and cut up the basil until fine. Place ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Use a knife to gently remove the corn kernels from the cob. Add them to the bowl. Add the edamame (drained) as well. Stir all ingredients together.
  4. Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar and mix until ingredients are thoroughly coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Try this recipe and more to enjoy all the benefits of salty and flavorful edamame. Find out for yourself why it has been a favorite in Asian cuisine and cultures for decades -- and why it is blazing its way onto the super food scene. 

 

Photo Credit: Depositphotos

 

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