Edamame refers to young and unripe soybeans. The term “edamame” has Japanese roots and literally means “beans on branches”. Edamame are young beans that are still on the pod. When used for cooking, edamame is green and soft rather than the mature soybeans which have become dry and hard. Many people in Japan have enjoyed edamame as a snack or side dish. Most people outside of Japan simply know soybeans which can be used to make soy milk and tofu. In some Japanese restaurants around the world, some recipes use edamame as the main ingredient. Most edamame recipes involve the young soybeans being boiled or steamed. The great thing about edamame is that they can be cooked even when the seeds or beans are still in the pod. One has to remove the soft pod after cooking to enjoy the taste of young soybeans.
Unripe and young soybeans or edamame is considered a very healthy food item. It is often praised for its complete set of protein which can commonly be found in other animal-based food items. All essential amino acids, nine to be exact, are contained in edamame making it a great source of protein. The human body basically needs enough protein for various processes including muscle and bone development. With regular consumption of edamame, a person can literally get the best type of protein that is found from food. Instead of having to worry about possible fat content in other protein products like meat, those that are found in edamame are healthy and complete.
Another great health benefit of edamame is its fiber content. A serving of edamame is said to contain as much protein as four slices of bread. Fiber is essential especially for good digestion and for all people who wish to manage their weight. The fiber content in edamame basically helps people to feel fuller longer giving them better control in terms of appetite. Edamame is also a good source of other nutrients like Vitamins A and C, iron and calcium.