Is Edamame Good or Bad for You?

Reviewed on 10/5/2021
is edamame good or bad for you
Is edamame good or bad for you? Learn about the health benefits as well as possible side effects of this soybean

Edamame is a tender soybean that is harvested when it is still green and not mature. But is it good for you or not? Soy foods tend to be controversial, with potential benefits and drawbacks.

What are the benefits of edamame?

These tiny green beans are packed with nutrients, proteins, and antioxidants, making them an excellent source of energy and fiber. They are naturally gluten-free, low in calories, and high in essential fatty acids. If you do not have a condition that may worsen with edamame consumption, about 0.5-1 cup daily is good for your health.

The following are some of the most common edamame benefits:

  • Complete source of dietary protein: Edamame contains all 9 essential amino acids and is the only plant-based source of complete protein. Studies have suggested that replacing meat-based protein with edamame may reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Packed with vitamins: Edamame has a high concentration of thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin E, magnesium, copper, zinc, potassium and manganese. A cup of edamame fulfills the following nutritional needs:
  • Contains isoflavones: Phytoestrogens (a type of isoflavone) found in edamame can:
  • Source of good fats: A cup of edamame beans has 8 grams of fat, including 3 grams of polyunsaturated fat. Consuming unsaturated (good) fats can help lower total cholesterol and keep the heart healthy. The polyunsaturated fats in edamame include omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve brain health and lower the risk of heart disease.
  • Source of fiber: A cup of edamame contains 4 grams of fiber, which helps keep the digestive system healthy and lowers cholesterol levels. The fiber in edamame can also aid in weight loss.
  • Supports the immune system: Edamame contains roughly 60% of recommended daily copper intake, which can help the immune system function optimally. Furthermore, phytoestrogens may help prevent certain cancers and diseases, making edamame an excellent immune system booster.
  • Loaded with antioxidants: Edamame contains a high concentration of antioxidants, which can help flush out toxins and damage-causing free radicals, thereby strengthening and bolstering the immune system. 
  • Good for the skin: Edamame is high in vitamin A, which helps keep the skin healthy. Vitamin A is also necessary for good vision and a healthy immune system.
  • May help reduce inflammation: Edamame is beneficial for inflammation because it contains choline, a nutrient related to B vitamins. This can help with sleep, learning, and memory. Choline may also help reduce inflammation in patients with asthma and cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in 2010.

What are the potential risks of edamame?

  • Digestive issues: When ingested in excess or when eaten raw or undercooked, edamame can cause bloating, gas, and cramping. People with irritable bowel syndrome are particularly prone to gastric upset and pain after consumption of edamame.
  • Allergic reaction: Those with soy allergy should stay away from edamame because consumption may result in rashes, hives, facial swelling, or even anaphylaxis in some cases.
  • May hinder absorption of vitamins and minerals: Edamame contains antinutrients or compounds that prevent the body from absorbing certain minerals. Edamame contains compounds that can impair thyroid function by preventing iodine absorption.

SLIDESHOW

Heart Healthy Diet: 25 Foods You Should Eat See Slideshow

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

References
Magee E. The Secret of Edamame. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/edamame-secret

Nagdeve M. 8 Surprising Benefits of Edamame. Organic Information Services. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/edamame.html

SeedGuides. Edamame Beans Nutrition, Benefits, Side Effects and Information. http://www.seedguides.info/edamame/

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors