What is Udon
It now seems that the Japanese are healthier than several other people in the rest of the world. You will actually see plenty of really aged yet healthy people across their country which is believed to be due to their health habits.
Udon originally comes from Japanese tradition. To give a quick udon definition, the Japanese cuisine is a type of thick wheat flour noodle. It’s one of their foods known to be naturally beneficial to health.
It is usually served in varied soups and stir fries, as you consider all the common udon noodle recipe options available.
What Are Udon Noodles?
The udon noodles have been growing in popularity as a Japanese dish, which is either served with soup or stir-fried, even hot or cold. Known for its long, thick consistency that somehow resembles the pasta, udon noodles is a Japanese equivalent to western pasta.
Many like udon noodles for its affordable and easy-to-prepare nature which makes it an easy choice for a meal. Others prefer to eat udon noodles for its capability to fill the stomach and even as a healthy source of nutrition. It is a lip-smacking food and very popular in Japan, China, and certain other Asian countries.
It is said that a Buddhist priest named Kukai in the 9th century AD has introduced udon to the Japanese.
If you’re wondering what are udon noodles made of, they are primarily out of wheat flour or brown rice and is served hot or chilled depending on climatic conditions.
Udon noodles contain buckwheat, which is crucial in healthy functioning of our cells and enzymes.
Udon noodles can also be served with different toppings to enhance the flavor. There are definitely several great udon recipe choices you can try considering that the udon noodles is created using only three main ingredients, namely wheat or brown rice, water, and salt.
You may have already heard of udon soup, tempura udon, kitsune udon, beef udon, kake udon, udon broth, udon stir fry, etc? How about the yaki udon recipe?
Udon Noodles Nutrition Facts (per 1 cup)
Health Benefits of Udon Noodles
It has innumerable health benefits and especially good for people with flu and people wanting to manage their weight. Here are 10 health benefits of udon noodles:
1) Good source of energy
Being essentially made from wheat, which is a known powerhouse of energy-giving complex carbohydrates, eating a single serving of udon noodles can provide a good and even longer lasting source of energy for the body than simple carbs. Drawing from this belief, an abstract made by Jequier, E. showed a brief description as to how carbohydrates play an essential role in the regulation of energy balance in the human body.
Although the carbohydrates in udon noodles may turn certain people off, active individuals who are reliant on a quick and prolonged source of energy will find eating this food a substantial boon.
Udon noodles not only offers sustained energy but also protects health by fighting against free radicals. Free radicals are toxins which is one of the deadliest enemies of your body. It’s associated with several prevalent diseases. Bioflavonoid is a powerful antioxidant in udon against free radical damage to help prevent diseases.
2) Abundant in protein
Wheat is an excellent source of non-animal protein, a nutrient which is essential to a few significant functions in the body, particularly in the creation of new tissues and the repair of damaged ones. Vegans, who are in special need of protein arising from their plant-based only diet, would benefit a lot with adding udon noodles to their diet.
Highlighting the interest on the nature of protein and how it plays essential role in the growth and wellness of the human body, Breda, A. et al conducted an in-depth study of this important nutrient at the molecular level.
Brown rice udon is also an excellent source of high-quality proteins.
3) Promotes good digestion and mixes well with other preparations
Eating udon noodles with soup or stir-fried comes with the benefit of promoting healthy digestion. If not coming from the broth which inherently has the power to aid in the breakdown of foods, the benefit comes from the Udon noodles’ natural dietary fiber content.
Udon noodle soup is said to be easy on the stomach. It has a superior digestibility index. Laboratory experiments in Japan have proven that the digestibility is almost three times better than beef & much faster than any other kinds of pasta.
A study conducted by Dahl, W. & Stewart, M. relates dietary fiber with good digestive health, based on three factors—laxation, fermentation, and influence of gut microbiota.
Alternatively, some people find eating of udon noodles to be good for digestion simply because of the food’s basic make-up.
Udon noodles are very flexible to be prepared in varieties of recipes including mixtures with herbals for enhanced health benefits. You can find various udon noodles recipes to suit different occasions to entertain your guests with its tasty and yet very healthy features.
It mixes well with any miso soups or curries, a great udon soup recipe you may want to try. Kate Udon is one of the most common udon noodle recipes served in Japan. A recent study shows that some of the ingredients in udon hold the benefit of healing your body.
4) A great comfort food and potential weight loss aid
There are two primary reasons why eating udon noodles is considered helpful in the goal towards losing weight—the complex carbohydrates which takes longer time to digest than simple carbs; and fiber which, its own, has the ability to induce weight loss.
Udon noodles are light on calories with approximately 180 to 200 calories per 2 ounces serving. It doesn’t make you heavy and could be one of the best foods for weight management.
Udon noodles are great comfort foods since they will leave you satisfied yet not stuffy and heavy. The Japanese have been eating udon for centuries.
- Wien MA, Sabaté JM, Iklé DN, Cole SE, & Kandeel FR (2003). Almonds vs complex carbohydrates in a weight reduction program.
- Miketinas DC, Bray GA, Beyl RA, Ryan DH, & Sacks FM, & Champagne CM (2019). Fiber Intake Predicts Weight Loss and Dietary Adherence in Adults Consuming Calorie-Restricted Diets: The POUNDS Lost (Preventing Overweight Using Novel Dietary Strategies) Study.
5) Prevention of colon cancer
The Udon noodles abundance of dietary fiber does not only merely help with the digestion by facilitating the easy breakdown of foods as well as the regularization of the bowel movement. It also has the potential of forbidding the development of colon cancer.
The notion was derived from the abstract done by Shankar, S. & Lanza, E. which linked the probable prevention of colon cancer and the regular consumption of foods that are rich in fiber.
6) Free of saturated fats
Weight conscious individuals will find that the consumption of udon noodles to be helpful in their goal of losing weight. The notion boils down to the fact that wheat-based udon noodles are literally free from fats that have the potential to add to the body’s overall weight, a belief which was reflected in the abstract created by Warwick, ZS & Schiffmann, SS.
However, even just health enthusiasts in general will find the eating of udon noodles beneficial in its ability to offset the chance of consuming foods that may contain saturated fats which is deemed contributive to the onset of cardiovascular disease. A research by Cliffton, PM & Keogh, JB corroborated to the notion that intake of saturated fats has a role in the occurrence of cardiovascular-related incidences.
Udon noodles are definitely low in fat. A single serving contains less than 1 gm of total fat and 0 gms of saturated fat. It is well within the USDA dietary regulations of fat intake at 20 to 35 percent of total nutritional consumption in a day.
7) Free from gluten
Udon noodles that are made from brown rice, not wheat, are gluten-free which makes it an easy food choice for those who are suffering from oversensitivity or allergy to gluten. This can certainly make udon noodles be gluten-free if you choose brown rice varieties. Gluten-sensitive people should avoid udon based on wheat flour. Although healthy individuals who may not be exhibiting aforementioned issues will do well with gluten consumption, people who are afflicted with Celiac disease will find benefit in maintaining a gluten-free diet, according to a study done by Jones, A.
8) Rich in vitamin B complex
At least half of the overall vitamins are found in udon noodles. This includes vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B9, which are considered as essential nutrients in the body that play crucial roles in the release of energy, production of the body’s hormones, as well as the control of inflammation. Consequently, a regular consumption of udon noodle may help prevent their possible deficiency in the body.
9) Fights off stress
Vitamin B complex does more than just maintain the body’s normal functions, they also play essential role in the management of stress and mood. A review on the topic of B vitamins, based also on the meta-analysis of previous studies on the same subject, done by Young, L. et al showed how this special set of nutrients help the body cope with conditions that could otherwise overwhelm a person, such as anxiety, depression, and stress.
10) Helpful in maintaining body heat
Although the consumption of udon noodles is technically possible at any time of the year, thanks in part to the dish’s versatility, there is a major benefit to eating this food during cold season, such as during winter.
When served hot, especially as a soup-based recipe, the heat of the noodles helps the body maintain its normal basal temperature, which significantly prevents a case of hypothermia. In a review started by Geneva, I. et al, it established the idea that a person’s body temperature is considered as a critical vital sign, adding to the importance of eating hot meals during cold season.
It is one of the best foods for winter since it maintains heat naturally in the body and lasts longer than other body heat producing pasta.
Where To Buy Udon Noodles
There may be a lot of udon noodles recipe you would like to give a try. But the problem is where in the world can you buy udon noodles?
Won’t it be exciting to learn how to make udon soup or make your own udon noodle soup recipe a reality that you can share it with others?
In essence, Udon Noodles can be one of the best inclusion to add in a balanced diet, especially when you are looking forward to managing your weight or looking to alleviate your suffering from a flu.
Besides, it is a good winter food that can leave you satisfied.
How To Make Udon Noodles
If interested to make your own homemade udon noodles, check out the video below.
– 300g Udonko (udon flour) or wheat flour with protein content 9.0 to 9.5% (10.6oz)
– 15g salt (0.529oz)
– 130ml water , plus additional if necessary (4.40 fl oz)
– 50g corn starch/potato starch (1.76oz)
Watch how to make udon in the video below
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