Aug 01, 2013

Edamame Stirfry

What exactly are edamame beans? The Japanese name, edamame literally means “twig bean.” Simply, they are fresh, green, immature soy beans. Edamame beans are becoming more and more popular as a healthy food. You can commonly find them as an appetizer in Japanese restaurants and almost all supermarkets now carry them in their freezers.

Here are some of the many health benefits of edamame:

Cancer & Soy Isoflavones
Medical research has determined that foods rich in fiber, low in fat and high in phytochemicals may help reduce your risk of developing certain cancers. Consuming soy foods may prove beneficial when eating to reduce cancer risk because many soy foods are not only high in fiber, they are low in total fat and high in soy protein and phytochemicals called isoflavones.

Protein

Edamame is high in protein. In fact, it has higher protein content than mature soy beans by 86 percent. Edamame’s low oil content, combined with its high protein content, makes this vegetable very popular with health-conscious people who want a low-fat, protein-rich snack. Vegetarians and vegans who want a high protein food will find that edamame’s protein is complete, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids the human body needs.
Fiber

Edamame is high in fiber which is essential for good digestion. In addition, fiber also helps keep cholesterol at its healthy level, thus the risk of heart attack is reduced.

Phytoestrogens

Including soyfoods during a girl’s adolescence years may provide increased protective benefits and reduce the risk of developing breast cancer later in life. Although there is a lack of evidence that consuming soy as an adult may reduce the risk of breast cancer, ongoing scientific research is showing that consuming soy protein as a teenager may help reduce breast cancer risk as an adult by nearly 50 percent. These impressive results were obtained by eating just 11 grams of soy protein daily.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Edmame has anti-inflammatory qualities and can be a good food to eat if you have arthritis or other inflammatory conditions. Fresh green soybeans, eaten as a snack or a side dish, may help people with asthma, because this vegetable decreases inflammation in your breathing passages, and this can reduce wheezing and coughing.

Edamame makes a great snack on its own, is very versatile in creating many dishes and is no doubt a healthful food to add to your diet.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag frozen, shelled edamame (thawed)
  • 4 heads of baby bok choy, chopped
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 small red pepper, diced
  • 2 TBS fruit-only apricot preserves
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil

Directions:

  1. Water sauté the onion until translucent. Simply place the onions into a medium-hot pan and add a bit of water. As the onion cooks, add small amounts of water to prevent sticking. 
  2. Add all remaining ingredients, except the sesame oil, and sauté until tender. Don’t overcook!
  3. Add the sesame oil last, tossing to combine.
  4. Serve as is or with some whole grain rice.

Serves 3-4. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,

References:

  1. Soyinfo Center; Chronology of Green Vegetable Soybeans and Edamamé (Including Maodou) Worldwide; William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi; 2001
  2. “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry;” Relative changes in tocopherols, isoflavones, total phenolic content, and antioxidative activity in soybean seeds at different reproductive stages; V. Kumar, et. al.; 2009
  3. Sharecare; What Are the Health Benefits of Edamame?; Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum
  4. Washington State University; Everything You Want to Know About Growing Vegetables in Kitsap County: Sweet Beans; Master Gardeners

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