Login Dark

6 Expert-Backed Health Benefits Of Edamame – Forbes Health - Forbes

Author: Backed Health Benefits Of Edamame – Forbes Health

Source: https://www.forbes.com/health/nutrition/edamame-benefits/

Image of 6 Expert-Backed Health Benefits Of Edamame – Forbes Health - Forbes

Although edamame has been a dietary staple in many parts of the world for several centuries, it’s only within the past few decades that it’s garnered traction in the U.S.Not only is this legume a versatile and flavorful ingredient, it’s also highly nutritious and may even offer several health benefits.Keep reading for a few of the top expert-backed health benefits of edamame, plus some ideas for how to add this nutritious legume to your diet.What Is Edamame?Edamame is a type of immature soybean that is commonly consumed in Asian cuisine.The beans are green and round and are housed in pods.Edamame is highly nutritious and rich in plant-based protein, along with fiber, vitamins and isoflavones, a compound found in soy products and other legumes with cholesterol-lowering and antioxidant properties.In fact, a cup of prepared edamame provides 188 calories, 18 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber, as well as other vitamins and minerals like:Vitamin KFolateMagnesiumPhosphorusFolateCopperPotassiumHow to Prepare EdamameEdamame has a buttery, slightly nutty flavor that is often compared to peas.It is available fresh or frozen, as well as in-shell or shelled. Edamame pods or beans can be boiled, steamed, microwaved or pan-seared (after they’ve been cooked).Because the shelled beans are often cooked prior to freezing, frozen varieties may not require as much cooking.Cooked edamame is often paired with a savory dipping sauce and enjoyed as a snack.It can also be added to salads, soups, dips and stews or even blended with tahini and olive oil to make a high-protein hummus.If you have an air fryer, you can also toss the beans with your favorite spices to whip up a quick, crispy snack.Not only is edamame rich in nutrients, but it also has several potential benefits.Here are a few of the top health benefits of edamame, according to experts.May Help Lower Blood Pressure“One cup of prepared edamame provides 14% of the Daily Value for potassium, a mineral that counteracts sodium to support healthy blood pressure levels,” explains Stephanie Wells, a Dallas-based registered dietitian and owner of Thyme to Go Vegan Nutrition Services, a private nutrition practice that specializes in vegan nutrition. In addition to its potassium content, research suggests that other compounds found in edamame might help lower blood pressure levels as well.In fact, one meta-analysis found that consuming at least 25 grams of soy protein per day helped reduce blood pressure levels in postmenopausal women, which could be due to the presence of estrogen-like compounds known as isoflavones found in soy[1]Kou T, Wang Q, Cai J, et al.Effect of Soybean Protein on Blood Pressure in Postmenopausal Women: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.Food Funct.2017;8(8):2663-2671..Additionally, a 2021 review in Complementary Therapies in Medicine concluded that soy intake is associated with significantly improved levels of both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in adults.May Reduce Cholesterol Levels“The primary way in which edamame can help with heart health is by regulating cholesterol levels, which in turn impact the heart,” says Kristin Gillespie, a registered dietitian based in Virginia Beach and advisor for Exercise With Style, a healthy living blog. This may be due to its content of soy protein, along with the presence of other heart-healthy nutrients like fiber, antioxidants and vitamin K, according to Gillespie.Interestingly, a review in Nutrients shows that consumption of soy isoflavones reduced levels of total and LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides (in individuals with diabetes), all of which are risk factors for heart disease[3]Barańska A, Błaszczuk A, Polz-Dacewicz M, et al.Effects of Soy Isoflavones on Glycemic Control and Lipid Profile in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.Nutrients.2021;13(6):1886.. Another large analysis of 46 studies reports that soy protein decreased LDL cholesterol levels by 3% to 4% in adults[4]Mejia SB, Messina M, Li SS, et al.A Meta-Analysis of 46 Studies Identified by the FDA Demonstrates that Soy Protein Decreases Circulating LDL and Total Cholesterol Concentrations in Adults.J Nutr.2019;149(6):968-981..Could be Beneficial for Type 2 Diabetes“Edamame is great for blood sugar regulation,” says Gillespie, noting that it’s low in carbs and high in protein and fiber, a combination which can help stabilize blood sugar levels. “Its macronutrient composition renders it low on the glycemic index as well, meaning that it is less likely to cause significant spikes in blood sugar levels,” she says.In addition to reducing blood sugar levels, some research suggests that adding soy products like edamame to your diet may even help protect against type 2 diabetes.In fact, one review found that consuming greater amounts of soy protein and soy isoflavones is linked to a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes[5]Tang J, Wan Y, Zhao M, Zhong H, Zheng J-S, Feng F.Legume and Soy Intake and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies.Am J Clin Nutr.2020;111(3):677-688. .Another review of eight studies shows that increased intake of soy products was tied to a 23% lower risk of type 2 diabetes[6]Li W, Ruan W, Peng Y, Wang D.Soy and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies.Diabetes Res Clin Pract.2018:137:190-199. .Change Your Relationship With FoodNoom doesn’t follow a “one-diet-fits-all” approach.What you're already eating can likely be adapted to your goals.Start your custom program today.Take Your QuizMay Aid Weight ManagementEdamame is a great source of protein and fiber, which can help promote satiety and prevent mindless snacking, according to Wells.Plus, protein has a higher thermic effect, meaning that it requires more energy to digest than carbohydrates or fat, explains Wells.“This means that a higher-protein diet can raise your metabolism and help you burn more calories during the day,” she says.Studies also show that increasing your intake of protein from protein-rich foods like edamame helps increase levels of hormones that regulate hunger and appetite, which can keep you feeling full between meals[7]Moon J, Koh G. Clinical Evidence and Mechanisms of High-Protein Diet-Induced Weight Loss.J Obes Metab Syndr.2020;29(3):166-173..What’s more, a review of 22 studies in women with overweight or obesity found that regular consumption of soy products decreased body weight, body fat percentage, body mass index and waist circumference—all of which may be due to its content of soy protein, isoflavones and fiber[8]Mu Y, Kou T, Wei B, et al. Soy Products Ameliorate Obesity-Related Anthropometric Indicators in Overweight or Obese Asian and Non-Menopausal Women: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.Nutrients.2019;11(11):2790..May Help Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer“Edamame is packed with plant-based estrogen-like compounds called isoflavones,” says Wells.She notes that isoflavones can prevent estrogen produced by the body from attaching to its receptors, resulting in decreased estrogen production. This could reduce the risk of breast cancer, according to Wells, as too much estrogen has been shown to be a possible cause of the condition.“Edamame also contains antioxidants which reduce oxidative stress and cellular damage in the body,” she adds.A 2022 study in In Vivo found that greater intake of soy isoflavones is associated with a decreased risk of developing breast cancer in pre- and post-menopausal women[9]Boutas I, Kontogeorgi A, Dimitrakakis C, Kalantaridou SN.Soy Isoflavones and Breast Cancer Risk: A Meta-Analysis.In Vivo.2022;36(2):556-562. .Additionally, according to one 2016 review, some observational research even suggests that higher soy intake could be linked to a 30% reduction in breast cancer risk for certain populations.Researchers also note that soy intake may reduce the recurrence and improve survival rates in women already diagnosed with breast cancer[10]Messina M.Impact of Soy Foods on the Development of Breast Cancer and the Prognosis of Breast Cancer Patients.Forsch Komplementmed. 2016;23(2):75-80..May Help Strengthen Bones“Including edamame in the diet can help you meet your requirements for minerals that support bone health, such as phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and protein,” says Wells.She notes that edamame is also one of the best whole food, plant-based sources of calcium, another nutrient essential for maintaining bone mineral density.Plus, research suggests that soy products, such as edamame, might also help lower the risk of osteoporosis, according to Gillespie.One analysis of 52 studies shows that soy isoflavones help prevent osteoporosis-related bone loss.They may also increase bone mineral density in people with a normal body weight and prevent bone resorption (or the breakdown of bone tissue) in people with overweight or obesity[11]Akhlaghi M, Nasab MG, Riasatian M, Sadeghi F. Soy Isoflavones Prevent Bone Resorption and Loss, a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr.2020;60(14):2327-2341..In another study, consuming an average of 98.2 milligrams of soy isoflavones per day over a period ranging from three to 24 months helped improve levels of specific markers that promote bone formation in postmenopausal women.However, these results were not statistically significant and the authors note that more research is needed[12]Kanadys W, Barańska A, Błaszczuk A, et al. Effects of Soy Isoflavones on Biochemical Markers of Bone Metabolism in Postmenopausal Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.Int J Environ Res Public Health.2021;18(10):5346..Edamame is a type of soybean that provides an array of essential nutrients, including fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.It also contains health-promoting compounds like soy isoflavones and is associated with several potential health benefits, including improved heart and bone health. Best of all, it can be enjoyed in a variety of recipes and makes a great addition to soups, salads and more.Eat Smarter With NoomPowered by technology, coaches and psychology, Noom teaches you tips and tricks to develop a positive relationship with food, so you can enjoy the foods you love without guilt or shame.

Subscribe To Our NewsLetter