Healthy snack

Edamame with sea salt

Edamame are young soybeans, usually still in the pod. It’s salty and delicious and perfect for snacking.

Edamame served in the pod is a popular appetizer at most Japanese food restaurants and is a great choice for vegetarians or anyone wanting to eat healthy particularly since it is packed full of healthy and low-fat soy protein. They are naturally gluten-free and low in calories, they contain no cholesterol, and they are an excellent source of protein, iron, and calcium.

People who are allergic to soy products may not be able to eat edamame.

Nutrition

  • A 150 (g) cup of frozen, prepared edamame beans contains
  • 180 calories
  • 18 g of protein
  • 8 g of fat
  • 8.1 g of dietary fiber
  • 13 g of carbohydrate, including 3.3 g of sugars
  • 100 mg of calcium  (10% DV)
  • 3.5 mg of iron         (20% DV)
  • 100 mg of magnesium (25% DV)
  • 260 mg of phosphorus (26% DV)
  • 660 mg of potassium (13% DV)
  • 9 mg of vitamin C    (16% DV)
  • 41 mcg of vitamin K  (52% DV)
  • 475 mcg of folate   (121% DV)

In addition, folic acid intake is essential during pregnancy to protect against neural tube defects in infants.
The recommended intake of folate is 400 mcg DFE for women aged 19 years and above, 600 mcg DFE during pregnancy, and 500 mcg DFE while breastfeeding.

The beans are high in healthy polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid.

Soy foods contain isoflavones, a type of compound known as phytoestrogens that have been linked to a lower risk for osteoporosis and cancer.

Other nutrients include vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B-6, pantothenic acid, choline, zinc, copper, and manganese.

Benefits

There is evidence that consuming more plant foods like edamame decreases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and overall mortality. It can also promote a healthy complexion and hair, and it can boost energy.

The calcium and magnesium in soy may help to lessen symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), 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 with improvements in overall health.

Cardiovascular disease

Consuming soy protein as an alternative to animal protein leads to lower levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. This, in turn, decreases the risk of atherosclerosis and high-blood pressure.

Breast cancer

Genistein, the predominant isoflavone in soy, contains antioxidant properties that inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Depression

Edamame contains folate, which may help relieve depression. It may do this by preventing an excess of 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 hormones serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These hormones regulate mood, sleep, and appetite.

Osteoporosis

Soy isoflavones are known to decrease bone loss and increase bone mineral density during menopause.They have also been reported to reduce other menopausal symptoms.

How to cook edamame

To cook edamame that is still in the pod, boil the pods in salted water, or, steam your edamame, then sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. You can eat edamame hot or cold.

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