Red adzuki beans and odema
Nowadays, you can find red adzuki beans (Vigna angularis) also known as red beans in China within health food shops and Chinese groceries. They are deep red in colour and round in shape.
They have excellent properties in removing dampness, reducing swelling and eliminating toxins. Therefore, Chinese practitioners commonly use them in diet therapy for their health benefits. Traditionally, red adzuki beans are commonly used in Chinese cooking and red bean soup is a very popular desert in many Chinese restaurants.
Causes of oedema
Oedema is a very common symptom seen in the clinic. Oedema can be a disease or it can be the result of another disease or disorder of the internal organs.
Among the many possible causes, Chinese medicine believes that oedema is usually associated with Kidney Yang Deficiency, Spleen Yang Deficiency, Blood Stagnation, Qi Stagnation, Damp or Phlegm syndromes. All of these disorders will finally cause impaired circulation resulting in fluid becoming stuck in certain areas of the body, causing oedema.
Symptoms of Oedema
Depending on the cause of the oedema, the puffiness or swelling can occur in different parts of the body – the ankles, knees, arms, facial area or even the whole body.
The body will usually experience other symptoms in conjunction with the oedema:
- joint pain
- lack of energy
- sluggish bowel movement
- weight gain
- scanty urination.
Oedema sometimes can be a symptoms of the following medical diseases:
- obesity and over-weight
- underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- high blood pressure (hypertension)
- some kidney diseases
If you are suffering from the above symptoms of oedema, I suggest you see your doctor to find out the cause as it may be a sign of disorder in the internal organs.
During your treatment, you can eat certain foods to help your body to expel excess fluid. Red adzuki beans are one of these foods.
Health effects of red adzuki beans
Reduce Fluid Retention
Traditional Chinese medicine texts mention that red beans are sweet in taste and have an affinity for the Spleen organ and channel by promoting transportation of the fluid, helping the body pass more fluid and reduce oedema. It is suitable for the symptoms mentioned above.
Red beans are also very suitable in damp, wet areas or humid seasons. Eating red beans regularly in these conditions can help the body to avoid the affects of external pathogenic dampness.
Red beans can also be used in conjunction with a weight loss program, where the weight is due to excess fluid retention.
Help to Clear Skin Heat & Toxins
Chinese medicine considers that some skin conditions are due to heat and toxins in the blood, for example, rashes, pimples and boils. If you have these symptoms you can eat adzuki bean and mung bean soup in conjunction with your regular therapy. Please see the recipe below.
Adzuki bean recipes
If you experience constipation (dry stools), please avoid eating red beans.
If you are unsure whether red beans are suitable for you, please consult your experienced traditional Chinese medicine practitioner.
Food as medicine (A disclaimer)
Our “food as medicine” articles share knowledge about health foods in the context of traditional Chinese medicine diet therapy and practices often dating back thousands of years. We also support this knowledge with references to published scientific research. Please keep in mind that scientific research into the health benefits of foods is still emerging and human research is limited.
Consuming a wide variety of natural foods as part of a balanced diet is most beneficial for health, however, we don’t advise using food alone to treat diseases. Please consult with your doctor or health professional about which foods are suitable for your body or health issues.
What Does The Research Say?
The following insights are obtained from scientific studies, systematic reviews and analysis of clinical trials investigating the efficacy of Adzuki Beans.
2019 Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry
Adzuki bean extract administered once a day can result in increased âˆ†HDL-C concentration.
This finding suggests that adzuki bean polyphenols are a novel food ingredient capable of maintaining lipid homeostasis by modulating the HDL-C levels, without causing any adverse effects. This short-term study represents the first step in establishing the practicality, safety, and HDL-C-maintaining effects of adzuki bean extract in subjects with moderate-to-high LDL-C levels.
Safety and efficacy of adzuki bean extract in subjects with moderate to high LDL-C: a randomized trial Tomoko Kitano-Okada, Ryuji Nagata, Kyu-Ho Han, Nana Mikami, Koji Satoh, Jun Nishihira, Keiko Sasaki, Kiyoshi Ohba, Michihiro Fukusim
2016 Food Chemistry
In 2004, polyphenols were isolated from mung bean sprouts, which exert antibacterial activity against Helicobacter pylori, one of the most common causative organisms in gastrointestinal disorders.
The utility of bioactive compounds from food legumes as natural antimicrobial agents are commonly known as biocides. Mung bean sprouts have potent antiviral and prophylactic activities against respiratory syncytial virus and Herpes Simplex virus âˆ’1, and these activities were comparable with Acyclovir. The underlying mechanism was attributed to active components of mung bean sprouts potentially induce antiviral cytokines in human cells and thereby nullify the actions on viral proliferation. Similarly, antifungal and antiviral potency of two beans proteins, designated alpha (28 kDa) and beta (28 kDa) proteins were isolated and were capable of inhibiting human immunodeficiency virus reverse transcriptase and glycohydrolases associated with HIV infection. Further, antifungal peptides (7.3 kDa, 9.03 kDa) were isolated from beans, which exerted an antifungal effects and inhibited mycelial growth in Fusarium oxysporum, F. solani, Pythium aphanidermatum, Sclerotium rolfsii, Mycosphaerella arachidicola, and antibacterial effects on Staphylococcus aureus. In addition, two proteins, Mungin (18-kDa) and chitinase (30.8 kDa) isolated from mung bean seeds possess antifungal activity against Rhizoctonia solani, Coprinus comatus, Mycosphaerella arachidicola, Botrytis cinerea, and Fusarium oxysporum. Mungin and chitinase exert an inhibitory activity against Î±- and Î²-glucosidases, suppressing [3H] thymidine in the corporation by mouse splenocytes. In 2004, polyphenols were isolated from mung bean sprouts, which exert antibacterial activity against Helicobacter pylori, one of the most common causative organisms in gastrointestinal disorders. Furthermore, several in vitro and in vivo studies have also been reported that mung bean seeds are protective against sepsis.
Phytochemical distribution in hull and cotyledon of adzuki bean (Vigna angularis L.) and mung bean (Vigna radiate L.), and their contribution to antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic activities Jiaqiang Luo, Weixi Cai, Tong Wu, Baojun Xu
2016 Ciencia e Agrotecnologia
Adzuki beans present anti-atherogenic, anti-thrombogenic and hypocholesterolemic effects, and the ratios PUFA: SFA and n-6â€‹â€‹:n-3 were considered appropriate for biological system maintenance of a healthy organism.
All samples showed polyunsatured fatty acids prevalence and nutritional indices and ratios considered adequate for biological system maintenance of a healthy organism. The grains presented significant contents of tocopherols and vitamin E activity, resulting in a high contribution to the dietary reference intake. Significant contents of iron, manganese and zinc were also found in the azuki beans, and they are very important mainly due to their function as cofactors in metabolic reactions. Phenolic compounds and flavonoids corroborated with other studies and contributed to the antioxidant activity.
Nutritional and bioactive compounds of adzuki beans cultivars using chemometric approach Hou D, Yousaf L, Xue Y, et al.
2015 Food and Agricultural Immunology
Adzuki beans possessed strong ABTS free-radical-scavenging capacity and Î±-glucosidase inhibition activity.
All the adzuki beans possessed strong ABTS free-radical-scavenging capacity and Î±-glucosidase inhibition activity. Significant positive correlations of the antioxidant activity with total phenolic acids, total flavonoids and free caffeic acid contents were observed. These results are anticipated to providing useful information on the development of adzuki bean-based functional food.
Nutritional composition and biological activities of 17 Chinese adzuki bean (Vigna angularis) varieties Zhenxing Shi, Yang Yao, Yingying Zhu & Guixing Ren
Browse our collection of scientific research on Adzuki Beans. It includes recent and reputable papers published by peer-reviewed journals within the last 10 years.
2019, May 4
Safety and efficacy of adzuki bean extract in subjects with moderate to high LDL-C: a randomized trial
Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry
The adzuki bean group showed a significant increase in the Î”HDL-C concentration compared with the placebo group after 4 weeks of intervention. This comprehensive RCT highlighted that adzuki beans reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Tomoko Kitano-Okada, Ryuji Nagata, Kyu-Ho Han, Nana Mikami, Koji Satoh, Jun Nishihira, Keiko Sasaki, Kiyoshi Ohba, Michihiro Fukusim Full Article
2016, Jun 15
Phytochemical distribution in hull and cotyledon of adzuki bean (Vigna angularis L.) and mung bean (Vigna radiate L.), and their contribution to antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic activities
The results indicated that the bean hulls were the most abundant in phytochemicals and largely contributed antioxidant activities, anti-inflammatory effects and anti-diabetic effects of whole grains.
Jiaqiang Luo, Weixi Cai, Tong Wu, Baojun Xu Full Article
2016, Jan 2
Nutritional and bioactive compounds of adzuki beans cultivars using chemometric approach
Ciencia e Agrotecnologia
Adzuki beans are high in vitamin E, iron, manganese and zinc. Hence, they are very important mainly due to their function as cofactors in metabolic reactions.
Hou D, Yousaf L, Xue Y, et al. Full Article
2015, Sep 28
Nutritional composition and biological activities of 17 Chinese adzuki bean (Vigna angularis) varieties
Food and Agricultural Immunology
The article indicated that adzuki beans have high content of resistant constitutions such as palmitic acid, linoleic acid and linolenic acid. Linolenic acid has the effects of cardiovascular-protective, anti-cancer, neuro-protective, anti-osteoporotic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidative activities. Therefore making adzuki beans as essential dietary therapy.
Zhenxing Shi, Yang Yao, Yingying Zhu & Guixing Ren Full Article
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