Many people are missing out on the health benefits of the edamame.  Japan first developed these green vegetable-type soybeans that are harvested as green pods (much like peas in the pod) connected to stems when they are 80% mature.  They can be cooked and served in the pod or these tiny legumes can be removed from the pods and added to soups, casseroles or salads. 

 

While vegans and many health conscious people are well aware of the health benefits of this little powerhouse, they are still overlooked by many Americans while perusing the produce or frozen foods section.  So let’s discover why edamame should be added to your cart and incorporated into your weekly menu. 

 

Edamame has anti-inflammatory properties making it a great food to eat for those with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.  They help decrease inflammation in your breathing passages making them beneficial for those with asthma, and helps with reducing wheezing and coughing.

 

They are a natural source of antioxidants and isoflavones.  Antioxidants are beneficial because they can help prevent negative effects of free radicals in the body. Eating antioxidant-rich foods will help strengthen your immune system and reduce your risk of cancer, hardening of the arteries and neurodegenerative diseases. Isoflavones help reduce prostate and breast cancer, diminish the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure levels and ease menopausal symptoms. Menopausal women with low estrogen levels may benefit from snacking on a handful of edamame daily because of the natural soybean’s phytochemical quality.

 

They are high in protein, have no cholesterol and have a low oil content which combined makes them a great choice for those looking for a low-fat, protein-rich snack option. Edamame’s protein is complete, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids the human body needs. Protein helps your body’s tissues to develop properly and helps your body resist diseases.  It also produces hormones, enzymes and other substances your body uses, provides energy and helps prevent fatigue.

 

They are rich in vitamin C and B; and are one of the few natural sources of vitamin E. They also contain minerals, such as calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and copper. Nutrients in green soybeans that benefit heart health include vitamin K and folate, which increases the production of red blood cells. Folic acid is also essential for pregnant women because it helps with fetal development.  One half cup of edamame contains 4 grams of fiber which aids in healthy digestion, helps lower cholesterol, reduces our risk of heart disease and keeps you feeling full for longer periods.  That makes them an excellent between meals snack!

 

With all these legumes have to offer, they are worth a try and you make just find a new favorite to add to your regular diet. 

 

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