Udon noodles are a fun food to eat. Their mild flavor and chewy texture make it nearly impossible not to love them. More often than not, you’ll find them swimming in your udon soup or used as a stir-fry noodle. Whatever dish you have them with, those made from whole wheat flour are incredibly satisfying and, if eaten in moderation, provide a healthy dose of fiber, carbohydrates and other essential nutrients. These all make up the different vital health benefits of udon noodles. If you’re looking for a new comfort food to see you through the winter, udon noodle soup will leave you feeling warm and satisfied. Whole grain udon noodles will give you a good dose of complex carbs, which help prevent weight gain, cardiovascular conditions and diabetes. To learn more, keep reading!
What are Udon Noodles?
Udon noodles are white noodles made from water, salt and wheat flour. The average noodle is 4-6 millimeters long, making it the thickest of all Japanese noodle types. Unlike buckwheat noodles, udon noodles contain gluten, since they come from wheat flour. It is possible to find a variety made from brown rice, though.
The noodles are traditionally served cold with a sauce, especially during warmer months. In the winter, they are incorporated into soups and other hot dishes, including yaki udon, curry udon and nabeyaki udon. Hot dashi is a Japanese broth made from bonito flakes and Kombu.
Nutritionally, idon noodles aren’t high in calories, but they have a significant amount of carbs and protein in them, as well as plenty of essential nutrients like magnesium, folate, copper, zinc, phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, potassium and iron. They have less than two grams of fat and a gram of sugar in every two-ounce serving. Note, the nutrient content can vary depending on what quality of wheat is used to make them.
Health Benefits of Udon Noodles
Here are some of the most staggering health benefits of udon noodles:
- Rich in important B vitamins. One serving of udon noodles contains four of the eight necessary B vitamins: folate, niacin, riboflavin and thiamine. Generally, all of these B vitamins help the body convert carbohydrates to fuel and energy.
- Helps with stress management. When managing stress, it is very important to get exercise, seek advice and get sufficient sleep. Another important factor is diet, and eating complex carbs like udon noodles can be a great help in managing stress.
- Potentially prevents colon cancer. The fiber in the udon noodles helps prevent the onset of colon cancer. A diet rich in fiber helps prevent constipation and promote better intestinal health.
- Easily digestible. A lot of people love udon noodles because they are light and easily digestible. All the kneading done to make the noodles in thought to help develop and concentrate the wheat protein. This mixes with the starch and appeals to the body’s digestive enzymes.
- Contains complex carbs. Complex carbs helps with weight loss and prevents chronic diseases like heart conditions and type 2 diabetes.
How to Use Udon Noodles
You may purchase udon noodles dry, frozen or fresh. The frozen and fresh varieties are chewier and thicker than the dried ones. Look for the whole wheat udon noodles, which have more nutrients, health benefits and fiber. You should also try to make sure that the salt used in the noodles is sea salt. Read the ingredients carefully to make sure you’re buying the healthiest kind. Udon noodles are so versatile and valuable. You can use them in everythin from stir-fries to soups and cold side dishes.