You accidentally ate a few edamame in your sushi, and now you’re panicking and ready to sue the restaurant for emotional distress.
Before you do, though, you might want to read our article.
We appreciate that you’re very strict about your diet and don’t want any slip-ups, but edamame might surprise you.
Paleo diet can be somewhat limiting as to what you can eat, but most plants should be more or less ok, right?
Well, buckle up; that’s exactly what we’re trying to find out in can you eat edamame on paleo?
See Also: How Long Does Sushi Last?
Can You Eat Edamame On Paleo?
After what was somewhat of an ambiguous introduction, the answer to that question would be NO, you can’t.
However, before you get mad, we’ll give you a comprehensive explanation as to why it’s not the worst thing ever if you do munch on a few edamame once in a blue moon.
Whatsmore, we’ll talk about all the benefits and drawbacks that edamame has even for someone who’s on a paleo diet.
But first, we need to know more about edamame.
Important Facts About Edamame
Edamame is a type of soybeans, to be more exact, immature soybeans. Its resemblance to green beans is undeniable, both in looks and other unseen properties. It belongs to the legumes family – the third largest family of plants.
The reason why legumes are so popular is due to how cheap they are, but at the same time rich in nutrients. Edamame appeared in East Asia a few thousand years ago. Very popular both in China and Japan, it found its way to the US in the 19th century.
Edamame is mostly sold while still in their pod and frozen. Of course, the pod is not meant to be eaten, no matter what type of diet you are on. The most common way of preparation is by boiling them, and no, they can’t be eaten raw.
But enough with the fun facts, let’s get to the meat of things. We’ll cover the benefits first and then the drawbacks. After that, we’ll conclude why this shouldn’t be your typical paleo choice. Before that, let’s look at the nutrition facts and then properly break down everything:
Nutrition Facts (1 Cup = 155g) – Calories 122
|Nutrient||Amount||% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat||5 g||7%|
|Saturated fat||0.6 g||3%|
|Polyunsaturated fat||2.2 g|
|Monounsaturated fat||1.3 g|
|Trans fat regulation||0 g|
|Total Carbohydrate||10 g||3%|
|Dietary fiber||5 g||20%|
Edamame Health Benefits
1. Watching That Waistline
Edamame is low in carbs compared to the amount of protein it contains. Most soybeans, like edamame, are known to keep your blood sugar relatively low.
Carbs get your blood sugar up, and getting your blood sugar up can result in obesity and diabetes. However, the paleo diet is not exactly known for having too many carbs.
Besides fruits and vegetables, the paleo menu is mostly fat and protein.
2. Do You Even Lift
As it can be clearly seen on the nutrition chart, edamame is full of protein. In fact, in 155g of edamame, you get 22% of your daily intake; that is some pretty powerful stuff.
For people like vegans and vegetarians, edamame can be a great option to preserve their muscle mass properly. On the other hand, being a vegetarian for people on the paleo diet is not really an option.
Add to that the fact that most food on the paleo diet contains a decent amount of protein, and it’s safe to say you’re not missing out on much.
3. A Goldmine
Edamame is exceptionally rich in minerals and vitamins.
The first one is magnesium.
Believe it or not, every cell in your body contains magnesium, so it’s safe to say it ranks pretty high on the importance chart.
Since there are so many benefits, we’ll choose a few that stand out the most:
- Plays a role in regulating neurotransmitters, so next time you think of moving a finger, and it hopefully happens, be thankful magnesium exists.
- Keeps you not depressed; although there have only been a handful of studies done, magnesium can be considered a sort of antidepressant. Thankfully, it’s widely available, so you don’t need to eat only edamame to enjoy the benefits.
- If you’re suffering from high blood pressure, magnesium can help you lower it more naturally. Although, if your blood pressure is fine, magnesium won’t have any influence on it.
- Good cure against migraines. If you find yourself often experiencing migraines, you may be deficient in magnesium. For us who aren’t cursed with migraines, magnesium can make sure that stays the case.
Besides magnesium, we have iron and vitamin C.
Iron plays a significant part in delivering oxygen to your blood cells.
However, having too much or not enough of it can cause some health problems, so be careful about that.
Vitamin C, the Allstar of vitamins.
If this were a video, vitamin C would get its own montage, but since it’s an article, a few bullet points will have to suffice.
- Boosts your immune system; so you won’t get sick as often, especially from things like the common cold
- Protects you from cardiovascular diseases; means your ticker will stay healthy for longer
- Protects your eyes; yup, those two marbles in your head that tell you how the world looks
- Keeps cancer away; although, unfortunately, it’s always possible for someone to suffer from this kind of health condition, doing the best you can to protect yourself to at least some extent is never a waste of time.
There are quite a few different opinions on soy and soybeans at that. Some experts say it’s not good for your health, while others praise it as a decent meat alternative.
Here, we’ve decided to listen to what the first group has to say; this theuskitchen.com, after all. Let’s list a couple of potential health problems edamame can bring:
1. Too Much Estrogen
Soybeans contain isoflavones. Isoflavones can have both a positive and a negative impact on breast cancer cells.
Contrary to popular belief, not only women can have breast cancer, but men as well. That’s the worst-case scenario. The less severe one would be to have too much estrogen as a male.
Eating products like soybeans, especially in high amounts, might raise estrogen levels in males. The consequences of that include lowered sex drive, hair loss, infertility, etc.
The Paleo diet, on the other hand, can increase your testosterone and even fix some of the issues too much estrogen might bring.
2. Thyroid Problems
Although it still requires more research, a few studies suggest that some parts of soy products can interfere with the thyroid gland.
Given the fact that soy products are so widespread, conducting research that would portray them as less than ideal is very expensive and hard to do.
The thyroid keeps your metabolism in check and is responsible for the growth and development of the human body.
Impaired thyroid gland function can result in improper development in teenagers and a slew of problems in women.
3. Gastrointestinal Issues
Plants have their own defensive mechanism.
Unlike animals, they’re not able to run away; however, they are able to produce compounds that interfere with your digestive system.
To combat those compounds, we’ve learned to cook and negate their effect as much as possible.
However, some people are still experiencing stomach issues, even after the food has been properly cooked.
What If You Accidentally Ate Edamame On The Paleo Diet?
Don’t worry about it, nothing bad can happen to you from having a few edamame.
If you’ve been eating it for a while and you didn’t know it wasn’t considered paleo, just cut it out of your diet and find something to replace it.
Depending on how long you’ve been consuming it, you might feel a few problems that we’ve mentioned but going back to pure paleo could resolve most of it.
Can You Eat Edamame On Paleo – Conclusion
No, you can’t, or rather shouldn’t, make edamame a part of your paleo diet. Paleo diet is called that because it implies eating before the existence of agriculture. Edamame is a type of soy product that is exclusive to agriculture.
We said that these could carry some benefits and drawbacks to them. Although they do have a high amount of protein and fiber, the paleo diet is not missing those in the least.
On the contrary, most things you eat are full of protein and healthy fat. The vitamins and minerals they carry are also present in fruit that you can enjoy on paleo.
The number one concern they bring is potentially too much estrogen, which can result in some severe health conditions both in men and in women.
If you had a few, don’t sweat about it, nothing terrible will happen to you. If you’ve been eating them for a while, maybe find an alternative as they are not considered paleo.