Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Edamame or the meat substitute by excellence

"Edamame beans are a soybean that can be eaten fresh and are best known as a snack with a nutritional punch", The United States Department of Agriculture.


Are you a vegetarian or a vegan? Are you keen on soy products? Or are you of blood type A and you wish to follow a diet that suits you? Or else, are you interested in long-term weight loss? Alternatively, do you tend to overeat at meals? Do you want to reduce your high calorie intake? Then you must know “Edamame”, you don’t? Or even if you do, keep reading on you’re about to make a discovery worthy of my highest attention and courtesy.


First, what is Edamame?

Boiled Edamame in the pod with soy sauce.
Frozen bag of Edamame
Edamame are fresh green immature soybeans in their pod. As soon as they are picked, they are boiled and then quickly frozen. The preparation of Edamame owes its origin to Asian cuisine, more certainly that of Japan and China; it consists of boiling the pods lightly in salty water and to serve them after cooled down, with condiments such as soy sauce, rice wine, five-spice powder, and salt -being the most popular out of them. People typically eat Edamame with their hands, pinching the beans out of the pod into their mouth -note that the pods are inedible. Edamame is usually a snack or appetizer and complement for alcoholic beverages; but it also finds its way into soups, salads and main dishes. Grocery stores sell dry roasted Edamame and either frozen Edamame in the pod (unshelled) or out of the pod (shelled).

"For 100g serving of Edamame, frozen, prepared."
click to view source
A 100g serving of Edamame contains 11g of protein, 10g of carbohydrates and 5g of fat for a total of 122calories (whose 44 calories come from fat), according to NutritionData.com.
Edamame is a great food choice for optimum health, rich in essential nutrients and low in sodium, this food is a good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Thiamin (vit. B1), Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Vitamin K, Folate and Manganese. Moreover, it has an estimated glycemic load of 4 over a typical target total of 100/day or less, in case of diabetes or metabolic syndrome.










Now, why is Edamame considered the meat substitute by excellence?

Edamame is a complete protein and contains all nine essential amino acids
"For 100g serving of Edamame, frozen, prepared." 
click to view source
Its total fat contents is restricted in saturated fat and lacks of Trans fat and cholesterol. On the other hand, it contains “good fats”, the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat, which is proved to reduce triglycerides and bad cholesterol “LDL”, and raise good cholesterol “HDL”. Likewise, it holds the two essential fatty acids “omega-3(361mg/100g of Edamame) and “omega-6(1794mg/100g of Edamame).  All in all, these essential fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect, lower the risk of cancers and cardiovascular diseases, promote healthy brain function, and assist with skin and hair growth, bone development and metabolism. Note that the presence of these fats does not necessarily make Edamame fattening.  
Bref, Edamame provides the necessary protein and it is a healthy alternative for protein sources without the saturated fat and cholesterol.


Would consuming Edamame make you lose weight?

"For 100g serving of Edamame, frozen, prepared." 
click to view source
A 100g serving of Edamame contains 5g of dietary fiber out of 10g of carbohydrate, this represent 21% of a person’s recommended daily amount of fiber. Edamame’s high fiber content is prone to weight loss because of its fullness impression. Similarly, high fiber foods take longer to digest so, it will keep hunger away for a while longer and will help you balance out your weight. In addition to that, A 2008 article in the journal "Current Opinion in Endrocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity" states that diets with slightly higher amounts of protein (11g/100g Edamame) and lower amounts of carbohydrates (10g/100g Edamame) can improve your body weight. Therefore, choosing Edamame instead of a high-in-carbohydrate and lower-in-protein snack will help you maintain a long-term weight loss.
Tip: If you tend to overeat at meals, have Edamame as a starter to feel full sooner.


Considerations: 
  • ·         It is true that soybeans are one of the most genetically modified foods; however, there are no genetically engineered Edamame according to the National Soybean Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois. Simple, you can buy Edamame no worries on that front.
  • ·         Phytoestrogens in soybeans may help the prevention of certain cancers, yet, it should be avoided in large amounts because hormone-dependant tissue (breast, male genitalia) functions may be altered.


References: 
  •  http://www.livestrong.com/article/267453-the-nutritional-value-of-edamame-beans/
  •  http://www.livestrong.com/article/267453-the-nutritional-value-of-edamame-beans/
  •  http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/9873/2
  •  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edamame
  •  http://www.livestrong.com/article/355166-comparisons-of-omega-fatty-acids-3-6-and-9/
  • http://www.edamame.com/

 


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