Adzuki Beans – Most Powerful & Amazing Legume
5 Health Benefits of Adzuki Beans
1. Help Manage Diabetes
With their high mix of protein and fiber, adzuki beans are great for helping manage normal blood sugar. Animal research has even shown that the protein found in adzuki beans can even inhibit intestinal α-glucosidases, which are are enzymes involved in breaking down complex carbohydrates like starch and glycogen. In other words, adzuki beans act like alpha-glucosidase inhibitors that are taken to control diabetes.
This makes the adzuki bean a great addition to any diabetic diet plan to help treat, manage or prevent diabetes.
2. Increase Antioxidant Intake
Not only are adzuki beans tasty, but they’re also loaded with disease-fighting and health-promoting antioxidants. Researchers have identified at least 29 different compounds found within an adzuki bean, making them some of the most high-antioxidant foods around. These compounds include bioflavonoids that are valued for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits. (4)
3. Up Muscle Mass
Consuming protein foods like adzuki beans can help build muscle mass. Just one cup of adzuki beans contains 17.3 grams of protein, packing a powerful protein punch.
Muscles are made up of protein — therefore protein is necessary to build and maintain muscle. Without adequate protein, muscle loss occurs. If you do heavy lifting, then your protein needs are even higher. Combining a regular workout routine with increased healthy protein intake is a great way to get your body not only leaner, but stronger.
4. Improve Heart Health
With their high concentration of dietary fiber, folate, potassium, magnesium and B vitamins, adzuki beans really have heart health written all over them. Eating adzuki beans as part of an overall heart healthy diet and lifestyle can help reduce your chances of developing coronary heart disease. Their dietary fiber aids in regulating cholesterol levels while their potassium relaxes blood vessels and increases blood flow, which reduces blood pressure and strain on the heart.
5. Healthy Weight Management
Adding adzuki beans to your diet can help you eat less and keep you feeling full longer. Feeling full longer hopefully means less overeating because you reach satiety without consuming too much food.
The high fiber content of adzuki beans is the reason you feel satiated longer. High-fiber foods like beans also tend to take longer to eat and less “energy dense,” which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food. So whether you’re trying to lose weight or maintain your current weight, I highly suggest adzuki beans as part of your diet.
Adzuki Beans Nutrition and Origin
The adzuki bean (Vigna angularis) is an annual vine widely grown throughout East Asia and the Himalayas for its small beans. The varieties most common in Northeast Asia are red, but white, black, gray and mottled varieties also exist.
Adzuki beans are highly nutritious. One cup of cooked adzuki beans has about:
57 grams carbohydrates
17.3 grams protein
0.2 gram fat
16.8 grams fiber
278 micrograms folate (70 percent DV)
1.3 milligrams manganese (66 percent DV)
386 milligrams phosphorus (39 percent DV)
1,224 milligrams potassium (35 percent DV)
0.7 milligram copper (34 percent DV)
120 milligrams magnesium (30 percent DV)
4.1 milligrams zinc (27 percent DV)
4.6 milligrams iron (26 percent DV)
0.3 milligram thiamine (18 percent DV)
0.2 milligram vitamin B6 (11 percent DV)
0.1 milligram riboflavin (9 percent DV)
1.6 milligrams niacin (8 percent DV)
64.4 milligrams calcium (6 percent DV)
Adzuki Beans Potential Side Effects
The most common side effect of eating adzuki beans is — you guessed it — gas! If you’re not currently a big bean consumer, then it’s helpful to introduce adzuki beans into your diet gradually. If you opt for dried beans that you need to soak, don’t use the water you soaked them in to cook them in because it is very gas-producing.
Digestive enzymes can come to the rescue if you find you really have trouble digesting beans. The good news is that adzuki beans are one of the beans that are easier to digest.
Final Thoughts on Adzuki Beans
Adzuki beans are an awesome source of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and they’re used to make red bean paste.
They’re packed with protein, fiber, folate, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, copper, magnesium, zinc, iron, thiamine, vitamin B6, riboflavin, niacin, calcium and more.
They’ve been shown to help manage diabetes, increase antioxidant intake, up muscle mass, improve heart health and help manage weight.
In order to use adzuki beans, you need to soak them and then ideally sprout them as well. This brings out the optimal nutrition and taste.