Edamame is healthy

How healthy are edamams?

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Written by Lydia Kloeckner • Medical editor

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Edamame are about as trendy for the Japanese as they are for German potatoes. But since the green beans are new on the market in this country, they are considered an exotic delicacy. What exactly is in Edamame? Are They Really a Superfood?

Until a few years ago, no one could pronounce her name without accidentally saying Edam. They could only be bought in the Asian supermarket. Edamame can now be found in many large supermarkets. Either with pods in the freezer section or peeled in cans or bags on the canning shelf.

Edamame are also one of the standard ingredients in every bowl (hipster word for mixed salad that is served unmixed because it looks more stylish). Allegedly, the salty beans from Japan are not only delicious, but a superfood that provides many nutrients and few calories. Is that correct?

Edamame are soybeans that are harvested immature. Like beans, peas and chickpeas, they are legumes and have similar health benefits: Their calorie content is also low at 125 kilocalories per 100 grams. Even so, because they are high in fiber, they fill you up well.

In addition, edamame are a good source for

Compared to other vegan foods, edamame (and soybeans in general) contain particularly valuable protein. Proteins consist of different building blocks, so-called amino acids. The human body needs various amino acids to stay healthy. Many plant-based foods - such as potatoes, cereals and also beans, peas and chickpeas - only provide some of these essential amino acids. Edamame, on the other hand, contains all the amino acids that the body needs.

All of this actually makes edamame a healthy food. Perhaps your only drawback is the salt content, which is quite high, at least in peeled and ready-made edamame. If you buy the beans frozen in pods and cook them yourself, you can determine how much salt you add.

Reading tip:Guide to a healthier use of salt

Prepare edamame: this is how it works

Just like beans and peas, they cannot be eaten raw, only cooked. If you buy them frozen and unpeeled, you have to cook them in salted water for about five to eight minutes before eating them.

Then you either pull it out of the pod and add it as an ingredient in the salad or in an Asian stew. Or they are traditionally served unpeeled, as is customary in Japan. The guests then have to pull it out of the pod with their teeth. (Recommended if there are guests you don't really enjoy talking to.)

Important: For the sake of the environment, you should pay attention to the origin of the beans when buying. Edamame are mainly grown in Japan. The transport routes are correspondingly long. In the meantime, however, some companies have started growing the beans in Europe. These include the companies Ardo and Demeter.

Health assessment of amino acids. Online information from the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment: www.bfr.bund.de (accessed on: 7/8/2020)

Edamame: vegetable snack made from soybeans. Online information from the Federal Center for Nutrition (BZfE): www.bzfe.de (as of April 15, 2020)

Biesalski, H., et al .: Nutritional Medicine. Thieme, Stuttgart 2017

Sugimoto, M., et al .: Metabolomic profiles and sensory attributes of edamame under various storage duration and temperature conditions. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol. 58, Iss. 14, pp. 8418-25 (July 2010)