Adzuki bean, also called azuki or red beans, are a small bean grown throughout East Asia and the Himalayas. In Japan and other Asian countries, Adzuki bean is a popular ingredient. If you’ve enjoyed Japanese desserts, chances are you’ve had adzuki beans.

Adzuki bean is known to have several health benefits:

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. 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.

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. Adzuki beans are also rich in antioxidants, which experts believe may have some anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetes effects.

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. 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.

May Improve Heart Health

Adzuki beans may boost your heart health. Regular consumption of legumes is correlated to lower cholesterol levels and risk factors for heart disease, including blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides. 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 .

Other Potential Benefits from the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective:

  • Adzuki bean is categorized as “Herbs that drain dampness”. These herbs are typically diuretics, meaning that they promote the production of urine in order to remove dampness 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.
  • Adzuki bean is a plant that is 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 to health. Eating too many "Yang” (hot) ingredients can lead to an imbalance of Yang excess. The inverse is true as well: too many "Yin" (cold) 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 help with digestion and restrain abnormal discharges of fluids from the body, such as diarrhea or heavy sweating. And 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 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, the heart is believed to be the origin of the "spirit", in other word, the source of our 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.

Adzuki beans may also provide several additional health benefits, from improving bone health to helping prevent cancer cells from spreading.

Nutrition Fact of Adzuki Bean

One cup of cooked adzuki beans have about: 294 calories

Carbohydrates 57 grams
Protein 17.3 grams
Fat 0.2 gram
Fiber 16.8 grams
Folate 278 micrograms (70% DV)
Manganese 1.3 milligrams (66% DV)
Phosphorus 386 milligrams (39% DV)
Potassium 1,224 milligrams (35% DV)
Copper 0.7 milligram (34% DV)
Magnesium 120 milligrams (30% DV)
Zinc 4.1 milligrams (27% DV)
Iron 4.6 milligrams (26% DV)
Thiamine 0.3 milligram (18% DV)
Vitamin B6 0.2 milligram (11% DV)
Riboflavin 0.1 milligram (9% DV)
Niacin 1.6 milligrams (8% DV)
Calcium 64.4 milligrams (6% DV)

Simple Recipe with Adzuki Beans

Adzuki Beans and Job's Tear Congee

YIELD: about 4 - 5 cups

INGREDIENTS:

⅓ cup of adzuki beans

⅓ cup of job's tears

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Soak adzuki beans and job's tears overnight.
  2. Drain and rinse adzuki beans and job's tears and place them in a saucepan.
  3. Cover them with about 12 cups of water. Bring to a boil.
  4. Lower to medium heat and cook for 20 minutes. Then simmer on low heat until the beans are cooked through (about 45 minutes to 1 hour)
  5. Serve warm.

*Allow the leftovers to cool and place them in the refrigerator.

*Your stomach should feel more relaxed and you might sweat a little. Some people experience an increased urination while others might experience changes in bowel movements. Most people will need to drink this congee for a week or two before they see the changes. Try it out and be patient.

*You should not drink this congee if you suffer from constipation or if you are pregnant.

Quick and Simple Weight Loss Breakfast with Adzuki Beans

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoon Adzuki beans
  • 3 jujube
  • 10 goji berry

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a small pot, bring a cup of water to boil.

  2. Add all the ingredients to the boiled water and boiled for 2 minutes

  3. Serve warm.

Weight Loss Soup with Adzuki Beans

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup bone broth
  • 2 teaspoons Adzuki beans
  • ½ cup sweet potato, 1 inch diced

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a small pot, bring water to boil.

  2. Add all the ingredients to the boiled water and continue to boil for about 5- 10 minutes.

  3. Serve warm.