Latin name: Vigna angularis
Other names: formerly spelled aduki or adzuki
What is an Azuki bean?
The azuki bean is a small, reddish-brown bean that is rounded in shape with a distinctive white ridge along one side. Sweet tasting, azuki is an annual that grows on a vine and is widely grown throughout East Asia.
Evidence suggests that the azuki bean was first domesticated in the Himalayas. Cultivated in China and Korea sometime before 1000 BC, it was later taken to Japan, where it is now the second most popular legume after the soybean. It is often eaten as a bean paste, sprouted, or boiled in a hot, tea-like drink.
What are the health benefits of Azuki beans?
According to traditional Chinese medicine, azuki beans benefit bladder and reproductive functions and the kidneys. Azuki beans are thought to boost energy, promote regular bowel movements, and help lower cholesterol. They may have a role in preventing breast cancer.
High in protein and low in fat, azuki beans contain high levels of potassium, fiber, folic acid, as well as B vitamins such as thiamin, niacin, and riboflavin, and minerals such as iron, zinc, and manganese. Azuki beans are rich in soluble fiber, which speeds up the elimination of waste from the body, promoting regular bowel movements and preventing the body from absorbing harmful substances. Soluble fiber has also been shown to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) in the blood.
Where can I find Azuki beans?
Azuki beans can be found in natural food stores and Asian markets. They can be purchased dry, in cans, or in powder form.
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