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The 10 Healthiest Foods: Edamame

By: Caley Walsh

A staple at Japanese restaurants, Edamame is very good for you. Nutritionists surveyed recently by ABC recommended edamame as a top 10 food you should be eating. Luckily, you can buy bags of these green soybeans still in their pods frozen at most supermarkets now and they make fantastic snack food. Learn about the health benefits of edamame and how to make a filling edamame salad for lunch.

Edamame Soy Beans in Pods
                 Photo by yomi955

Edamame are green soybeans picked before they ripen and boiled or steamed in the pods. The Japanese name literally means “twig beans.” Salt is generally sprinkled over them after draining for flavor, but they don’t need much else! A fun finger food, you use your fingers and teeth to squeeze the beans out of the pod. The pods are then thrown away.

One serving of edamame is about ½ cup unshelled or a little over a cup shelled. This small amount of edamame has around 120 calories but is packed with protein and nutrients.

Here are some of the health benefits of edamame:


  • Healthier Finger Food- Instead of snacking on chips, edamame satisfies that snacking compulsion while watching television in a much healthier way! And because they are packed with protein but low in fat and cholesterol, they are more satisfying without being high in calories.
  • Fiber- Edamame is a great source of daily fiber. In fact, one small serving gives you as much fiber as four slices of whole-wheat bread.
  • Isoflavones- Isoflavones are found in soy proteins like in edamame. In many different studies, isoflavones are associated with a range of health benefits, including lowering cholesterol, protecting against cancer, and helping to prevent osteoporosis and heart disease. Isoflavones may also be particularly effective in treating menopause symptoms in women.
  • Iron- Edamame is also a plant-based source of iron, making it great for vegetarians. It offers about 10% of your daily value for iron.


Edamame Salad

This is a great, satisfying salad for lunch and quick to prepare. You can substitute your favorite vegetables, such a leafy greens or julienned carrots.


1 lb. edamame
1 bell pepper
1 can corn kernels, drained.
2-3 chopped green onions (scallions)

1 tsp. sesame oil
3 Tbs. rice wine vinegar
1 Tbs. soy sauce


  1. Boil the edamame in a bit of salted water according to package directions. Drain and let cool. Pop beans out of pods with your fingers.
  2. While edamame cooks, chop bell pepper and green onions.
  3. Combine all vegetables.
  4. Whisk together dressing ingredients and toss with salad. Sprinkle a bit of salad over top if you like.


The Next Top 10 Super-Food: Red Lentils


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