Adzuki beans, also called azuki or adzuki, are a small bean grown throughout East Asia and the Himalayas. In Japan and other Asian countries, Adzuki beans are a popular ingredient, If you’ve enjoyed Japanese desserts, chances are you’ve had adzuki beans. They are apparently the second most widely used legumes in Japan after soybeans and are commonly made into a bean paste to be used in sweet recipes. We are very proud that growing this healthy small bean in Mongolia and introducing health benefit of it to the world.
Health benefit of Adzuki beans
Adzuki beans are linked to several health benefits, ranging from heart health and weight loss to improved digestion and a lower risk of diabetes. Plus, they are easy to incorporate into a variety of dishes.
Can Improve Digestion
Adzuki beans may improve your digestion and gut health. That’s largely because beans are particularly rich in soluble fiber and resistant starch. These fibers pass through your gut undigested until they reach the colon, where they serve as food for your good gut bacteria (8, 9Trusted Source, 10). When friendly bacteria feed on the fibers, they create short-chain fatty acids — such as butyrate, which studies link to a healthier gut and a reduced risk of colon cancer (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source, 13, 14Trusted Source). Moreover, animal studies suggest that the high antioxidant content of the beans may reduce gut inflammation, further boosting digestion (15Trusted Source).
SUMMARY: Adzuki beans are rich in healthy fibers and antioxidants, both of which may help improve digestion and reduce your risk of gut diseases, such as colon cancer.
May Help Reduce Diabetes Risk
Adzuki beans may also contribute to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. That’s in part because they are rich in fiber, which helps improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar spikes after meals (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source). What’s more, test-tube and animal studies report that protein found in adzuki beans may block the action of intestinal alpha-glucosidases. Alpha-glucosidases are an enzyme needed to break down complex carbs into smaller, more easily absorbable sugars. Therefore, blocking their action may reduce blood sugar spikes like some diabetes medications (20, 21Trusted Source). Adzuki beans are also rich in antioxidants, which experts believe may have some anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetes effects (3Trusted Source).
SUMMARY: Rich in fiber and antioxidants, adzuki beans may help block the absorption of sugars in your gut, potentially contributing to better blood sugar levels and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
Can Help You Lose Weight
Adzuki beans are likely to help you shed excess weight. Some evidence suggests that compounds found in adzuki beans may increase the expression of genes that decrease hunger and increase feelings of fullness (22Trusted Source). Test-tube and animal studies further suggest that certain compounds in adzuki bean extracts may also contribute to weight loss (23Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source). In addition, beans are also rich in protein and fiber, two nutrients were shown to reduce hunger and increase fullness, potentially leading to weight loss (25Trusted Source, 26Trusted Source). In one six-week study, participants who consumed at least a 1/2 cup (90 grams) of legumes per day lost 6.4 additional pounds (2.9 kg) compared to those eating no legumes (27). What’s more, a recent review of randomized controlled studies — the gold standard in nutrition research — reported that beans help reduce weight and body fat (28Trusted Source).
SUMMARY: Adzuki beans are rich in fiber, protein and beneficial compounds which may reduce hunger, increase fullness and help you lose weight in the long-term.
May Improve Heart Health
Adzuki beans may boost your heart health. Test-tube and animal studies link adzuki bean extracts to lower blood pressure, as well as lower triglyceride, total and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels — and less fat accumulation in the liver (23Trusted Source, 29). Human studies also consistently associate the regular consumption of legumes with lower cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of heart disease (30Trusted Source, 31Trusted Source). In one small study, women given adzuki bean juice for one menstrual cycle reduced their blood triglycerides by 15.4–17.9%, compared to increased levels in the control group (32Trusted Source). Moreover, randomized controlled studies report that diets rich in beans may lower risk factors for heart disease, including blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides (33Trusted Source, 34Trusted Source). The heart-healthy effects of legumes, including adzuki beans, maybe due to their rich fiber content, as well as their antioxidants and other plant compounds (35Trusted Source).
SUMMARY: Compounds found in adzuki beans may help lower blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, all of which may contribute to a healthier heart.
Other Potential Benefits from the Traditional Chinese medicine perspective.
Adzuki beans may offer some additional benefits from Traditional Chinese medicine way. The most well-researched include:
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), adzuki beans are plants that belong to the ‘Herbs that drain Dampness’ category. These herbs are typically diuretics, meaning that they promote the increased production of urine in order to remove Damp that has accumulated in the body. According to TCM Damp accumulates first in the lower limbs, causing edema and impaired movement. From there, if unchecked, it can move upward and impair digestion and eventually the respiratory system.
Furthermore, adzuki beans are plants that are Neutral in nature. This means that adzuki beans typically don’t affect the balance in your body. The balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Eating too many “Hot” (Yang) ingredients can lead to an imbalance whereby one has a Yang excess. The inverse is true as well: too many “Cold” (Yin) ingredients can lead to a Yin excess. The Neutral nature of adzuki beans means that you don’t have to worry about that!
Adzuki beans also taste Sour and Sweet. The so-called “five elements” theory in Chinese Medicine states that the taste of TCM ingredients is a key determinant of their action in the body. Sour ingredients like adzuki beans help with digestion and restrain abnormal discharges of fluids from the body, such as diarrhea or heavy sweating. On the other hand, Sweet ingredients tend to slow down acute reactions and detoxify the body. They also have a tonic effect because they replenish Qi and Blood.
The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what organs and meridians they target. As such adzuki beans are thought to target the Heart and the Small intestine. In addition to regulating blood flow, in TCM the Heart is believed to be the store of the “spirit” which basically refers to someone’s vitality. Like the Stomach, the Small Intestine has a digestive role, extracting the “pure” part of what we ingest to the Spleen and the “impure” down to the Large Intestine.
Also, Adzuki beans may provide several additional health benefits, ranging from improving bone health to helping prevent cancer cells from spreading. They are also rich in folate and may help you live longer, though more human research is needed.
Adzuki beans are highly nutritious. One cup of cooked adzuki beans have about: (7)
- 294 calories
- 57 grams carbohydrates
- 17.3 grams protein
- 0.2 gram fat
- 16.8 grams fiber
- 278 micrograms folate (70 percent DV)
- 1.3 milligrams manganese (66 percent DV)
- 386 milligrams phosphorus (39 percent DV)
- 1,224 milligrams potassium (35 percent DV)
- 0.7 milligram copper (34 percent DV)
- 120 milligrams magnesium (30 percent DV)
- 4.1 milligrams zinc (27 percent DV)
- 4.6 milligrams iron (26 percent DV)
- 0.3 milligram thiamine (18 percent DV)
- 0.2 milligram vitamin B6 (11 percent DV)
- 0.1 milligram riboflavin (9 percent DV)
- 1.6 milligrams niacin (8 percent DV)
- 64.4 milligrams calcium (6 percent DV)
Foods Made From Adzuki Beans
Adzuki beans and jobs tear congee recipe
⅓ cup of adzuki beans
⅓ cup of jobs tears
Soak the beans and jobs tears overnight.
Drain and rinse the beans and jobs tears and place them in a sauce pan.
Cover them with about 12 cups of water.
Bring to a boil.
Boil on medium heat for about 20 minutes.
Simmer on low heat until the beans are cooked through (about 45 minutes to 1 hour)
Allow the leftovers to cool and place them in the refrigerator.