It’s no coincidence that we posted an article about beans today because it is actually National Bean Day! Most people are familiar with kidney, pinto, garbanzo, and black beans, but a lot of people may not be onto the amazing benefits of adzuki beans. Signature to Asian cuisine, adzuki beans are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals that contribute to the optimal functioning of the body’s organs and systems.
What Are Adzuki Beans?
Native to the Himalayan region, adzuki beans are commonly eaten in Japan, Korea, China, and other East Asian countries. The pronunciation is “azuki,” which comes from the Japanese language. They are red beans, which are typically used in sweeter dishes, and they are most commonly eaten in the form of a paste.
Adzuki beans are different from other beans in that they have a slightly sweeter, nuttier flavor. Even if you have a particular palate, you might be pleasantly surprised with the taste of adzuki beans. We want to entice you to try these beans, and that is why we have gathered some of the health benefits you can reap when you eat them.
Improves Heart Health
Eating adzuki beans can help to give you a cardiovascular boost! They are rich in dietary fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol levels, and the potassium works to increase blood flow and release excess sodium in the body. This is especially beneficial for those with high blood pressure. Adzuki beans can even help to decrease your risk of atherosclerosis and heart attack.
Just like most other beans, adzuki beans are high in fiber, which is important for digestive health. Fiber works to stimulate peristalsis (the moving of food through the digestive tract), and this helps to relieve constipation, bloating, diarrhea, and can even benefit more serious digestive conditions.
Builds Muscle Mass
Adzuki beans can help you build muscle mass because they are loaded with protein (17.3 grams of protein per cup). Because adzuki beans are comprised of plant-based protein, the body can absorb it more easily and build muscle more efficiently. When you combine a regular workout routine with sufficient, complete protein intake, you will start seeing results.
According to several research studies, adzuki beans contain about 29 compounds, which means they have a high antioxidant content. These antioxidants are disease-fighting and contain anti-inflammatory properties. Some of the compounds are also bioflavonoids, which help to promote optimal internal health.
Weight Loss Helpers
Even though people can use these protein-packed beans to help build muscle, there are others who like to use them for weight loss. In addition to the protein content, the fiber helps to fill you up and make you feel full, which helps to decrease your cravings and caloric intake. One cup of adzuki beans contains about 300 calories, but you’ll feel more satiated when you eat that one cup, as opposed to eating other empty calories like bread, chips, sodas, pizza, or cookies.
Better Bone Health
If you need help strengthening your bones, adzuki beans are your friends. They contain beneficial minerals like copper, zinc, and magnesium, all of which help to prevent bone demineralization and work to boost bone strength.
Word to the Wise
Adzuki beans are typically sold in paste form, which is an acquired taste. Some people may find it unpleasant, but you shouldn’t be afraid of it. We think it tastes pretty good!