Azuki bean, scientific name Vigna angularis, is a plant belonging to the Fabaceae or Leguminose family, its fruits are pods that contain the seeds, commonly known as azuki beans. These red colored seeds are purchased all over the world and eaten in different cooking preparations. Azuki are also considered the king of the beans and in fact they are rich in mineral salts such as potassium, valid ally against water retention, zinc, with an antioxidant action, iron and molybdenum, essential for the production of an enzyme, sulfite oxidase, that plays a pivotal role in the detox processes of the liver. Azuki bring also vitamins, such as those of group B, proteins, folic acid and fibers, useful to give a sense of satiety but also to regulate the levels of blood sugar and cholesterol. Indeed, according to a scientific study performed by a Japanese team and published in 2004 on the journal Bioscience, biotechnology and biochemistry, the azuki extract has been demonstrated to be able to inhibit the enzyme alpha-glucosidase involved in the digestion of carbohydrate such as amides or sugars by showing, in this way, an hypoglycemic action.
In addition to this, azuki beans are also a source of antioxidants (Amarowicz et al., 2008, Journal of Food lipids), have diuretic properties and, for this reason, result helpful to support the work of the kidneys. Finally, these beans promote also the functioning of the immune system. Before eating the azuki you should soak them for 6-8 hours, then drain them and pour in a pot full of water, cook the beans for 30 minutes and use them as a tasty and healthy side dish seasoned with a little extra virgin olive oil.