Skip to Content

Can You Eat Edamame Shells or Pods? (Quick Answers)

Edamame beans are quite interesting because of their nutritious value and unique ways to eat. They have been consumed in Asian countries for thousands of years. 

You might have eaten Edamame in a Japanese or Sushi Restaurant, and wondered why you couldn’t eat the shells or pods.

Are they harmful? What happens if you do eat them? Let’s find out! 

Can you eat edamame shells or pods?

Edamame shells or pods are not edible and should not be consumed. Although they are not toxic, they are tough to eat and can cause digestion issues. The shells or pods of Edamame are usually discarded once cooked. They are typically boiled for 5 to 6 minutes before serving.

Do you eat edamame shells?

You can eat Edamame shells but it is not recommended. There have been reports of accidental consumption but eating it once or twice might not cause any issues. Large or frequent consumption of Edamame shells can lead to several problems.     

Can you eat edamame pods raw?

Definitely not. Edamame entirely should not be consumed raw, nor the beans inside it. The pods of Edamame should not be consumed either. They should be cooked properly before serving. You should only eat the beans inside the pods. 

Can you eat edamame pods when pregnant?

Once again, Edamame pods should not be consumed at all since they are not edible. You can eat Edamame beans when pregnant because they contain nutrients such as iron, folate, and calcium. Soy is safe to eat if you keep the amount in check.  

Can you eat edamame pods on keto?

You can eat Edamame on a keto diet if you eat it at a moderate level. Strict keto-dieters do not prefer it. But the pods or shells of Edamame should not be eaten. 

Can you eat cooked edamame shells?

No, you cannot eat cooked Edamame shells. You can cook them to feel the taste of salt or pepper when you bite out the beans. In most recipes, they are only cooked for the added taste and then thrown out. 

Can diabetics eat edamame?

You can eat Edamame if you are diabetic. In fact, it is ideal for people with diabetes because of the plethora of nutrients Edamames provide. 1 cup of Edamame contains around 18 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber.

Blood sugar levels can decrease and it might also enhance insulin resistance. However, there is not enough research to find out the exact effects of Edamame in diabetic patients.    

Can you eat edamame skin?

The skin of the beans is harmless but the shells of Edamame should not be eaten. There are many ways to eat the beans. 

Is it ok to eat edamame shells?

It is not okay to eat Edamame shells but you can eat them if you are able to chew them. It’s not the most appetizing dish and it is very difficult to chew too. Pets or children should not eat Edamame shells either. Typically, people mostly discard their Edamame shells.

You can also compost them if you don’t want to throw them away. The last thing you can do is grate or grind them and wash them up. 

Besides the shells, the inner bean of the Edamame shells can be harmful to eat. This is due to their soy element. 

What happens if you eat edamame shells? Why is it bad for you?

Generally, Edamame shells are not edible. So it’s not suggested to eat them, but if you do so, the following scenarios might occur –

Blocked digestive tract:

Although very unlikely, having Edamame shells often or having a large number of shells at a time can lead to a blocked digestive tract. Symptoms vary starting from stomach cramps, feeling full, constipation, and other digestive issues. 

When a solid mass builds up in your digestive tract, it is called ‘Bezoar’.

You could feel fine:

Swallowing a small portion of Edamame shell is most likely to not do anything at all. If you were able to chew it to bits, you can digest it too. But don’t try it again!   

Choking issues:

Since Edamame shells are hard to chew, they can be a choking issue if you try to consume them without breaking them into pieces. Never consume it as a whole, especially for children. Remove the shells completely before serving them if it helps.

What is the proper way to eat edamame?

Eating Edamame is simple. The typical way to eat edamame is by cooking them. You can boil or steam them. The pods are not eaten but the outside of the pods are often sprinkled with salt. The beans are consumed once cooked. You don’t have to cook it for a long time.

Around 5 to 8 minutes should be fine to make them safe to eat. The pods or ‘skin’ of Edamame are usually thrown out.

Edamame should not be consumed uncooked. They are a type of soybeans. It has to be cooked before consumption since soy is toxic when it is raw. It can lead to health issues in the future and also cause digestive problems such as nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal aches.

How often can I eat edamame? Can you eat every day?

Edamame should be safe to eat on a regular basis unless you are allergic. 2 or 3 cups of Edamame should be fine per week since one small serving gives you all the nutrients it


You could face some issues such as stomach aches but this mostly happens if you are not used to consuming food that is high in fiber on a daily basis. 

Whether it is safe or healthy for you to eat every day depends on your health and preferred diet. Because of this, you should always consult with a doctor before incorporating Edamame in your diet. It is recommended that you consume soy at a moderate level. 

Is Edamame good for weight loss?

Although Edamame is an appetizing low-calorie snack, it is not proven to contribute to weight

loss. But you can include Edamame in your diet for weight loss because a cup of Edamame (155 grams) only has 190 calories.

Its high protein content enables you to feel full and could essentially reduce your calorie intake. 

Edamame contains an antioxidant called Kaempferol that has been shown to promote weight loss in animal research. It can also be good for you if you have high blood sugar.

Hence, Edamame can be good for weight loss if it is included in a calorie-maintained diet such as half a cup a day and integrated into low-calorie recipes. From its green counterparts, it is considerably high in the calorie chart.

Is edamame high in estrogen?

Edamame beans do not have estrogen but they are high in phytoestrogens that are similar to estrogen. Phytoestrogens are also referred to as isoflavones. Their structures are similar which is why Edamame beans have around 18 mg of isoflavones per 100g.

They almost have the same effects as natural estrogen. Edamame can impact your blood estrogen levels. A research was conducted and blood estrogen levels were lower for the group who consumed soy protein additions.

 The study suggests that it might help women who have breast cancer. 

However, there is no clear evidence that proves that Edamame can fight against breast cancer. The effects of Edamame on human health are unclear and inconclusive.

Is edamame high in carbs?

Edamame consists of only 8.9 grams per 100 grams of cooked or steamed Edamame. They fall in the low-carb category. This is due to their high amounts of dietary fiber. Out of the 9 grams of carbs, 4 grams is just dietary fiber. But they are not suitable for a low-carb diet.

If you plan on having Edamame, limit the daily serving size. 

If you are on a keto diet, it is advised that you only consume half a cup, around 75 grams, of Edamame a day. The reason for this is because Edamame is not keto-friendly since it is a legume. 

One serving of Edamame can consist of 1/4th of your daily net carb limit (for a keto dieter).

Is edamame anti-inflammatory?

Anti-inflammatory food is great for fighting C-reactive protein which leads to cardiovascular disease. Beans have plenty of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients such as isoflavones.

A study was conducted for this particular subject and it suggested that Soybeans have an anti-inflammatory effect when they are in circulating blood.

The isoflavones present in the beans reduce inflammatory marker C-reactive protein in the body. For this reason, Edamame is included in various anti-inflammatory diets. Edamame, Cannellini, and Pepper Salad are some of the popular diets that are good for health. 

Following an anti-inflammatory diet that consists of Edamame has the chance of boosting heart health. 

Is edamame high in iron?

Yes, Edamame is packed with nutrients and one of them is Iron! Half a cup of Edamame has around 1.5 to 2.5 milligrams of iron. We need around 8 to 18 milligrams of iron a day because iron is essential for survival. 

Eating Edamame is a great way to increase iron consumption but keep the number of whole grains, seeds, and legumes in the dish to a minimum. This is so that phytates don’t increase.

You can also add enhancers to your diet with edamame. 

It is said to maximize your iron absorption up to 6 times. You could do this by having an edamame and orange salad or other food that are high in Vitamin C. 

Final Thoughts:

The shells or pods of Edamame are almost indigestible and are not tasty either. They are tough to chew and can also block your digestive tract. The salt over the shell is added for taste when biting the beans out of the shell.  Steam or boil your Edamame thoroughly before serving them.