Edamame Beans: The Not-So Well-Known Green Bean

2013-07-16 16.03.30Have you ever heard of or tried edamame beans? Edamame beans are a popular Asian produce that can be found in your local grocery store, sometimes fresh, but most often in the frozen vegetable section. Edamame beans are soybeans that are harvested before the beans reach maturation and harden on the vine. Edamame when translated in Japanese literally means “twig bean.” These soft, delicious beans with a mild flavor are usually blanched and then frozen to preserve their natural vibrant green color.

What nutrients do they provide? Edamame beans are rich in carbohydrates, protein, dietary fiber, omega fatty acids and a variety of vitamins and minerals. The most abundant vitamins and minerals in edamame beans are potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, folate, vitamin K and calcium. This nutrient-packed legume is an excellent and popular snack EXPECIALLY for athletes and vegetarians due to its high protein content (about 17 grams of protein per ½ cup!).

A Complete Plant Protein Source: Edamame beans are one of only a handful of vegetable protein sources that contain all of the building blocks (amino acids) of essential proteins that need to be consumed through diet. Therefore, edamame beans are considered to be a complete protein source similar to eggs, dairy products, fish, meat and poultry. Complete protein sources are ideal for initiating the muscle building process as well as both preserving and repairing muscle tissue.

Health Benefits. The health benefits of edamame beans are numerous. Some of the most important and notable benefits are reducing cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and type II diabetes. These delicious beans also reduce the risk of cancer. The mono- and polyunsaturated fats found in edamame beans are wonderful for heart health and help to prevent cardiovascular disease.
How to Enjoy. Roast these delicious bright green beans with extra virgin olive oil and a little salt and pepper for a great healthy snack. Add them to a salad or put them in a food processor with your favorite ingredients to make a healthy bean dip! These versatile beans will add color, protein, and other important nutrients to any meal or snack. For a tasty and colorful edamame salad recipe, click here: Edamame Confetti Salad.

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