What is edamame and why is it good for our gut?
While this vegetable is the juvenile form of whole soybeans, edamame is much more nutritious and beneficial than you might imagine. Edamame is a soybean picked during the early stages of growth, which can be seen through its vibrant green color. It is typically cooked inside the pods and served with a pinch of salt. Although the pods are not meant to be eaten, the cooked edamame beans are full of key nutrients.
Edamame beans are a plant protein rich in all nine of the essential amino acids and are also a great source of important vitamins such as folate, vitamin K, iron, and manganese. In addition to these key nutrients they are also packed with protein and fiber, one cup of edamame has roughly 18 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. Edamame makes wonderful toppings to salads, noodle dishes, or as a snack on its own! Edamame are much more nutritious than mature soybeans because they are less processed and retain their pod; this is why they have such a vibrant, green color!
According to a study in the Nature Journal of Scientific Reports, dietary soy may reduce adipose tissue inflammation by promoting a healthy ratio of microbiota in the gut. They also found that dietary soy improves the storage of adipose tissue ( fat cells), which is another process our gut heavily regulates. Unlike fully mature soybeans, edamame are immature soybeans and therefore lower in FODMAPS, making them an overall great plant protein that does not cause bloating and gas!
Ways to eat it:
Edamame cannot be eaten raw. Cook the beans for a few minutes by boiling, steaming, pan-frying, or microwaving. Edamame is a great snack and can be enjoyed at any temperature!
Recipe: Steamed Edamame
Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings):
2 cups frozen or fresh edamame in pods
6 cups of water
1 tbsp pink himalayan salt
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp soy sauce, liquid aminos, or coconut aminos
Bring water and salt to a boil. Add edamame and cook for 5 minutes until edamame are tender and easy to release from their pod.
Drain thoroughly and toss generously with Himalayan pink salt liquid aminos and/or coconut aminos to taste. Serve warm or cold.
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