Everybody knows that beans are healthy and, therefore, recommended as part of a healthy, nutritious diet. There can be dozens of varieties of beans to choose from when shopping in a grocery store, and you probably already have your favorites. But unless you have visited an Asian grocery store, you probably haven’t seen Adzuki beans, also known as red beans.
If you’ve ever ordered a dessert at a Japanese restaurant, there’s a very good chance you’ve tasted them. Although adzuki beans aren’t typically utilized as a savory dish component the way most Western beans are, that doesn’t make them any less prevalent in Japanese cuisine. In Japan and other Asian countries, the red beans are boiled, mashed, and made into a sweetened paste.
Used as a filling for steamed buns, and to flavor candies and confectionery, as well as ice cream, adzuki beans also make a great topping for pancakes and waffles.
Health Benefits Of Adzuki Beans
While you wouldn’t normally associate candy, ice cream and other sweets with health and nutrition, adzuki beans are indeed very nutritious and impart many health benefits.
1. Improves Digestion
Adzuki beans are high in dietary fiber, which helps promote digestive health while increasing the absorption of healthy nutrients. Regular consumption of dietary fiber also helps to reduce bowel problems such as constipation and diarrhea, and reduce the risks of colon cancer.
2. Balances Sugar Levels and Reduces the Risk of Diabetes
Dietary fiber also helps to regulate blood sugar levels, which subsequently reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. If you do have diabetes, eating foods with high dietary fiber on a regular basis helps to dangerous drops or spikes in sugar levels.
3. Improves Heart Health
Dietary fiber, along with the combination of other present minerals, helps to improve the health of your cardiovascular system. They also help to lower cholesterol and improve blood flow, subsequently reducing the risk of heart-related disease and strokes.
4. Improve Bone and Skin Health
The many important minerals found in adzuki beans serve to improve the health and strength of your bones. Additionally, the beans help exfoliate and cleanse your skin. You can use powdered adzuki beans to make an exfoliating paste or a face mask.
There is a mineral in adzuki beans called molybdenum that is very important for aiding in liver detoxification. The mineral is present in such a high dose that only half a serving of the red beans is required to receive 100% of the daily recommended intake.
6. Aids in Weight Loss
Could it be possible that an ingredient used primarily for desserts and sweets can aid in weight loss? Yes, adzuki beans can and do by providing a healthy dose of protein and dietary fiber, making you feel fuller. The low-calorie beans offer a great deal of nutrients without giving you any of the bad stuff, and the protein also helps to give you lasting energy throughout the day.
Note: The nutritional value of the beans is obviously altered when sweetened with more sugar. You can make your own red bean paste without using sugar to enjoy the health benefits fully.