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Edamame (raw, organic?)

Edamame (raw) are soybeans harvested unripe. The green beans contain omega-3 fatty acids and are a healthy snack when cooked briefly. Organic?
Macronutrient carbohydrates 32.3%
Macronutrient proteins 47.62%
Macronutrient fats 20.08%

The three ratios show the percentage by weight of macronutrients (carbohydrates / proteins / fats) of the dry matter (excl. water).

Ω-6 (LA, <0.1g)
Omega-6 fatty acid such as linoleic acid (LA)
 : Ω-3 (ALA, <0.1g)
Omega-3 fatty acid such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
 = 0:0

Omega-6 ratio to omega-3 fatty acids should not exceed a total of 5:1. Link to explanation.

Values are too small to be relevant.

Edamame are soybeans ( Glycine max (L.) Merr.) harvested when unripe and known as Japanese beans or beans on the branch . The cooked and peeled , fresh beans are traditionally served under the same name as an appetizer or snack.

Use in the kitchen:

Can you eat edamame raw or are they poisonous? Fresh edamame are inedible raw and are poisonous because of the lectin phasin. Edamame beans need at least a few minutes to cook.

What do edamame taste like? When cooked, they taste intensely nutty, slightly sweet and have a crunchy consistency. If cooked for a long time, the green color of the beans dissolves in the water. The cooked pods are tough and fibrous, which is why they are less suitable for consumption. Each pod usually contains three green, oval beans.

Edamame go well with mixed vegetables, vegetable rice, pasta , casseroles, purees, stews, salads and soups, e.g. as an ingredient in miso soup or in homemade hummus. Pasta made from 100% edamame is now popular.

Fresh edamame can be blanched and frozen. You can find out how to prepare frozen edamame in our article"Edamame, frozen, blanched" .

Vegan recipe for green hummus with edamame and avocado:

For the green hummus, puree a small can of edamame together with an avocado , fresh coriander , fresh basil , a piece of chili pepper and 3 cloves of garlic. Finally, season the creamy dip with freshly squeezed lemon juice , 2-3 tablespoons of sesame paste (tahini) and freshly groundpepper and garnish the hummus with yellow and black sesame seeds.

Vegan recipes with edamame can be found under the note: " Recipes that have the most of this ingredient ".

Not only vegans or vegetarians should read this:
Vegans often eat unhealthily. Avoidable nutritional mistakes

Shopping - where to buy edamame?

The season for fresh edamame is from June to September , frozen or canned they are available all year round.

Edamame can be bought in Asian supermarkets or Japanese delicatessens. The green beans are available frozen or canned in supermarkets such as Rewe , Edeka , Coop and Migros , in well-stocked organic shops and health food stores or in the organic supermarkets Denns and Alnatura . You can occasionally find ready-to-eat and seasoned edamame as a snack. Edamame are not a permanent part of the range at Denner , Volg , Spar , Aldi , Lidl or Hofer .

The majority of edamame sold in stores (DA-CH) are imported goods, as there are only a few farmers who grow edamame. 2 Locally grown edamame can be obtained directly from the farmer, at the weekly market, via a subscription box (Green Box) or online. At Alnatura you can buy organic quality edamame as frozen goods from Swiss agriculture.

Klaus Köhler from Zurich (CH) is the first farmer in Switzerland to grow organic edamame and sell it locally. 3 Once a year he offers edamame with pods fresh from the field. These young soybeans can be frozen as edamame. You can also buy frozen beans with and without pods. 4 In general, fresh produce is rare in Europe.

Homemade Edamame:

How to prepare peeled Edamame? To do this, boil whole Edamame pods in salted, boiling water for at least 5 minutes. After draining, you can season the Edamame beans with salt , chili and garlic and use them as a snack or appetizer. The soft beans are squeezed out of the pod with your fingers or mouth. In Japan, Edamame prepared in this way is a popular snack with beer. 1


Fresh edamame can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. In the freezer, they will last up to 12 months.

Ingredients - nutritional value - calories:

Due to a lack of information on the ingredients of completely untreated edamame, we have used the nutritional information for frozen edamame. However, it cannot be ruled out that these were blanched with steam before freezing for sales purposes. Depending on the duration and temperature, the sensory and nutritional properties change. Some minerals and water-soluble vitamins (including B vitamins and C vitamins) are lost. Fat-soluble components (e.g. β-carotene), fiber and poorly soluble minerals are retained. 18

Phenolic antioxidants and heat-sensitive vitamins are also affected - a study showed that blanching many vegetables can result in the following losses: antioxidant activity (up to 30%), about a third of the vitamin C and more than half of the folic acid. 18 However, since edamame has to be prepared warm to be consumed anyway, certain losses cannot be avoided.

Edamame are rich in minerals, vitamins and trace elements. Soybeans are also known for their content of isoflavones (flavonoids, which are secondary plant substances). Soy contains the three isoflavones daidzein, genistein and a small amount of glycitein. Fresh and peeled edamame contain 4.7 g of fat, which is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. 5,6

Edamame can contribute 4.8 g/100g to your daily fiber intake. Wheat bran (42.8 g/100g) or hemp seeds (27.6 g/100g) contain more fiber, and fresh vegetables and fruit include black salsify (18.3 g/100g) or passion fruit (10.4 g/100g). 5

With 11 g/100g, edamame is rich in proteins and essential amino acids, with methionine and valine being the limiting amino acids. Supplementing with 100 g of hemp seeds provides more than 100% of the daily coverage of the eight essential amino acids. 5 In general, pulses and grains are a good combination, as local grains contain little lysine , while beans contain more lysine. 8

The folate content is worth mentioning. 100 g of edamame contains 303 µg of folate as a folic acid-active substance group . The ripe and raw seeds of various legumes contain even more folate, e.g. cowpeas , mung beans , adzuki beans (633-622 µg/100g), chickpeas , lentils , black beans (557-444 µg/100g), kidney beans , soybeans, lupins (394-355 µg/100g), as well as white rice (231 µg/100g), spinach (194 µg/100g) or quinoa (184 µg/100g). 5

Retailers may advertise edamame as a superfood. This term is an unprotected designation that primarily serves purely marketing purposes and does not allow any concrete conclusions to be drawn.

You can find all the ingredients of Edamame, the coverage of the daily requirement and comparison values with other ingredients in our nutrient tables. In the article Nutrients explained you will get a detailed insight into the topic. CLICK FOR under the ingredient picture.

Health aspects - effects:

How healthy are edamame? Due to the fiber they contain, legumes usually only increase blood sugar levels slowly. For this reason, they are well suited for diabetics. 8

Daily intake of at least 20 g of soy protein can lower serum levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides as well as total cholesterol. In some studies, an increase in the beneficial HDL cholesterol and a decrease in blood pressure were observed. The positive effects on the risk profile of cardiovascular disease are primarily due to the soy protein. In most studies, the administration of isoflavone preparations did not lead to an improvement in fat levels. 9

Dangers - intolerances - side effects:

Scientists are controversially discussing the harmful effects of isoflavones. Studies show both positive and negative effects of isoflavones. 10,11

Isoflavones were long considered to provide cardiovascular protection. Since this effect has been refuted by studies, there are hardly any statements about isoflavones in the health claims regulation that has been in force since December 2012. Beneficial effects on menopausal symptoms and protection against osteoporosis have not been clearly proven. The current study situation regarding the involvement of soy isoflavones in the development of breast cancer is contradictory. 11

Long-term studies on the safety of isoflavone-containing preparations and a scientifically based recommendation for the maximum daily dose of phytoestrogens are still lacking. In addition, there are no legally defined standards for the production of the extracts. Food supplements with isoflavones based on soy or red clover extracts usually state 20-100 mg as the recommended daily amount, sometimes up to 150 mg. Known side effects of isoflavone-containing preparations can include nausea, constipation and skin redness. 11

Isoflavones are phytoestrogens because they are similar to the body's own estrogen. In the body, isoflavones can both activate and block estrogen receptors. They therefore have an estrogenic and antiestrogenic effect, which is 100 to 10,000 times less than the body's own estrogen. A diet rich in soy and nutritional supplements containing phytoestrogens can exceed the body's own production many times over. 10

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment ( BfR ) generally advises women during and after menopause against taking food supplements containing isoflavones over the long term. Women suffering from breast cancer or women at increased risk should also not take phytoestrogens. The BfR has not raised any concerns about the consumption of foods containing isoflavones. 11

Infant formula based on soy protein isolates has come under criticism because of its aluminum, phytate and phytoestrogen content. In addition, negative effects of isoflavones on the reproductive organs, the immune system and the thyroid gland of infants cannot be ruled out. Infants should only be given infant formula based on soy protein if prescribed by a doctor, e.g. in the case of a congenital, inherited lactase deficiency or the metabolic disorder galactosemia. Infants under 12 months should not be given soy formula, but rather specially prepared protein hydrolysates. According to the Nutrition Commission of the German Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, children at risk of allergies should not be given soy products. 8,11

Beans contain anti-nutritional substances such as lectins (toxic proteins) or alkaloids, which are poisonous in large quantities. Edamame and green beans contain the lectin phasin. A few raw green beans are enough to cause serious symptoms of poisoning in an adult, such as nausea, vomiting or sticking of red blood cells. Large quantities lead to serious metabolic damage and can cause long-term damage to the small intestinal mucosa (intestinal villi). 7,12,13

Since lectins are sensitive to heat, they can be destroyed by cooking the beans sufficiently. Fresh, frozen and dried edamame should always be cooked before consumption and not eaten raw. 7,12

When soy sprouts are germinated, the lectins are broken down by 70-80% after 4-5 days. The lectins can be almost completely destroyed by heating the sprouts. The dose makes the poison. However, the general recommendation is not to eat unheated soybeans or raw soy sprouts. 9,14

Although soy is one of the 14 main allergens, soy ingredients are used in a variety of ways in the food industry. Not only people who are allergic to soy need to be careful with processed foods, but also people who are allergic to pollen, who can develop a cross-allergy to soy. 11

Beans and edamame contain purines (protein compounds) which the body breaks down into uric acid. If you are overweight or drink a lot of alcohol, purines can greatly increase the level of uric acid in your blood. However, meat and offal contain significantly more purines than legumes. If your uric acid level is too high, the first step should be to avoid animal products. 8

Occurrence - Origin:

The soybean originally comes from China, where it was cultivated from 2,800 BC. In the 17th century, the plant reached North Africa via Indonesia and India, and in the 19th century it reached Europe and America. However, the heat-loving plant could not mature in the temperate zones. By breeding site-adapted varieties, it is now possible to spread cultivation worldwide. While cultivation in Europe is still low, America produces around three quarters of the world's soybean harvest. 6

According to Wikipedia, the first documented mention of edamame comes from a Japanese monk in 1275. When the sushi boom began in California in 1980 and interest in Japanese culture increased, edamame came into focus. 1

Growing in the garden or as a potted plant:

As soon as the nights are no cooler than 10 to 12 °C, you can start sowing. To make the soybeans germinate faster, you can soak them in water overnight. In a three-centimetre-deep furrow, plant one bean every five centimetres. Cover them with soil and press it down well. There should be at least 40 centimetres between the rows. Alternatively, you can grow edamame in a flowerpot. The plants reach a height of up to one metre and should be able to climb bean poles. The unripe soybeans = edamame can be harvested after around two months, when they should be visible under the pod. The fluffy hairs on the pod must still be light to beige-brown. If you sow at different times, you can harvest over a longer period. 15

Cultivation - Harvesting Edamame:

Commercial cultivation of Edamame takes place mainly under conventional conditions in Asia. Large distributors import the frozen beans. 3

In Germany, Austria and Switzerland there are a few farmers who cultivate edamame and sell it nationally.

Animal protection - species protection - animal welfare:

With one-sided crop rotation, intensive weed control and predominantly early-flowering rapeseed fields, bees can fall into a so-called "nectar hole" in summer. Nectar is the name given to the food of the bees: pollen, nectar and honeydew. If farmers implement crop rotation with legumes such as field beans, peas or soy, bees and bumblebees can still find food in mid-summer. If there is enough warmth, the small flowers of the legumes open and offer at least small amounts of nectar. 16,17

General information:

Edamame is the name given to the green and slightly unripe beans of the soybean ( Glycine max (L.) Merr.). Soybeans belong to the subfamily Faboideae within the family Leguminosae or Fabaceae.

The Japanese name Edamame (Japanese: 枝豆) can be translated as "beans on the branch" or "stalk beans". 1

Are sugar snap peas edamame? Sugar snap peas, also known as snow peas, snap peas, mangetout peas, or mange-tout peas, are not beans but peas ( Pisum sativum subsp. sativum convar. axiphium ). You can find out why sugar snap peas, unlike edamame, can be eaten raw in our article "Sweet snap peas (sugar snap pea), edible pod, raw" .

Alternative names:

Alternative names for edamame are Japanese bean, beans on the branch, green soybean, stalk bean, Japanese stalk bean or lucky bean.

The English name is edamame, edamames or edamame beans.

Literature - Sources on Edamame:

Bibliography - 17 Sources

1.Wikipedia Edamame. Edamame. PDF. Das Glück aus der Schote. Edamame.
5.USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Nährstofftabellen. (Bundeszentrum für Ernährung) Hülsenfrüchte sind Kraftpakete.
7.Wikipedia Hülsenfrüchtler. (Bundeszentrum für Ernährung) Hülsenfrüchte: Gesund essen.
9.Leitzmann, Claus. Dittrich, Kathi. Ihr Einkaufsführer: bioaktive Substanzen: Pflanzenpower für das Immunsystem. (Unabhängige Gesundheitsberatung) Isoflavone aus der Sojabohne. (Unabhängige Gesundheitsberatung) Wie ist der zunehmende Verzehr von Sojalebensmitteln gesundheitlich zu bewerten? Edamame: So wächst der gesunde Snack in Ihrem Garten.
13.aid Infodienst (Herausgeber). Gemüse. 21. Auflage. Bonn; 2014. Druckerei Lokay e. K. Reinheim. (Unabhängige Gesundheitsberatung) Sind Lektine im Gemüse schädlich? Solanin & Lektin: Wie giftig sind Kartoffeln, Bohnen & Tomaten? Bienen in der Kulturlandschaft. PDF. Ökologische Aspekte des Sojaanbaus in Deutschland.