Edamame is a name for green soybeans and they can be found frozen, fresh or dried at most grocery stores. Edamame come in fibrous green shells you must remove before eating the tender beans inside. Eating edamame adds a number of healthy nutrients to your diet, one of which is protein.
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Edamame is known as a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids. Green soybeans are the only plant-based source of complete protein, according to the Centers for Disease Control. As a complete protein source, edamame is similar in its protein content to animal-based protein sources, such as meat, dairy and eggs. Eating half a cup of green soybeans adds more than 11 grams protein to your diet.
It's important to get protein in your diet to support your body, as it builds muscle mass. Eating plenty of protein can help your body develop and function normally. By replacing meat-based proteins with the complete proteins found in edamame, you could reduce your risk of developing heart disease, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Edamame is a healthy option for vegetarians looking to add protein to their diets.
Edamame is a cholesterol-free source of protein that is very low in saturated fat, making it a good choice for a snack when you're dieting or trying to lower your cholesterol levels. Edamame is also high in vitamin C and dietary fiber. Some researchers have found that eating healthy soy foods such as edamame might lower your risk of developing cancer and osteoporosis, although this link is still being studied.
The Harvard School of Public Health recommends getting protein from a variety of sources, not just soybeans. Eating a varied diet that sometimes includes edamame is a healthy way to ensure you are getting enough complete proteins. Don't add too much soy to your diet all at once. The Harvard School of Public Health experts suggest eating soy products such as edamame two to four times per week.