Pigs need to be healthy as humans need to be. And to achieve a healthy life, food like edamame should be an option.
They say pigs are omnivores, meaning they can eat from both plants and animals' food origin, and edamame can be categorized among the plant-origin-based food for pigs. However, it is one thing for edamame to be a good food option for pigs; It is another thing for pigs to be able to consume them safely.
Before discussing whether or not pigs can safely consume edamame, let us quickly walk through a brief description of what edamame is. Shall we?
Edamame is an elongated green soybean in pods. It is one of the various types of soybeans available. Some of the other types include miso and tamari, but unlike other types of soybeans, edamame is edible without being processed. Edamame means “beans on a branch” because you can pick the green pods off their branches and immediately eat them just as they are. Therefore, edamame is technically considered a legume. Edamame has been popular and in existence for a very long time. It has become one of the best go-to for people, especially vegans. It indeed makes a great addition to various types of main dishes.
Can Pigs Eat Edamame?
Yes, pigs can safely consume edamame. They are safe as long as they are consumed in moderate quantities. Edamame is not only safe they also have their positive effects on its eater.
Benefits of Edamame
Recent research has linked the consumption of soy foods including edamame with a lower risk of various conditions and improvements in overall health. Some of these benefits include:
Low in calorie
It is no news that soybeans are low in calorie content. This makes them a better and healthier option for people watching their weight. Pigs also need it because of its low calories. The last thing pigs need is to gain extra and unhealthy fat.
Helps with age-related brain diseases
Studies have suggested that consuming isoflavones which can be found in soy foods including edamame may lower the risk of cognitive decline. These positive effects are not only limited to humans alone, animals too. Past research has found that treatment with soy isoflavones might help improve aspects of thinking and cognition. Such as nonverbal memory and verbal fluency. Although animals do not talk, isoflavones still help improve and maintain their brain.
Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases
Soy isoflavones have linked abnormally high levels of cholesterol in the blood with an increase in the risk of heart disease (cardiovascular disease). The protein property content in edamame has been found by some scientists to have a way of lowering the low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol levels in a person’s blood or animal blood. One review also concluded that people who eat an average of 25 grams of soy protein per day had a reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol by approximately 3-4 %. Although it is still unclear if these small to modest changes in cholesterol levels translate into a lower risk of heart disease, they definitely have one effect or the other.
A good source of fiber
In addition to edamame being a decent source of soy protein, edamame is also rich in healthy fiber, from a 2017 study which suggested that soy may benefit cardiovascular health through its fiber content, and also antioxidants content, and other mechanisms. Aside from that, fiber also helps improve and enhance better bowel movements.
Edamame is known to contain folate, which is highly needed by the body to produce DNA and for appropriate cell division, among its other benefits. Research has also linked low folate levels to depression. Thus, folate may help reduce the risk of depression by stopping too much of a substance called homocysteine from forming in the body. This is mainly peculiar to humans. Folate also helps pregnant animals, including pigs, during their pregnancy. It is highly recommended during pregnancy.
Research has suggested that consuming more iron and protein from plant sources such as edamame, spinach, beans, pumpkins, tomatoes, and beets may promote fertility or lower the risk of ovulatory disorders in both humans and animals.
Lack of iron in the diet can affect how the body uses energy and lead to iron deficiency popularly referred to as anemia. Edamame is a rich non heme source of iron. Not only edamame, but other vegetables and fruits such as lentils, spinach, and dried fruit are also good sources.
In a 2012 study, it was found that, among 1,005 Chinese women, those who consumed more soy products had lower levels of inflammatory markers in their blood than those who did not. Also, in 2017, a rodent study suggested choline, which is present in edamame may help protect against the inflammation that leads to cardiovascular disease. A cup of hulled edamame beans would provide the body and your pets with around 16% of the daily requirement for choline.
Risk of Soybeans (edamame)
- Soy is a common allergen in infants and children and also some animals. It can trigger some symptoms. When you notice your pets acting abnormally or reacting abnormally after consuming edamame, immediately stop feeding them edamame and visit the veterinarian immediately. The individual or animal will need urgent medical attention if swelling and perhaps breathing difficulties occur. This is why it is important to always keep an eye out for your pets whenever you introduce a new food.
- Digestive issues: When edamame is consumed in excess or when eaten raw or undercooked, it can cause bloating and also cramping. People or animals with irritable bowel syndrome are particularly prone to gastric upset and pain after consumption of edamame.
- Edamame consumption might also hinder the absorption of vitamins and minerals: Edamame contains some antinutrients or compounds that prevent the body from absorbing certain minerals. Edamame also contains compounds that can impair thyroid function by preventing iodine absorption.
Edamame is safe for pigs' consumption, but remember to feed them only in moderation. Some people even believe that pigs should eat edamame only once a month. What matters mainly is that you keep to a moderate portion. Also, ensure they are cooked before serving them to your pigs. Uncooked or raw edamame causes bloating and some other bad effects on your pigs.
Remember to also study your pig’s reaction to the vegetable for about the first two times you are introducing it.