Edamame, pronounced "eh-dah-MAH-may,"Is the Japanese word for "branched bean," known in China as "mao dou" or "hairy bean.  or  also called the “sweet bean."

Edamame are edible, green, immature soybeans. It is a protein, high in fiber, a source of omega 3 fats, and rich in calcium, iron, zinc and B vitamins. They have all nine of the essential amino acids. Just 1/2 cup packs a lot of  fiber, protein and vitamin/mineral content to your diet.  Edamame is 86 percent higher in  protein than mature soybeans. It has as much fiber as what  you'll find in 4 slices of whole-wheat bread or 4 cups of steamed zucchini.  The protein count is as  much as a 4-ounce roasted chicken breast.

Here's what you'll find in a half-cup serving of shelled edamame (or 1 1/8 cup edamame in the pods):

  • 120 calories
  • 9 grams fiber
  • 2.5 grams fat
  • 1.5 grams polyunsaturated fat (0.3 grams plant omega-3 fatty acids)
  • 0.5 gram monounsaturated fat
  • 11 grams protein
  • 13 grams carbohydrate
  • 15 mg sodium
  • 10% of the Daily Value for vitamin C
  • 10% Daily Value for iron
  • 8% Daily Value for vitamin A
  • 4% Daily Value for calcium
  • Soy protein may help reduce insulin resistance, kidney damage, and fatty liver in people with diabetes.
  •  Reduces overall cholesterol and LDL "bad" cholesterol, and raised HDL or "good" cholesterol, especially in men.
  •  Protect against cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
  •  May help prevent and treat hypertension.
  •  Lower the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis in post-menopausal women without raising cancer risk.
  • Edmame has anti-inflammatory qualities and can be a good food to eat if you have arthritis or other inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Fresh green soybeans, eaten as a snack or a side dish, may help people with asthma, because this vegetable decreases inflammation in your breathing passages, and this can reduce wheezing and coughing.
  • • Help prevent breast cancer in pre menopausal women. • Lower the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis in post-menopausal women without raising cancer risk. • Promote prostate health, possibly preventing cancer. • Act as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage.
  • Calcium not only builds strong bones and teeth, but also helps prevent heart disease and colon cancer: Edamame packs  130 mg, of calcium per serving,  nearly as much as half a cup of milk.
  • • Iron carries oxygen throughout the body, so brain and muscles work optimally, preventing fatigue:  Edamame has  4.4  mg, that is  22% of a man’s RDA for iron,and 15% of a woman’s. • Potassium makes for a regular heartbeat and normalizes blood pressure: Edmame has an outstanding  485 mg. • Folate is a B-vitamin that helps fight heart disease and prevent certain birth defects:  Edmame 25% of the adult RDA.
  • Serving Suggestions
    • Snack on, cold or hot, any time of day.
    • Keep a bag of  dry roasted edamame with you in the car or at work for a quick nutritious snack instead of chips.
    • Substitute mashed soybeans for mashed potatoes: Puree with low sodium vegetable stock (ratio 3:1) and a little salt and pepper.
    • Add to stir fry or salads.
    • Add to rice and pasta dishes.
    • Use in place of garbanzo beans in hummus recipes.
    • Use in place of peas in recipes.
    • Try my recipe for avocado and edamame dip