Anti-inflammatory foods from around the world

Kitchens in which they are found: Asian cuisines including Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Indian.

How? ‘Or’ What they are used: In my own Chinese-American upbringing, red beans were a staple in the form of red bean soup, a dessert served after restaurant banquets or large meals. Steamed and baked buns were stuffed with them, and they came together with tapioca at the bottom of bubble tea drinks.

You’ll also find them sweet in Korean and Japanese dishes, but they’re also used in savory dishes, in place of curried lentils, for example, or in a salad or bean stew.

Benefits: Adzukis, like other beans, are rich sources of protein and fiber, which can help you feel fuller and may lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. A 2016 study in the journal Food Chemistry found significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in the husks of adzuki beans in particular.

Only one tool to use: Like all dried beans, adzuki beans can take a while to soften. Simmering them in a slow cooker can be a good bet rather than boiling them on the stove. This Hamilton Beach model scored the best in Consumer Reports tests. Try slow cooking the beans in water, a small amount of rock sugar or brown sugar, and a few slices of ginger to taste.

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