Edamame consists of immature soy beans which have been harvested while still in the pod. It is popular in Japanese, Chinese and Korean cuisine, and is known to be a highly nutritious food.
The history of edamame as a dish is somewhat mysterious, but we do know that soy was part of the Japanese staple diet as long ago as the 11th century BC.
Edamame is a low calorie, gluten free food which is rich in protein. It is considered a "complete protein" – the term used for a plant based food which contains all ten essential amino acids which the body cannot produce for itself.
Phytoestrogens present in edamame are thought to help lower the risk of osteoporosis. Edamame is also rich in calcium and magnesium, which together may work towards relieving the symptoms of PMS.
Genistein, found in edamame, is a potent antioxidant which can help to limit the cell damage caused by free radicals. Edamame is also a rich source of folic acid, which is known to help boost the neurotransmission of feel-good brain chemicals. These young soy beans are a rich source of choline too, which is vital for healthy sleep and for good nerve transmission.