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2008 Volume 2, Issue 2
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Natural Import Company Newsletter
Letter From the Top...
month so far has been very special for me. It just so happened that this year's
auspicious Chinese New Year fell this month on February 5th, the same
day as my birthday. February is also the perfect month to nourish the
kidneys as we are in a winter or water month in the five element cycle
and kidneys are the main water oriented organ. I am delighted to
feature our Hokkaido Azuki Beans from Japan's northernmost island of
They literally saved my life back in 1963 when I was
diagnosed with a life threatening kidney infection. I tell this story
because these are absolutely remarkable little red beans. After going
thru all the antibiotics my doctor could prescribe to no avail, a
friend of mine introduced me to Macrobiotics. She said, "if you just
eat Japanese Azuki beans everyday, your disease will go away." For
almost a year, I ate a strict diet of kasha and drank the liquid of
slow cooked-down azuki beans. As you can probably imagine I am
incredibly grateful for azuki beans as they worked like magic on my
kidneys and set my life on a new path. Over the years I have felt
honored to be able to import and offer people many medicinal-quality
foods from Japan, but of all the wonderful foods, these miracle beans
will always hold a special place in my heart.
Happy Belated Valentine's Day!
Hokkaido Island Azuki Beans - Japanese Small Red Beans
Japanese Azuki are a small, dried, oval-shaped
bean with a distinctive deep red color and character. Azuki beans have
a light nutty, semisweet flavor and are one of the few beans that
contain low fat and high protein. They have been grown in the Far East
for centuries and were introduced to Japan around 1000 A.D. Today,
azuki are one of the largest crops grown in Japan with an annual
production of over 120,000 metric tons. After the soybean, azuki are
the second most popular bean in Japan. This beloved versatile bean is a
key ingredient in a wide array of Japanese dishes and desserts. Azuki
have been used since ancient times as an effective medicinal tea in
Japanese "kampo" (Japanese traditional medicine) and are also employed externally as a beauty aid.
Azuki beans contain lower fats and oil than any other bean and possess
noteworthy health benefits for the kidneys, bladder, and reproductive
system. They are also known as the most "yang" (or warming) bean. The
special Azuki that comes from Hokkaido, Japan are uniquely medicinal
due to their vine structure and because they are grown in the rich and
fertile volcanic soil of the island. Japanese Hokkaido Azuki beans are
now highly regarded all over world and have come to be known as the
"Mercedes" of beans. The Japanese particuarly are fond of Hokkaido
Azuki and have chosen them for their important holidays. The beautiful
red color imparts a pink hue to the famous dish called Sekihan or "Red Rice" which is served during their biggest holiday, the New Year celebration.
Health Benefits of Japanese Hokkaido Azuki: ...Hokkaido Azuki bean are high in mineral components, such as vitamin B1
and poly phenols and contain more potassium than other azuki beans
grown outside of Japan.
The Japanese have used Hokkaido Azuki Beans for centuries to strengthen
the heart, regulate blood circulation, help with fatigue, and improve
the functions of the bladder and kidneys. Hokkaido Azuki are also used
to keep the digestive system healthy and on track. Azuki beans from
Hokkaido island are packed with magnesium, calcium, and iron and
therefore are ideal for women's general health. The Japanese have long...Read More
Azuki Facial Scrub
- Azuki Bean Powder has been
used by Japanese women for over 1,200 years and remains popular today.
This delicate yet effective scrub deep cleans...Read More
Hokkaido Azuki Tea (Hokkaido azukicha)
- This soothing, yet revitalizing tea made from
Japanese Azuki beans is good for regulating the kidneys and urinary
functions, puffy bags and dark circles under the eyes, dissolving
kidney stones, and relieving bowel constipation. This tea is also used in Japan to...Read More
Young, tender pods of Azuki Beans dangle prior to being harvested in Hokkaido, Japan
The interior view of an azuki pod
This Month's Feature:
Hokkaido Aduki Beans
Bruce's "Tune-up" Azuki Soup
This nourishing and hearty soup is the ultimate "tune-up" for the kidneys. It is a tonic that will make them smile! A very...read more
Ultra Low-Fat Azuki Dip
A delicious dip that is a healthy choice your family and friends will
love. Perfect as an attractive appetizer. I just served mine at the last
Super Bowl Sunday. I got creative and...read more
Hokkaido Azuki Bean Brownies
scrumptious recipe was given to me while I visited the "Yuki Matsuri"
Snow Festival in Hokkaido, Japan. I brought a batch to work this past Valentine's Day and everyone...read more
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