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All About Adzuki Beans – Benefits + Recipes

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All About Adzuki Beans – Benefits + Recipes August 16, 2018

The name might remind you of a Japanese anime character or a ninja. And with the kind of nutrients they have, these Asian beans are truly the ninjas of the Fabaceae family.

If you haven’t heard of them or eaten them before, don’t worry. You are going to learn about one of the richest beans in this article today. Say hi to Adzuki beans!

Adzuki beans are nutritional chart toppers that contain abundant proteins, fiber, and minerals. And they have a multitude of benefits.

Scroll down to know all about adzuki beans – along with some fun recipes and facts. Happy reading!

Table Of Contents

What Are Adzuki Beans?

Adzuki beans (Vigna angularis) are native to China and have been grown in Japan for at least 1000 years. Today, you can find the crops growing in Taiwan, India, New Zealand, Korea, Philippines, and warmer parts of China.

Adzuki or aduki beans are rich in dietary fiber, protein, iron, calcium, and folate and have strengthening qualities. Also, because of the low glycemic index, adzuki beans are the preferred food for menstruating women and people with diabetes and obesity.

So, how do you identify these beans? Let’s find out!

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How Do They Look? How Are They Different From Other Legumes?

How Do They Look How Are They Different From Other Legumes Pinit

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Adzuki beans are small, oval, bright-red, dry beans. You can find adzuki beans in a deeper red, maroon, black, and sometimes in white colors too.

Unlike other dry bean varieties, such as kidney beans, adzuki beans take very less time to cook, thanks to the small size and fair amount of protein and carbs in them.

They also don’t cause the characteristic flatulence and bloating like the rest of the legumes. Known to give you the ‘yang’ energy, adzuki beans are easily digestible and hence have a long list of benefits and recipes.

Here’s a crisp compilation of what adzuki beans do to you. Go ahead and explore the world of adzuki!

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What Are The Benefits Of Adzuki Beans?

1. Help In Weight Loss And Digestion

Help In Weight Loss And Digestion Pinit

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An unhealthy, high-fat, unbalanced diet is one of the most common and major reasons for obesity. And if obesity is not controlled, it leads to fatal complications.

Adding adzuki beans to your meal improves the lipid metabolism, fat utilization, and energy production and treats obesity the healthy way.

The micronutrients and fiber in these beans can reduce starch metabolism, decreasing glucose levels in your blood and gastric emptying. Due to this, you end up feeling full and satiated and tend not to overeat (1).

2. Promote Kidney Health

Adzuki beans boast of high dietary fiber content – about 25 g (in raw beans) per cup. They also contain potent antioxidant phytochemicals like polyphenols and proanthocyanidins in fair amounts.

The combined action of fiber and antioxidants in adzuki beans scavenge reactive and undesirable free radicals and prevent the infiltration of inflammation-causing macrophages (immune system cells) (2).

Consuming the right amount of adzuki beans keeps your kidneys safe, efficient, and free of inflammation, injury, and complete breakdown.

3. Give You Strong Bones And Enhance Muscle Mass

Give You Strong Bones And Enhance Muscle Mass Pinit

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With age, your bones and muscles tend to lose their strength and the power of repair or healing. This loss results in osteoporosis and reduced muscle mass, especially in post-menopausal women.

Cooked adzuki beans or their extracts contain bioactive ingredients like saponins and catechins. These ingredients restore the bone resorption and bone formation balance in people with osteoporosis and protect them from inflammation and total degeneration (3).

A cup of raw adzukis has about 39 g of protein. Nothing can beat the power of protein! Low carb-high protein diets help you lose the flab and build muscle mass. Because your body takes more time and energy to digest protein, and because adzuki beans have a low glycemic index, it’s a good idea to have them for lunch. You’d feel full, light, and energetic (4).

4. Lower Cholesterol And Detoxify The Liver

Drinking adzuki bean juice or soup reduces the serum triglyceride levels, prevents the accumulation of bad cholesterol (LDL), and protects your liver from inflammation or damage.

The proanthocyanidins and polyphenols in adzuki beans inhibit the production of pancreatic enzymes. These enzymes (especially lipases) are responsible for the absorption of lipids in the intestines (5).

Due to the reduced absorption, the levels of triglycerides and cholesterol are lower in your blood. When there are less lipids and triglycerides, there’s low peroxidation or toxic residues that attack your liver.

Hence, your liver is free from chronic liver diseases such as cirrhosis, fibrosis, or cancers.

5. Promote Heart Health

Promote Heart Health Pinit

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The high levels of antioxidant polyphenols, proanthocyanidins, vitamin B, folate, and potassium make adzuki beans the ideal candidate for a healthy heart.

These bioactive components reduce the free radicals that cause lipid and fatty acid peroxidation. They also exhibit anti-hypercholesterolemic effects, i.e., they relax the blood vessels and reduce hypertension.

The combined effect of all these components keeps your heart safe and cardiovascular diseases at bay (6).

6. Good For Women’s Health And Pregnancy

Adzuki beans are reservoirs of folate (1.2 mg in 200 g) – one of the essential vitamins for women. Especially in pregnant women, folic acid can help prevent NTDs (neural tube defects) (7).

These beans are also rich in iron, manganese, phosphorus, and other micronutrients that help in regulating your menstrual cycle and premenstrual symptoms (PMS).

In fact, Japanese women consume adzuki red bean paste or soup after menstruation to replenish the blood cells and prevent anemia (8).

There are many more benefits of the adzuki beans – all because of the nutrients and micronutrients. Adzuki’s nutritional profile has some fantastic numbers. You HAVE to check it out. Scroll down!

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Nutritional Information Of Adzuki Beans

Nutrition Facts Serving Size 197 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 648Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 0g2%
Trans Fat
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 10mg0%
Total Carbohydrate 124g41%
Dietary Fiber 25g100%
Sugars
Protien 39g
Vitamin A1%
Vitamin C0%
Calcium13%
Iron55%
Calorie Information
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Calories648(2713 kJ)32%
From Carbohydrate504(2110 kJ)
From Fat8.7(36.4 kJ)
From Protein136(569 kJ)
From Alcohol~(0.0 kJ)
Carbohydrates
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Total Carbohydrate124 g41%
Dietary Fiber25.0 g100%
Starch~
Sugars~
Fats & Fatty Acids
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Total Fat1.0 g2%
Saturated Fat0.4 g2%
Monounsaturated Fat~
Polyunsaturated Fat~
Total trans fatty acids~
Total trans-monoenoic fatty acids~
Total trans-polyenoic fatty acids~
Total Omega-3 fatty acids~
Total Omega-6 fatty acids223 mg
Protein & Amino Acids
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Protein39.1 g78%
Vitamins
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Vitamin A33.5 IU1%
Vitamin C0.0 mg0%
Vitamin D~~
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)~~
Vitamin K~~
Thiamin0.9 mg60%
Riboflavin0.4 mg25%
Niacin5.2 mg26%
Vitamin B60.7 mg35%
Folate1226 mcg306%
Vitamin B120.0 mcg0%
Pantothenic Acid2.9 mg29 %
Choline~
Betaine~
Minerals
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Calcium130 mg13%
Iron9.8 mg55%
Magnesium250 mg63%
Phosphorus751 mg75%
Potassium2470 mg71%
Sodium9.9 mg0%
Zinc9.9 mg66%
Copper2.2 mg108%
Manganese3.4 mg170%
Selenium6.1 mcg9%
Fluoride~

That was the profile of the raw beans. Now, let’s look at the profile of cooked adzuki beans.

NutrientAmount (per cup)
Carbohydrate57.0 g
Dietary Fiber16.8 g
Protein17.3 g
Total Fat0.2 g
Vitamin-A13.8 IU
Thiamin0.3 mg
Folate278 mcg
Magnesium120 mg
Phosphorus386 mg
Potassium1224 mg
Manganese1.3 mg

Now that you got the numbers, I’m sure you’d want to whip up something delicious using these beans.

Here are a couple of quick and tasty recipes I’ve compiled for you. Let’s get to the kitchen!

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How To Cook Adzuki Beans – Quick And Tasty Recipes

1. Creamy Adzuki Bean Hummus

Creamy Adzuki Bean Hummus Pinit

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If you’re looking for super quick ways to add adzuki beans to your meal and don’t have the mood to make something elaborate, this is the recipe for you!

What You Need
  • Cooked adzuki beans: 1 cup
  • Garlic clove: 1
  • Lemon juice (1 lemon): 2 tablespoons
  • Tahini: 2 tablespoons
  • Parsley: 1 tablespoons
  • Cumin (ground): ½ teaspoon
  • Ginger (ground): ½ teaspoon
  • Paprika or chili powder: ¼ teaspoon
  • Olive oil: 1 tablespoon
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper: to taste
  • Sesame seeds: to garnish
Let’s Make It!
  1. Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until you get a smooth mixture.
  2. Add some water and blend again (the thickness depends on your desired consistency).
  3. Garnish with sesame seeds and finely chopped parsley.
  4. Serve this fresh and creamy adzuki beans hummus with raw veggies of your choice or nachos and tortilla chips on a movie night!

2. Adzuki Bean And Sweet Potato Patties

This recipe is for those days when you are all pumped up about cooking something nice, tasty, crispy, and indulgent. Also, when you are fighting the urge to have potatoes, you chose the healthier version – sweet potatoes!

What You Need
  • Sweet potatoes (or yam): 1 large
  • Adzuki beans (canned): 15 oz. or 1 cup of cooked beans
  • Dill leaves: 10-15 washed
  • Onion: 1 small, super finely chopped
  • Multigrain flakes or flour: 2-4 tablespoons (optional)
  • Mixed spices or garam masala: ½ teaspoon
  • Chili powder or flakes: ½ teaspoon
  • Olive oil: 1 tablespoon
  • Breadcrumbs: ¼ cup

Note: You can add oats, quinoa, and other whole grains of your choice for the crunch in your patties.

Let’s Make It!
  1. Boil, peel, and mash a large sweet potato or yam in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the breadcrumbs, to the bowl. Mix, mash, mix.
  3. You can also run these ingredients through the food processor for a coarse mixture.
  4. Add salt to taste.
  5. Make about 2-3 inch wide patties and coat them evenly with breadcrumbs.
  6. This mixture will be sticky, so use flour or oil on your hands to work with the batter.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 375°F until the patties turn golden and dry on the outside.
  8. You can add these patties to lightly toasted mini-buns and make filling burgers. Or eat them crumbled in a salad bowl.
  9. For the mini burger: Arrange Spinach or lettuce on the buns, top with a burger patty, cucumber and tomato discs, and fresh dill and shut it with the top half of the bun.
  10. Dig into these healthy mini burgers while sipping on a basic dark chocolate smoothie or a cucumber-mint mojito, and you are sorted!

Oh man! Mouthwatering is an understatement! I’m sure you’d want to try these recipes out. But before you start cooking, here are a few pointers to keep in mind.

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Points To Remember While Cooking Adzuki Beans

  • You need to soak adzuki beans for at least 1-2 hours before cooking. So, plan your cooking accordingly.
  • You have to boil the soaked and washed adzuki beans on high heat for about 30 minutes. Pressure cooking is a quicker option to get soft and sweet beans.
  • You can store cooked adzuki beans in the refrigerator for prolonged usage.
  • Make sure you don’t leave any water in the storage container.
For Sprouting
  • After soaking the adzuki beans, drain the water and leave about 1-2 tablespoons of water behind.
  • Transfer the beans, along with the water, to a shallow pan and leave it open to air for 3-4 days.
  • Once sprouted, rinse the sprouts well in cold water, drain, get rid of extra moisture, and store in a container.
  • If you want to refrigerate the sprouts, keep rinsing them every day in freshwater and change the container.
  • This way, no molds will form, and you can store them for 7 days!

So, is it alright if you have only adzuki beans in all your meals, seven days a week? Here’s the answer.

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What Are The Side Effects Of Adzuki Beans?

There are no fatal side effects or risks associated with adzuki beans. Yay!

But, hold on!

One of the most common problems we all face with these legumes and lentils is gas or flatulence. The same holds true for adzuki beans as well.

If you consume half-cooked or spoilt adzuki sprouts, you might have:

  • Gas
  • Mild diarrhea, or
  • Nausea

Ideally, half to one cup of adzuki beans per day will give you enough carbs, proteins, and calories while filling your tummy.

What’s My Take?

If you have a sensitive gut, and consuming legumes and lentils gives you bad bloat, adzuki beans are good news. Because they are the most easily digestible members of the bean family.

With 294 calories, 57 g of carbs, 17 g of dietary fiber and protein, 4.6 mg of iron, 278 mcg of folate, and 1224 mg of potassium, adzuki beans are the best choice if you want to lose weight, reduce hypertension, and prevent birth defects in your baby.

So, add this Asian wonder to your grocery list, make some patties, dips, and pies (yes, you can!) with them, and share your experiences with us.

Write to us your feedback, comments, and suggestions for this article in the box below.

Good luck with the adzukis, ladies!

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References

1. “Potential efficacy of preparations…” Dove Medical Press, US National Library of Medicine
2. “Protective effect of dietary azuki bean…” Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine
3. “Regulation of the differentiation of osteoblasts…” Food and Nutrition, Taylor and Francis Online
4. “In with the good, out with the bad” Harvard Heart Letter, Harvard Medical School
5. “Azuki Bean Juice Lowers Serum…”Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine
6. “Polyphenol-containing azuki bean…” Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease, ScienceDirect
7. “Folic Acid: the Vitamin That Helps…” Department of Health, New York State
8. “Introducing: The Aduki Bean” Health Tips, Bastyr University

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