These small, burgundy-colored beans have a sweet flavor and is commonly used in Japanese dishes. Adzuki beans are valued for their relatively low cooking time, low fat and high protein content, and high natural sugar profile. They come close to soybeans in terms of nutritional, dietary, and therapeutic value.
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Digestion: Soluble fiber helps maintain good digestion by attracting water and forming a gel. This delays the emptying of the stomach, making you feel fuller longer, regulating blood sugar levels, and increasing insulin sensitivity.
Lowering blood cholesterol: Soluble fiber also helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol by interfering the absorption of dietary cholesterol. Bile acids are specialized molecules that aid in the digestion and absorption of fat through a process called emulsification. The fiber binds bile acids and eliminates it through the feces. When this happens, the liver needs to replace the lost bile acids by drawing out of the existing cholesterol stores and thus lowering the blood cholesterol level.
Anti-inflammation: Zinc protects the body from inflammation of the joints and helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Cardiovascular health: Magnesium and potassium help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, and relax muscles.
Good source of:
Thiamin (B1), Iron, Potassium, Folate, Zinc, Magnesium
Purchasing, storing, and enjoying:
Purchasing: Adzuki beans can be purchased in Asian markets, natural food stores or some grocery stores. Look for beans that are uniform in size and firm to ensure freshness and even cooking.
Storing: Beans can be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight for up to one year. Do not mix old beans with freshly purchased beans, because older beans can take longer to cook.
Enjoying: Beans should be soaked overnight and cooked for about an hour. They can be eaten as is or used in a recipe to maximize their flavor. Due to their sweet and nutty profile, Adzuki beans can be purchased in a powdered or ground form to use as a confectionary additive. Adzuki beans that have been cooked and mashed with sugar are sold as “red bean paste”, often sold in cans. The sweet paste is use in many popular Asian desserts.
Resources & recipes:
Simple seasoned beans: http://www.healthygreenkitchen.com/seasoned-aduki-beans.html
Zesty adzuki bean salad: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/zesty-adzuki-bean-salad
Adzuki bean soup: http://www.susanciminelli.com/blog/2010/05/19/detoxifying-adzuki-bean-soup-recipe/
Korean mochi: http://sweetsandbrains.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/chapssalddeok-korean-style-mochi/