In recent times, a well-like Asian food called edamame is increasingly becoming a favourite preparation of people in several other parts of the world too. Edamame is prepared from soybeans. Subsequently, the soybeans are parboiled quickly and frozen with a view to preserve their fresh essence.

For several thousand years now, people of various cultures across the globe have been cultivating soybeans as a major food source. You can use soybeans in an assortment of ways that vary from fermenting the young beans to making soy sauce from the aged ones. In addition, soybeans are also milked to produce soy milk, which is a popular alternative to the dairy milk. Several people consume soybean products as they believe that this natural food offers many health benefits to us. In fact, soybeans contain a lot of vitamin C, calcium and protein. In several instances, soybean products also contain significant amounts of dietary fiber, particularly when you consume the whole beans.

Edamame is available both fresh as well as frozen. You can boil the whole edamame and subsequently de-shell them and consume the food in the form of a snack. Alternatively, you can also add edamame to stir fries, salads or soups. The nutritional value as well as benefits of edamame is almost similar to that of other soy products like soy milk or tofu.

Usually, soybeans are permitted to mature on the vine so that they develop into hard beans which can be harvested without any difficulty and stored properly. Soybeans can also be harvested when they are maximum mature, just prior to hardening. When harvesting is done in this stage, the soybeans are called edamame by people in Japan. On the other hand, they are called mao dou by people in China. Usually, soybeans are tender, yielding and have an elevated nutritional value and many people find them enjoyable owing to their delicate flavour.

There are various ways of consuming soybeans and the most common traditional means is to consume them in a slightly boiled or steamed form, with the entire pod. Later, one may shell the beans and add them to sandwiches, salads or soups according to their preferences. You can consume the cooked beans hot or cold. On the other hand, there are many consumers who pack the cooked beans in their lunch boxes and consume them like a snack food. You may also season freshly obtained soybeans by adding salt, soy sauce as well as other ingredients and preserve them for future use.

People in Japan also use edamame for making desserts. Several Japanese desserts make use of savoury vegetable that can either be spiced or sweetened, subject to the type of dessert that is being prepared. In fact, soybeans impart a very rich as well as interesting textural filling for especially rice cakes as well as other similar dessert foods. In addition, soybeans may also be dried and combined with several other ingredients. Aside from being a very interesting food, desserts prepared with edamame not only have a delicate flavour, but are also of very high nutritional value.

It is worth mentioning here that edamame beans are especially a rich resource of natural protein and this makes them a popular food among the vegetarian athletes. Consuming half a cup (125 grams) of edamame soybeans provide our body with 11 grams of protein. In fact, edamame beans are among the rare sources of protein that enclose the entire nine vital amino acids that our body is unable to make. At the same time, the fat contained by edamame beans has been found to be beneficial for our heart's health. It not only helps in reducing the blood cholesterol levels, but also decreases the chances of developing heart diseases.

Health benefits

Consumption of edamame beans on a regular basis offers numerous health benefits, as it is loaded with vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants. This food is especially beneficial for the health of our skin, the largest organ of the human body. At the same time, edamame beans are useful in reinforcing our immune system. It is important to note that a robust immune system is essential for our body to shield itself from the invasion of numerous micro-organisms and pathogens that may be responsible for a variety of health problems.

It is worth mentioning here that the human skin is not only the largest organ of our body, but it is also vulnerable to various kinds of damages owing to external conditions, for instance weather as well as medicines among other things. Hence, it is vital to ensure that we take proper care of our skin. Ingestion of edamame beans, which encloses potent antioxidants, aids in sustaining the health of the skin and also mending damaged or injured skin. It has been proven that edamame beans enclose isoflavones, which may be very useful in dealing with skin changes related to age, especially in women in post menopausal stage.

The edamame beans enclose antioxidants that facilitate our body in getting rid of various toxic substances and detrimental free radicals. The antioxidants are effective in making our immune system stronger. In fact, the isoflavones as well as saponins present in edamame beans are effective antioxidants that safeguard our body from the harmful effects of the free radicals.

Similar to any other soy products, edamame too has acquired importance owing to the multifarious health benefits offered by them. Several scientific studies have been undertaken to ascertain the potential health benefits offered by this natural food. Currently, scientists are studying whether edamame beans possess anti-carcinogenic properties. Findings of one study have revealed that soy extract may help to lessen tumour growths significantly. At the same time, soy extract may also help to put off development of tumours.

It is common knowledge that numerous women across the globe have been facing problems that are very natural with menopause. Recent studies have revealed that women in Asia experience much less negative effects of menopause compared to their counterparts in the West. It is believed that this is mainly due to the different diets taken by Asian women and women in the West. While the diet of Asian ladies incorporates plenty of soy products, women in the West hardly take much soy foods. This may be the main reason why women in Asia suffer from lesser menopausal effects than those in the Western countries.

It has been established that soy beans enclose phytochemicals such as isoflavones, in addition to phytoestrogens, which provide faster relief from hot flashes as well as other symptoms related to menopause.

Soybean is a very effective food for people suffering from type-2 diabetes, which is the most widespread type of diabetes. This natural food helps to augment the metabolic process and, at the same time, improve insulin manufacture in our liver. As most of us are aware that insulin effectively serves to regulate the glucose levels in our blood stream, this food is important for diabetic people. Soybean also encloses natural compounds like diadzein and equol that serve well to sensitize insulin. Hence, incorporating soybean in your diet, especially those who are diabetic, will be beneficial for their overall health.

Regular consumption of edamame may also prove to be useful in regulating our body weight. Eating enough of this natural food plays a vital role in weight loss programs. As edamame not only encloses an elevated level of protein and very less calories, it is effective in weight loss programs. Therefore, people who are conscious of a healthy body weight should consume edamame.

As discussed above, the health benefits offered by edamame are multifarious. This natural soybean food is very useful for the health of our digestive system. Apart from being an excellent natural source of dietary fiber that facilitates the digestive system to function better, it also helps in maintaining healthy bowel movements. At the same time, consumption of edamame also prevents or lessens bloating problems. Aside from these health benefits, dietary fiber contained by edamame also largely helps to maintain a particular cholesterol level in the body. In this way, consumption of edamame helps in reducing the risks of developing a cardiac arrest or stroke.

Apart from the above mentioned nutrients, edamame also encloses vitamin E, iron, phosphorus and calcium, in addition to other essential nutrients that are necessary to maintain the health of our bones. Regular consumption of edamame as well as other soybean products is likely to provide our body with the essential nutrients as well as making our bones stronger and preserving a healthy bone density. Findings of a scientific study have hinted that consumption of edamame may also help to lessen the chances of developing bone fractures, particularly in women in the post-menopausal stage.

This aside, it has been found that osteoporosis is yet another common old age related bone problem. Therefore, it is advisable that consuming edamame on a regular basis may aid in putting of development of osteoporosis too as this food contain isoflavones as well as other valuable nutrients. Moreover, it is necessary to ensure that you lead a healthy lifestyle, as it is important to put off the development of other diseases related to our bones.

In addition, edamame also possesses anti-inflammatory attributes, which makes this soybean food an excellent thing to consume; especially when you have been enduring arthritis or any other type of health condition involving inflammation. In fact, edamame is considered to be one of the natural remedies for arthritis. Actually people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, perhaps a most excruciating type of arthritis may get relief from pain by consuming edamame. In addition, edamame is an excellent food for people enduring asthma, because it possesses the aptitude to lessen inflammation in the respiratory passages. Consumption of edamame on a regular basis will help in reducing wheezing as well as coughing in patients suffering from diseases related to the lungs.

The best thing about edamame is that is contains fewer calories. In addition, edamame also contains extremely low amounts of fat. Consuming only half cup of this food provides us with 2.5 grams of fat. On the other hand, the same serving of edamame provides us with 11 grams of protein. Therefore, this soybean preparation is an excellent food for all vegetarians who are seeking to obtain more protein from this food. As discussed earlier, the proteins contained by edamame not only contains all the nine essential amino acids, which our body is unable to make by itself, but also ensures that we receive them by consuming this soybean preparation.

All said and done, consuming half a cup of edamame also provides us with sufficient amount of dietary fiber, which is healthy for the health of our digestive system. In fact, one serving of edamame provides us with four grams of dietary fiber. It has been established that dietary fiber helps to reduce the cholesterol levels in our blood stream, thereby reducing the chances of developing heart diseases. In addition, adequate intake of dietary fiber also gives us a sensation of fullness for a prolonged period, thereby reducing our craving for food. In fact, often it is difficult to find dietary fiber in our food, but it is one of the nutrients that are beneficial for diabetic people as well as those who are obese. Therefore, incorporating edamame into your diet will help you to solve both problems.

In addition to containing healthy dietary fibers, edamame also encloses natural compounds called isoflavones, which are also vital in reducing the chances of developing heart disease. It is said that isoflavones not only reduce the risks of developing breast cancer, but the issue is still being debated hotly among scientists. It is yet to be ascertained scientifically. Edamame also contains a number of other healthy nutrients counting vitamin E and folate. It has been proven that folates are responsible for promoting red blood cells (erythrocyte) production in the body. Moreover, folic acid is especially vital for the health of pregnant women.

It is important to note that in the absence of sufficient folate, the spine of a baby is unlikely to develop completely and this may result is various problems in due course of time. Moreover, findings of several scientific studies have suggested that ingestion of genistein may help to enhance the functioning of the lungs of patients suffering from asthma. Since, edamame encloses the nutritionally valuable genistein, it may also help in improving the functioning of the lungs.


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