Are Edamame Healthy? – Everything You Need to Know

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Christina Ross
Christina Ross
I'm a human being on planet earth. I've lived hundreds of lifetimes. In this incarnation I'm here to advance medicine.

Are edamame healthy? Both fresh and frozen edamame is great for your health. The difference between edamame vs. soybeans is that edamame is the soybean that is immature and still in the pod.

You can call edamame the powerhouse of nutrition. And you can use these small green soybeans on almost anything, such as stir fries, rice dishes, or soups, to make your own edamame recipes.

Plus, you can eat freeze-dried edamame on any occasion. Just keep them in a zip-lock bag and munch on them as you please.

But, how much edamame is too much? Is edamame a vegetable or protein? What are the edamame benefits for skin? And, what are the edamame side effects? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions.

What Is Edamame?

Shelled edamame is immature soybeans. Sometimes, it is called vegetable-type soybeans. 

They are different in color from soybeans and are green. In contrast, soybeans are usually beige, tan, or light brown in color.

Calories of Edamame 

One cup or 160 grams of cooked edamame can contain up to 224 calories. This comprises about 7 percent to 11 percent of the calorie intake that is recommended daily for adults.

Edamame Nutrition Data

The edamame beans are high in various minerals, vitamins, and fiber. One cooked cup of edamame’s nutritional value is down below.

  • 224 calories
  • 113 grams of water
  • 37% protein of the Daily Value
  • 13.8 grams of carbohydrates
  • 3.38 grams of sugar
  • 20% iron of the Daily Value
  • 26% phosphorus of the Daily Value
  • 115% folate of the Daily Value
  • 20% thiamine of the Daily Value
  • 27% copper of the Daily Value
  • 12.1 grams of total lipid
  • 8 grams of fiber
  • 10% calcium of the Daily Value
  • 25% manganese of the Daily Value
  • 19% potassium of the Daily Value
  • 56% vitamin K1 of the Daily Value
  • 14% riboflavin of the Daily Value

Edamame has more folate and vitamin K1 than soybeans that are mature. So, the nutritional value of edamame is quite beneficial to our health.

Health Benefits of Edamame

Cooked edamame is very nutritious. So, the health benefits of edamame are vast. Here are some of the ways edamame is beneficial to us.

Lowers Cholesterol

Because of observational studies, we know that higher levels of cholesterol may impact our hearts and cause certain heart diseases.

In one review, people eating 25 grams of various soy proteins on average every day had a decrease in their LDL cholesterol by approximately 3 percent to 4 percent. And LDL cholesterol is the bad cholesterol that we want to avoid.

It is unclear if these changes in the levels of cholesterol can mean lesser risks of heart disease. 

However, the FDA or the Food and Drug Administration confirms that soy protein and soy products can prevent heart disease.

Additionally, edamame has a high content of vitamin K, fiber, and antioxidants, which might lower the risks of cardiovascular disease as well as improve the profile of blood lipid.

Promotes the Healthy Regulation of Blood Sugar

People who eat a lot of carbs that are easily digested, like sugar, regularly are at a higher risk of various chronic diseases.

That is because a diet that is high in carbohydrates that are rapidly digested can lead to a high post-meal sugar level as well as poor regulation of blood sugar, which can make the risk of conditions such as type 2 diabetes higher.

Soy products like shelled edamame do not raise the levels of blood sugar, just like most other beans. It is low in carbohydrates as well. This can make edamame good for people who have diabetes.

Protein Content

For good health, it is imperative that you get enough protein. People who eat foods that are high in animal protein rarely, such as vegans, will need to pay more attention to their diet.

The concern for these people is that most plant foods contain lower amounts of protein content. But, there may be some exceptions.

For example, one of the best sources of plant-based protein is beans. In fact, soy intake is what a lot of vegetarians and vegans depend on.

There are about 18.4g of protein in a cup of edamame that is cooked. And eating soy foods provides us with the nine essential amino acids that our body needs. So, to get those essential amino acids, you should start eating edamame beans.

Reduces the Risk of Developing Breast Cancer

Soybeans are rich in isoflavones, which have many health benefits. These plant compounds can mirror a sex hormone known as estrogen as well as weakly bind to estrogen receptors.

Since people think that estrogen can promote cancers like breast cancer, some think that if you eat a lot of soy foods as well as isoflavones, you may be at risk.

A lot of observational studies found that consuming soy products, soy isoflavones, or soy based foods can increase the risk of breast cancer.

However, similar studies on Asian people who consume a lot of soy protein and soy foods show that they are at a lower breast cancer risk. So, by eating edamame, you can expect to lead a healthier life.

Reduces Menopausal Symptoms

When a person’s menstruation ends, they enter the menopause stage. This stage often comes with symptoms such as mood swings, sweating, and hot flashes.

Studies show that isoflavones and soy products might decrease these symptoms of menopause. But, this is not the case for all women.

Women need the correct kinds of gut bacteria to reap such benefits. Certain bacteria can convert isoflavones right into equol.

Equol is a component that is responsible for most of the benefits of health that comes with soybeans. People who have these gut bacteria are known as equol producers.

In Asia, equol producers are more common than in Western countries. 

Reduces Prostate Cancer Risk

Among the benefits of edamame, lowering the risk of developing prostate cancer, which is a very common cancer in men, is a bonus.

About 13 men in every hundred men in the U.S. have the ability to develop this cancer at least once in their lifetime.

Studies show that soy protein and soy products, like edamame, can protect men against prostate cancer. Many observational studies indicate the same.

Reduces Bone Loss

Bone loss or osteoporosis can make bones fragile and brittle as well as increase the risk of the bones breaking. Older people commonly face this condition.

Some studies show that if you consume enough soy products and isoflavones, it may lower the chances of developing osteoporosis both in postmenstrual women and menopausal women.

Frozen shelled edamame also has a high content of isoflavones, which is good for your bones. However, wellness professionals need to do more research on this.

Final Words

Are edamame healthy? Of course, they are healthy. Eating edamame beans can have multiple positive effects on your body. 

A high intake of soy protein like edamame can benefit you with lower chances of different cancers and cardiovascular disease.

So, eat edamame from either sushi restaurants or from the frozen vegetable section of any supermarket unless you have a soy allergy.

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