Lots of Protein and Healthier Than Cashews
Edamame (eh-dah-MAH-may) are green soybeans surrounded by pods. These immature soybeans, named by the Japanese – called mao dou in China – are picked at their peak, before they have hardened, and are found frozen at the grocery store, in the pods or shelled. It is the shelled soybeans, lima-bean size, that are used as a vegetable dish, put in casseroles or savored as a snack – and when dry roasted, the soybeans are a superior alternative to traditional nuts.
A few soybean facts:
- Soybean protein is complete protein; meaning it has all the eight essential amino acids.
- The seeds inside the pods are the edible part; people call the seeds – beans.
- Soy nuts come from mature soybeans, which are not the same as dry roasted edamame.
Dry roasted edamame (lightly salted) is a nut-like nutritious, healthy snack and salad topper that beats out other nuts, for example, salted cashews and dry roasted peanuts. Dry roasted edamame is a preferred choice over cashews, peanuts and most other nuts when evaluating calories, saturated fat (sat fat), sodium, and fiber. All three nuts are excellent sources of protein.
Usually on nut nutrition labels, the serving amount is one ounce, which is only two tablespoons; a more realistic serving is two ounces, which is equal to four tablespoons, which is equal to a quarter cup. Using the quarter cup for comparison, dry roasted edamame (Seapoint Farms) have 130 calories whereas the same amount of whole cashews (Imperial Nuts) contains 340 calories and dry roasted peanuts (Planters) register at 320 calories.
In a quarter cup, edamame nuts have 0.5 grams of sat fat in contrast to cashews at five grams and peanuts at four grams. Edamame nuts come in at 150 mg of sodium compared to 270 mg in cashews and 380 mg in peanuts. Unlike detrimental qualities like calories, sat fat and sodium, a desirable attribute is eight grams of fiber in edamame nuts compared to two grams of fiber in cashews and four grams of fiber in peanuts.
Heart Healthy Label
In 1999, the USA Food and Drug Administration permitted soy products to carry the following claim, “Twenty-five grams of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.” Just a quarter cup of dry roasted edamame is half the goal.
Researchers at Tulane University analyzed 41 separate studies carried out from 1982 to 2004 and found that soy protein helps lower LDL bad cholesterol and slightly raises HDL good cholesterol. The report was in the September 1, 2006 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.
The Power of Soy for Cancer Prevention
Dry roasted edamame and other soy products contain plant nutrients called isoflavones that may help in breast cancer prevention. The most benefit occurs with teens who start to eat soy at an early age and continue regularly. This research tip is part of four that can keep teen girls healthy.
Eat Dry Roasted Edamame
Nuts have no trans fat or cholesterol. Nuts are rich in protein but high in calories – with the exception of dry roasted edamame. Edamame nuts are a healthful, shrewd alternative for the nut lover who is watching her weight.
Women who are breast cancer survivors should seek advice from their health care professional before eating soy products. You may want to ask your nutritionist too. Some women have to be careful with too much soy due to the plant estrogen contained in the soy nut, especially if you’ve had cancer in any of your female parts or a significant family history of breast or ovarian cancer.
Although nuts are very healthy, they are also very addictive, and I know that I always tend to overeat nuts unless they are prepackaged. Soybeans are an awesome source of antioxidants, fiber, and protein. I stumbled across this dry roasted variety by accident at a local convieninace store (how convenient!). They have the same salty, crunchy snackablity as nuts, for a fraction of the fat! Go test them out! Plus, if you feel daring, they have some awesome flavors such as wasabi and hot red chili peppers!
I was recently asked: “Would Roasted Soya Beans be okay as a snack food? They taste plain. And have a nice crunch to it?”
Answer: “Yes, soy nuts are fine as long as the ingredients don’t have any added starches (dextrose, etc) or sugar. Personally, like Edamame rather than soy nuts, and I think they taste a little better.
What’s the difference? Soy nuts are soy nuts (smaller) and edamame are young soy beans (a little larger).
My opinion: I like the edamame nuts a lot better. I like the crunch… the soy nuts are smaller and get “mushy” easier and the edamame nuts are crunchy and more filling to me.