Benefits Of Edamame: 6 Ways These Tasty Beans Can Improve Our Health & Beauty
These spectacular beans are delicious, versatile, and incredibly good for you.
Researched, written by Amber & The Team
Updated on July 9, 2023
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The benefits of edamame for wellness, beauty, and health are vast!
In this article, we’re taking a look at what this powerful bean is and how can it help us to look and feel great.
What Is Edamame?
Edamame is the name used for immature soybeans that are harvested young and while still in their pod.
They can be cooked in various ways as well as enjoyed fresh as a tasty snack.
Edamame is a staple of many Asian diets, particularly Japanese, and is becoming increasingly popular in the Western world.
Not only that, but edamame beans are also versatile and delicious.
There are some seriously good reasons to add them to your diet.
These bright green soybeans are packed with nutrients and have some impressive health benefits, including excellent anti-inflammatory properties, promoting a healthy immune system, and antioxidants that may help prevent cancer and other diseases.
On top of being a health bombshell, edamame is compatible with the vast majority of diets including:
- keto (more about eating edamame on keto);
- and vegan.
However, it is not considered a paleo food.
Read on to learn about the many health and beauty benefits of edamame.
Benefits Of Edamame For Your Beauty, Health, and Nutrition
Benefits Of Edamame For Skin
Edamame can do wonders for the skin.
It contains collagen and isoflavones that slow down skin degeneration.
It’s a great food for younger-looking skin.
Some of the benefits of edamame for the skin include fewer wrinkles and lighter circles under your eyes.
If you’re looking to improve your skin through food, these little beans are a great addition to your diet.
Benefits Of Edamame For Hair
The isoflavones contained in this food have several beneficial properties that can help our hair.
One of the most unique is that edamame can lower the levels of the DHT hormone in your body.
High levels of DHT contribute to hair loss, as this hormone disrupts the natural hair growth cycle.
Eating edamame has also been reported to make hair thicker and stronger.
To reap the benefits of edamame for your hair, you should consume at least 75 g a week.
Benefits Of Edamame as a Fiber Source
Edamame soybeans are also rich in fiber, with 8.1 g in 1 cup (155 g).
Fiber helps reduce cholesterol levels by regulating your body’s use of sugar.
It can even help prevent or manage diabetes (read more about the health benefits of fiber).
Fiber also makes you feel fuller, which in turn can contribute to weight loss.
What’s more, it aids your digestive system and keeps your bowel happy and healthy.
The recommended daily intake of fiber for adults is at least 25 g a day, and this nutrient is mostly found in legumes, grains, nuts, fruit, and vegetables.
Benefits Of Edamame as a Protein Source
These fine beans have a high protein content, with 1 cup (155 g) containing 18.4 g of protein.
What’s even more surprising is that edamame is the only legume to contain all 9 essential amino acids.
Most plants containing protein only have a few amino acids, while meat, eggs, and dairy contain all 9 amino acids, also called a ‘complete protein’.
This is why soybeans are a popular source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.
Benefits Of Edamame as a Vitamin Source
Edamame benefits don’t stop with fiber and macronutrients (fat, carbs, and protein) – these little pods are full of surprises!
Edamame is a good source of micronutrients as well, meaning minerals and vitamins.
They contain iron, calcium, zinc, copper, and manganese as well as potassium, folate, and vitamin K.
Why are these good for you?
Here are some of the main health benefits of edamame in terms of micronutrients!
- Iron: helps make red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body.
- Calcium: helps build bone structure, keeps your teeth healthy, and regulates muscle contractions.
- Zinc: helps the immune system and metabolism function properly.
- Copper: along with iron, it helps make red blood cells.
- Manganese: assists in breaking down carbs, proteins, and cholesterol.
- Potassium: helps regulate heart function.
- Folate: a 75g serving of the beans contains an impressive 56% of our daily recommended amount of folate.
- Vitamin K: helps build bone structure and prevent blood clots.
Benefits Of Edamame For Weight Loss
Is edamame good for weight loss?
In addition to the high fiber and protein content that makes you feel fuller for longer, one of the biggest benefits of edamame is that they are surprisingly low in carbs, making them a great option for weight loss.
They can also be a part of a low-carb diet.
It’s also worth mentioning that the fats in edamame are mostly ‘healthy’ fats, including omega-6 and omega-6 fatty acids.
One cup of edamame (155 g) contains 8.1 g of fat and 5.7 g of net carbs (13.8 g total carbohydrates – 8.1 g fiber).
Keep in mind that a healthy weight loss plan should consider exercise as well as diet.
If working out sounds like a big ask, try starting out with some stretching.
Side Effects Of Edamame
In large quantities, edamame may produce minor side effects such as bloating and digestive issues.
Also, some have suggested that eating too many beans could cause hormonal issues and increase the risk of developing breast cancer and thyroid disorders.
However, all studies undertaken so far were inconclusive and no evidence has been found to fully confound these theories.
How To Eat Edamame
Edamame is generally sold fresh or frozen, and it can be found still in the pod or as shelled beans.
Even if you are preparing the whole pod, you should only eat the beans and discard the pod, regardless of whether you are cooking them or eating them fresh.
These young beans are a great addition to salads or as a garnish, you can sprinkle them over any dish for a sweet, fresh flavor.
They are usually boiled for about 5-10 minutes in salted water to make them tender (or steamed for 15 minutes).
After boiling or steaming, you can either serve the pods as they are with a little seasoning (just a sprinkle of sea salt will do), or you can shell them and add them to any dish: soup, salad, rice, poke bowl, pasta, etc.
Edamame can also be pan-fried or roasted, either with or without the pod.
Cook them for a few minutes in sesame oil or olive oil for the best result.
If you are serving them as a snack, add a drizzle of soy sauce.
Quick And Simple Edamame Recipes
Edamame legume is incredibly versatile, so you can really have some fun in the kitchen with it.
If it’s your first time cooking with this ingredient, here are some simple recipe ideas to get you started.
1. Easy edamame with soy and sesame
After boiling the beans in salted water, toss them in a pan with sesame oil and soy sauce.
This classic combination of flavors makes for a delicious snack.
Garnish with chili flakes or sesame seeds – yum!
2. Quick edamame hummus
Use them instead of chickpeas to make an extra special hummus.
Shell and boil the beans before blending them with tahini, add a little seasoning and serve with bread, crackers, or carrot sticks.
3. Zesty edamame salad with ginger soy vinaigrette
Cucumber, tomatoes, sweetcorn… You can add just about any vegetable you like to this salad.
The key ingredient is the vinaigrette: ginger and soy are two flavors that taste simply amazing with this legume.
Frequently Asked Questions About Edamame
Can you eat edamame pods?
When you open the soybean pod, you will find pale green beans inside and this is the part that you should eat.
Technically, you can eat the pod as well; however, it’s tough and not very enjoyable to eat.
Can you eat edamame skin?
Some restaurants cook and serve the beans still in their pods.
The little beans you find inside the shell are the part you should eat, while the pod should be discarded.
Although it’s not toxic, it’s hard to chew and digest.
Can dogs eat edamame?
Yes, they can as they’re not toxic for dogs.
They are rich in omega-3, minerals, and vitamins, so they’re a great addition to their diet in moderation or as a healthy treat.
If your dog has a soy allergy, don’t give them edamame.
Is edamame a vegetable?
No, it isn’t.
It’s a type of legume, just like lentils, peas, and beans.
Although it has a name of its own, it’s simply a soybean that’s harvested before it’s fully matured.
Where does edamame come from?
The nutritious edamame beans likely come from China, and they are a staple in many regions of China.
However, they are often associated with Japan, as they have been a popular ingredient in Japanese cuisine for centuries.
What does ‘edamame’ mean?
The name comes from Japanese, and it means ‘bean branch’, which refers to the pod as the branch that you hold to eat the beans.
What is the difference between soybeans and edamame?
It’s the same plant, they are simply harvested at different times.
Edamame is harvested before the soybean has fully developed.
By contrast, soybean is a plant crop, often crushed to get oil or flour to use in other products.
Can you freeze edamame?
Yes, you can.
You can freeze either the pods or just the beans for up to 12 months.
In summary, edamame is a healthy source of protein, minerals, and vitamins.
Not only are these beans delicious and versatile to use in the kitchen, but they’re a great addition to your diet for their health and beauty benefits.
These little beans can be beneficial for your hair, skin, immune system, heart, bones, and overall health.