Adzuki bean has been cultivated in the Orient for many centuries. It originated in China and was introduced to Japan about 1000 years ago.
This cultigen is not found in the wild. Vining types are grown in China, Manchuria and in areas with warm climates. An erect plant types are grown in the Northern provinces in Japan. Today, Japan is the largest producer of Adzuki which is also their second most popular crop.
Adzuki is an annual plant and the beans comes in 5mm diameter with a round shape, a sharp point at one end, reddish brown in color with a distinctive white ridge along one side. It has a sweet, nutty flavor. The plant takes around six months to mature and are in season during the month of September. Its scientific name is Phaseolus angularis.
About the nutritional value of this superfood, it provides a hefty amount of nutrients to keep our bodies like well-oiled machines, like vitamin B complex and folic acid. It is an abundant source of essential minerals that includes manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and potassium. And like other legumes, it is very good source soluble fiber. This is also a good option for a high-protein diet to help build up and repair of worn out cells, hormones and body tissues.
This power bean contains molybdenum, a trace mineral needed to produce sulfite oxidase that is crucial for liver detoxification. It is used to treat bladder infection and urinary dysfunction. Adzuki bean has protease inhibitors to prevent formation of cancerous cells in the body.
Adzuki beans can play an important role in preventing heart disease due to its ability in lowering down triglyceride level (the excessive fats in the bloodstream) and hypertension which both can trigger heart attacks. One good thing about adzuki is that unlike other drugs or medication to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, it has no side effects.
The soluble fiber present in adzuki is about 8 grams for every ½ cup serving and getting more of fiber may reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity. It will also speed up the elimination of wastes from the body to avoid absorption of toxic substances.
Eating adzuki bean keeps you feeling full as it takes longer time to digest, making you eat less. It is low in fat and high in protein. So, if you want to lose weight you may want to include this amazing bean in your diet. As a skin treatment, adzuki can be used to remove circles from under the eyes.
And to keep you on the safe side, take adzuki beans in your diet gradually to avoid gas and other gastric problems. Adzuki can be taken during pregnancy to obtain necessary folate.
Adzuki Bean fun fact: In 2009, Pepsi cola released in Japan an azuki flavored drink version.
Eat healthy. Stay fit.
Photo by: http://www.allysonkramer.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/20100323-img_7544.jpg