Soy is one of the most popular and diverse food crops in the world.
They are processed into a variety of foods such as soy protein, tofu, soybean oil, soy sauce, miso soy sauce, Japanese fermented bean natto and fermented soybean cake tempeh Indonesia.
Soybeans are also eaten whole, including young soybeans called edamame beans. As a traditional food in Asian cuisine, soybeans are gradually becoming popular in Western countries, where soybeans are often eaten as a snack.
This article lists the health benefits primarily based on the science of edamame beans.
What is Edamame?
Edamame is a whole-grain, soy-based soybeans, sometimes referred to as vegetable soybeans.
They are green and different colors with regular soybeans (light brown, brown or beige).
Edamame beans are usually sold while still in shell, which is not for eating. You can also buy peeled beans.
In the US, most edamame beans are sold frozen. In general, you can easily defrost beans by boiling, steaming, frying or in the microwave for a few minutes.
Traditionally, they were prepared with a little salt and added soups, stews, salads and noodles, or simply eaten as a snack.
Edamame beans are available at sushi shops and at many Chinese and Japanese restaurants. You can find it in most major supermarkets in the US, typically in frozen vegetables. Most healthy food stores sell these beans.
But is edamame really good for health? The answer may depend on who you ask.
Soy-based foods are controversial. Some people avoid eating soy regularly, partly because they can affect thyroid function .
For more information about everyone's concerns, read this paragraph.
However, despite these concerns, edamame and soybeans may also have some health benefits. Here are 8 health benefits mentioned.
1. High protein content
Adequate protein intake is important for optimal health.
Vegetarians and people rarely eat animal foods with content the protein They need to pay special attention to what they eat every day.
Another concern is the relatively low protein content of many plant foods. However, there are a few exceptions.
For example, beans are one of the best sources of protein from plants. In fact, they are the basis of many vegetarian diets and frugal diets.
One cup (155 grams) of cooked edamame beans provide about 18.5 grams of protein .
In addition, soy is a complete source of protein. Unlike most plant proteins, they provide all the essential amino acids your body needs, although these amino acids are not as high-quality as animal proteins .
Summary: Edamame beans contain about 12% protein, a significant amount for a plant food. It is also a good source of protein, providing most essential amino acids.
2. Help lower cholesterol
Observational studies link abnormally high cholesterol levels with increased risk of heart disease .
One study concluded that eating 47 grams of soy protein daily could reduce total cholesterol levels to 9.3% and reduce LDL cholesterol by 12.9% .
Another analysis of studies showed that 50 grams of soy protein daily reduced LDL cholesterol levels by 3% .
Whether small changes in this level of cholesterol mean lowering the risk of heart disease is unclear.
Despite these uncertainties, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved that soy protein meets health requirements in preventing heart disease .
In addition to being a rich source of soy protein, edamame beans are rich in fiber, antioxidants and vitamin K.
These plant compounds can reduce the risk of heart disease and improve blood lipid levels, which are the criteria for assessing fat including cholesterol and triglycerides .
Summary: Edamame beans are rich in protein, antioxidants and fiber that can reduce circulating cholesterol levels. However, it is unclear whether edamame has any effect on the risk of heart disease.
3. Does not increase blood sugar
People who regularly eat a lot of carbs easily digest such as sugar are at risk of chronic disease .
This is due to the fast digestibility and carb absorption which increases the blood sugar level, a condition called .
Like other beans, edamame does not increase excessive blood sugar.
It contains less carbs, a fair amount of protein and fat. It also has very low, this is the standard for assessing the extent to which food raises blood sugar .
This makes edamame beans suitable for people with diabetes. It is also a great additional source for Low-carb diet .
Summary: Edamame beans are low in carb. This food is suitable for people with type 2 diabetes, as well as those who follow low-carb diets.
4. Rich in vitamins and minerals
Edamame beans contain large amounts of vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber.
The table below shows the main amounts of vitamins and minerals when comparing edamame beans and mature soybeans in 3.5 ounces (100 grams) .
Mature soybeans (RDI)
Edamame contains significantly more vitamin K and folate than mature soy.
In fact, if you eat a full cup (155 grams), you will get about 52% vitamin K and more than 100% RDI folate.
Summary: Edamame beans are rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin K and folate.
5. Reduce the risk of breast cancer
Soybeans rich in plant compounds are known to be .
Isoflavones are similar to estrogen hormones in women and are weakly linked to receptors located on cells throughout the body.
Because estrogen is thought to exacerbate some types of cancer, such as breast cancer, some researchers believe that consuming a large amount of soy and isoflavones may be a risk factor for this disease.
Several observational studies have linked the consumption of soy products or isoflavones with increased breast tissue status, potentially increasing the risk of breast cancer .
However, most similar studies show that consumption of soy and soy products may slightly reduce the risk of breast cancer .
They also point out that eating a lot of isoflavone-rich foods early can protect against breast cancer later in life .
Other researchers found no protective effect of soy on breast cancer risk .
However, there should be long-term control studies before conclusions can be drawn.
Summary: Observational studies show that soy-based foods like edamame may reduce the risk of breast cancer, but not all studies agree with this conclusion.
6. Can help reduce menopausal symptoms
This natural condition is often associated with irritating symptoms, such as hot flashes, emotional changes and sweating.
Studies show that soy and isoflavones can relieve menopausal adverse symptoms .
However, not all women are affected by isoflavones and soy products in this way. To gain these benefits, women need to have the right type of gut bacteria .
Some types of bacteria can convert isoflavone into walls a compound of soybeans is believed to be responsible for many health benefits. People with these special types of intestinal bacteria are called "equol producers" .
A serious study showed that taking 135 mg of isoflavones daily for one week - equivalent to eating 68 grams of soy per day - helps reduce menopausal symptoms only in those who have produced equol .
Bacteria produced equol are more common in Asians than in the West .
This may explain why Asian women are less likely to experience menopausal symptoms than women in Western countries. Consumption of soy and soy products may play an important role in this situation.
However, the evidence is not completely consistent. Some studies have not been able to detect any important effects or clinically relevant effects of isoflavones or soy products on menopausal symptoms .
However, these studies do not distinguish whether participants are equol-producing bacteria. This may explain their lack of significant findings.
Summary: Some studies show that eating foods from soy can reduce menopausal symptoms. However, the evidence is inconsistent.
7. May help reduce the risk of prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men. About a third will get prostate cancer at some point in life .
Studies show that soy foods, such as edamame, are not only beneficial for women. They can also help protect against cancer in men.
Some observational studies show that soy products are associated with about 30% lower risk of prostate cancer .
Some controlled studies provide additional evidence to support, but more research is needed before certain conclusions can be reached .
Summary: There is evidence that eating soy can combat prostate cancer, but more research is needed to conclude.
8. May help reduce osteoporosis
Several studies have observed that regular consumption of isoflavone-rich soy products may reduce the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women .
This was demonstrated by a high-quality study in postmenopausal women that showed soy isoflavone supplementation for two years increased bone density of participants .
Isoflavones may have similar benefits in postmenopausal women. An analysis of the studies concluded that taking 90 mg of isoflavone daily for three months or more could reduce bone loss and promote bone formation .
However, not all studies agree with this conclusion. Another analysis of the study in women concluded that taking 87 mg of an isoflavone supplement daily for at least one year did not significantly increase bone density .
Like other soy products, edamame beans are rich in isoflavones. However, the degree of impact on its bone health is unclear.
Summary: Isoflavones can protect against bone loss in middle-aged and elderly women. Although edamame beans contain isoflavones, the effect of whole foods does not necessarily reflect the benefits of individual ingredients.
How to process and eat edamame beans?
Edamame can be used like other beans.
However, it tends to be used as a more vegetable - added to salads or eaten separately as a snack.
Edamame is usually left in the skin even if it is not edible. Remove the beans from the shell before you eat them.
Cooking this bean is quite simple. Unlike most beans, edamame does not require long cooking.
Boiling for 3-5 minutes is usually enough, but it can also be cooked, grated or fried.
Here are some recipes that can give you some ideas on how to prepare beans edamame:
Summary: Edamame is often eaten separately like a snack. However, it can be prepared in many ways with garlic or in a mix.
Edamame is a delicious nutritious food, an option for low-calorie snacks.
However, no studies directly examine edamame's health effects.
Most studies are based on soy ingredients and it is often unknown whether all soy foods have similar benefits.
Although the evidence is quite encouraging, more research is needed before researchers can make clear conclusions about the benefits of edamame beans.