Green soybeans, or edamame, are soybeans that are harvested at a fresh green stage, which means around 80 percent maturity. They contain healthy doses of all three types of macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fat.
Green soybeans contain a bigger seed size and have more of an oval shape to them than both yellow and black soybeans. Greens soybeans grown in America are available in pod or shelled form, and you can find them in the frozen food section of many grocery stores.
According to the National Soybean Research Laboratory, one 1/2 cup serving of green soybeans contains 127 calories, 11.1 grams of protein, 10 grams of carbohydrates and 5.8 grams of fat.
Green soybeans are mainly composed of the "good" types of fat, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated, which can decrease your LDL cholesterol and overall risk of developing heart disease, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.
Nutritional Benefits of Soy
Nearly 40 percent of the calories contained in green soybeans are from protein, making green soybeans higher in protein than other beans, legumes and even some animal products. Green soybeans are also lower in saturated fat and do not contain cholesterol, making them a healthy food option for people watching their weight.
Storing, Preparing and Cooking
Place green soybeans in the refrigerator and use them within two days. If you decide to freeze them, you can do so for months at a time. When preparing green soybeans to eat, press the pod between your thumb and forefinger to open the pod, and then simply push the beans out of the pod. To cook green soybeans, put one pound of green soybeans in a pan, and boil. Then, reduce the water to a simmer and cook for 10 to 12 minutes.
- National Soybean Research Laboratory: Nutritional and Health Benefits of Soybeans
- Soyfoods.com: Whole Soybeans
- Soyfoods.org: Whole Soybeans
- Harvard School of Public Health: Fats and Cholesterol: Out with the Bad, In with the Good
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About this Author
Scott Christ has been writing professionally since 2003. He works as a writer for a health care communications company in Michigan. He also runs a freelance copywriting business that specializes in marketing and communications materials for the health care industry. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from Michigan State University.