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Edamame beans, a popular side dish served at Japanese restaurants, are essentially spring soybeans. Low in fat, these beans are packed with nutrition such as protein and fibre.

Edamame are usually steamed in salted water or roasted in salt, making them a healthy snack food, especially for vegetarians.

Here is why you should consider adding these wonder beans to your diet:

  • Packed with protein and containingessential amino acids required for tissue development, resistance building, hormone production and enzyme production to initiate particular body functions and provide energy. 
  • High in vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B for better cell metabolism; Vitamin C to aid collagen formation; Vitamin E which helps in cell signalling; Vitamin K to help produce red blood cells and folic acid for foetal development and prenatal health. 
  • Low in fat and devoid of cholesterol, edamame have virtually no saturated fatty acids and are ideal for heart patients. 
  • Full of fibre which helps reduce cholesterol; it also gives the feeling of being satiated for longer periods thus helping maintain weight.  
  • Rich in antioxidants that help reduce the risk of cancer, edamame also prevent against the hardening of arteries and neurodegenerative diseases while strengthening the immune system. 
  • Excellent source of isoflavones that help lower blood pressure and prevent heart attacks; edamame can also help ease menopausal symptoms and reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer. 
  • Exceptional anti-inflammatory properties are useful for easing inflammation of the breathing passages and controlling cough, wheezing and other asthma symptoms.

– Beenish Israr
The writer is a PhD scholar, studying Human Nutrition at the University of Reading, UK, and a lecturer of Food and Nutrition at the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad.

First published in the Health Advertiser of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on October 14, 2012.