I still giggle every time edamame makes its way onto our dinner table. When my kids were really small, we had a lot of fun with the pronunciation (or mispronunciation) of edamame. It was called “ate-a –mommy” for many years.
Edamame or soybeans have been popular in China and Japan for many years and have finally made their way into other parts of the world.
They technically aren’t considered a vegetable, they’re a legume. You can find them at most grocery stores including Trader Joes and Whole Foods (in the freezer section). The soybeans are crunchy and delicious. Add a little coarse salt to taste and you won’t be able to stop eating them.
There are quite a few good reasons to become a lover of edamame.
- Edamame are fun to eat. The beans are boiled in their thick pods and a little coarse salt is sprinkled on top. After they are cooked the green edamame are popped out of their shell to eat. Sometimes they can fly pretty high-depending upon who’s doing the popping. Don’t eat the outer pod-it’s pretty tough and doesn’t taste very good.
- They’re low in fat. One cup of edamame is about 8 grams of fat.
- They’re low in calories. One cup of edamame is about 189 calories.
- High in protein. One cup of edamame is 17 g’s of protein.
- Edamame are high in fiber. There are 8 grams of fiber in every cooked cup.
- Strengthens bones. Our bodies need manganese to build strong bones. A cup of cooked edamame contains approximately 1.6 milligrams of manganese, which is over half of the recommended daily amount for adults.
- Great source vitamin K which is important for heart health.
- High in folate. Each cup of cooked edamame provides over 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance of folate for a healthy adult. Folate is important for all of us, but most important during pregnancy for the prevention of pregnancy defects.
- High in vitamin C. One cup of edamame provides 16% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and helps the immune system work properly.
- Filled with iron. One cup of edamame has about 3.5 milligrams of iron. This is about 44% of a man’s recommended daily allowance and 15% of a woman’s recommended daily allowance (they need about 18 mgs of iron up to age 50). At 51, women only need 8 milligrams of iron so 1 cup of edamame would supply 44% of the RDA.
While soybeans have many health benefits, they can also mimic estrogen. If you have hormone-sensitive health concerns make sure you talk with your health care provider before eating edamame and other soy products.
Do you eat edamame? What’s your favorite way to prepare them?
photo credit: Daniel Y. Go via photopin cc