Edamame soybeans are packed with essential vitamins and nutrients, including fiber, folate, manganese, iron, and calcium. They also contain high levels of essential fatty acids and are an excellent source of protein. Just one cup can satisfy about a third of your daily need for protein and yet contains only 189 calories, 1 gram of saturated fat, and zero cholesterol. In fact, soy protein has been shown to lower cholesterol levels, making it an excellent alternative to meat, which tends to raise cholesterol. Studies also show that soy intake can help regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, as well as prevent colon, breast, and prostate cancer.
While there is a fair amount of controversy regarding how much soy is recommended, it is generally agreed that consuming soy in moderation, and in minimally processed forms (like edamame!) can be greatly beneficial to your health. (Read more about the soy controversy from the Tufts Medical Center and get your edamame nutrition facts on Self.com.)