A Nutritional Superstar for your weight loss diet plan: Edamame
Edamame, or young soybeans, have only recently become popular in the North American weight loss diet plan, but have been part of the Asian diet for thousands of years.
The soybeans are harvested while still green and tender, but mature enough to provide countless nutrients for our bodies.
Edamame (pronounced Ed-ah-mah-may) is a nutritional powerhouse, providing one of the few plant sources of complete protein containing all of the essential amino acids (around 18 grams per cup of pods!) and many vitamins and minerals including vitamin K, thiamin, calcium, manganese, and folate. A cup of the pods also contains up to 10 grams of fiber! Perfect for your weight loss diet plan!
In addition to all of these nutrients, edamame are also a source of phytochemicals called isoflavones, which are very similar to estrogen. These phytoestrogens can help lower total cholesterol, and can actually increase our bodies’ estrogen concentrations if we are running low. This is very helpful for women experiencing menopause, and when consumed during adolescence and young adulthood, a recent study found that soybeans can create a protective effect against breast cancer later in life.
“Women who consumed a high amount of soy foods consistently during adolescence and adulthood had a substantially reduced risk of breast cancer." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
There are a few ways the soybeans can be added to your weight loss diet plan, but the peas must always be removed from the pods, as the pods themselves are much too tough to be eaten. One common cooking method is to boil the pods, then sprinkle them with a bit of salt. They can then be consumed immediately as a hot snack, or when cooled as a cold snack. The peas can also be removed from the pods and added to salads, soups, or on their own as a protein-packed side to any meal. Edamame, comes frozen, canned and fresh and can be kept fresh in the refrigerator for up to three days.
So next time you’re looking for a healthy, new source of protein, to add to your weight loss diet plan give edamame a try and find out for yourself why these little green pods have become superstars.