Edamame is a very healthy choice. One half cup contains about 120 calories, 5 grams of fat (1g saturated fat), no salt, no cholesterol, 7g of carbs (of which 4 are fiber) and 11g of protein. Edamame is also a source of vitamin C, calcium and a good source of iron.
You can now purchase this item at many larger grocery stores in the frozen food aisle either in the pod (like in the picture above) or already peeled (like in the picture below). Many people are concerned about the possible healthy risks with soy. It was thought not too long ago that too much soy could increase the risk of breast cancer in women and survivors of breast cancer.
According to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database: Population studies suggest that eating a high-soy diet is associated with a modestly reduced risk of developing breast cancer. Most research has been conducted in Asian women 5939,7334,7335,7336,11038,11807,14363). There is less evidence about the effects of soy in Western populations. Some evidence suggests that dietary intake of soy isoflavones (phytoestrogens) among Western-culture middle-aged women does not decrease breast cancer risk (11391,17109). The estrogenic effect of soy might be more pronounced in Asian women, possibly because of an ethnic difference in response."
So currently, the research suggests that soy at the very least, does not appear to increase the risk of these cancers and might possibly be helpful in reducing the risk in certain ethnicities. We also know that a diet high in soy can help to reduce bad cholesterol which improves our heart health. Hopefully more research will come soon to make things clearer.
So if you are looking for a high fiber, high protein snack that packs a lot of nutrition or looking for a way to make your pasta or soups dishes more filling, give edamame a try!