Adzuki beans, also known as aduki or azuki beans, can be described as small reddish-brown beans with a white ridge along one edge. Though originally from China, they are now popular in Japan also. They form a part of the ceremonial dishes in both China and Japan, where they are used in preparing traditional dumplings on New Year and other festive occasions. There are two kinds of adzuki beans: Hokkaido beans and Basic aduki beans. Hokkaido beans are round, shiny, deep maroon in color and are cultivated in the volcanic soil on the northernmost island of Japan. Basic aduki beans are comparatively smaller, lighter in color and not very sweet. They are grown in the Midwestern United States and Asia. Since they are very low in fat content, they are easy to digest.
Health & Nutritional Benefits of Eating Adzuki Beans
- A great source of magnesium, zinc, iron, copper, potassium, fiber, manganese and B Vitamins, such as niacin, thiamin and riboflavin, adzuki beans contribute to the overall health of the body.
- The beans build up a strong metabolism that enables the body to quickly and efficiently metabolize the food eaten.
- The beans are ideal for people who are on weight-loss diet, since they are low in fat and high in protein. The high-protein content makes you feel full for long and the low-fat content helps in limiting calorie intake.
- They contain protease inhibitors that are known to disrupt the development of cancerous cells.
- Adzuki beans are a good source of energy, promote regular bowel movements and help in lowering cholesterol.
- These beans help in preventing breast cancer also.
- As adzuki beans are known to benefit bladder, reproductive functions and kidneys, they are used to treat problems such as urinary dysfunction and bladder infections.
- Since the Chinese believe the bean to a source of courage, it helps people meet challenges bravely.
- Rich in soluble fiber, the beans speed up the elimination of wastes from the body and prevent the body from absorbing harmful substances.
- Presence of soluble fiber in the beans also reduces the level of LDL cholesterol in the blood.
- The beans tone up the heart and spleen, heal swelling in edema, stop vomiting and diarrhea.
- Sprouted adzuki beans are beneficial for blood in stools and bleeding during pregnancy.
- While introducing adzuki beans in your diet, add them gradually, as eating too many at a time can cause gas problems in some people.
- Soak the adzuki beans in cold water for about two to three hours. Simmer them on the stove for around an hour and a half. Use three cups of water for a cup of adzuki beans.
- The beans are best prepared in a crockpot or pressure cooker, though it takes a bit longer time.
- The water that is used to boil the beans can be drunk as a tea as well, since it is slightly sweet.
- Prepare the beans with corn tortillas for an enhanced taste.
- You can add squash cubes or tamari to the beans, in the last half hour of cooking.
- For an herbal touch, add coriander, cumin and ginger while preparing the beans.
- For cooking dry aduki beans, soak them in water for several hours to remove the toxin lectin found on the hard shell and to ensure that they are soft enough to eat after cooking.
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