I only know of Taiwanese model and actress Sonia Sui recently after watching her in The Fierce Wife. She’s a looker with good skin and a svelte figure. When I looked up more information about her, I stumbled upon her beauty secret for the perfect V-shaped face, which is drinking lots of water—only it’s not just water but red bean water.
I know red beans, red beans soup, red beans ice dessert but red beans water? This is certainly the first time I’m hearing of it. Plus how can drinking more liquid help to give one the perfect V-shaped face? Doesn’t water cause more fluid retention and puffiness? Well, apparently not.
Lots of nutritional benefits
Red beans, by the way, are also known as Adzuki beans or Azuki beans. First, they are nutritious with lots of health benefits. On top of being high in dietary fiber, rich in protein and several vitamins and minerals, they are also a good food source of potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, manganese, and zinc. In addition, they contain B-vitamins, including B6, B2, B1, B3, and folic acid (source).
So consuming Adzuki beans is supposed to provide us more energy, promote regular bowel movements and help in lowering cholesterol. Adzuki beans also help the liver to detoxify which means they are also good to help with the clarity of skin. Just a quarter cup of adzuki beans contains 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of molybdenum, a trace mineral that produces the enzyme sulfite oxidase which is crucial for liver detoxification.
Reduce puffiness and water retention
But what’s beneficial about Adzuki beans for those of us interested to achieve Sonia’s perfect V-shaped face is that they are also great as a kidney-tonifying food which helps to eliminate swell and puffiness. So Adzuki beans or red beans are a great detox remedy for swollen face and puffy eye bags due to water retention.
I was also happy to find that red beans have excellent properties in removing dampness and eliminating toxins. Now that I read this, I remember my mom telling me that red beans are heaty and it sounds like a great food to consume to balance the more cooling smoothies I have been taking. Hmm…maybe blend in some adzuki bean powder?
Finally, red beans can also be used in conjunction with a weight loss program, where the weight is due to excess fluid retention. Perhaps that’s also part of the reason Sonia is so slender?
How to make red beans water
It appears that red bean water is commercially available as a bottled drink in Taiwan where Sonia is based. I have not seen such a drink in Singapore so I have no idea if the drink is healthy. But if it’s offered on the shelves, I’m sure they come with some form of preservatives.
Good thing though, it’s easy to make your own red bean water. In fact, Sonia shares her recipe. According to her, red bean water is achieved by boiling the red bean in water but the water should not be boiled until the beans break because the idea is not to make a starchy, red bean soup (source).
The idea is drink it as water so you shouldn’t be adding any flavoring or sweetener. But I have come across a red bean tea recipe where you add kombu seaweed. Some even suggest adding malt syrup as a sweetener.
Boil for 20 minutes
Anyway, I went ahead to purchase a pack of red beans from the supermarket. I considered purchasing the organic Adzuki beans but after some comparison, bought the non-organic version from Australia.
There are some confusion between red beans and kidney beans. Apart from looking at the label on the packaging, you can tell the difference by the size of the beans. The color of red beans or Adzuki beans is brighter and the beans are smaller.
Since I was going to boil the beans, they don’t need to be soaked. I just scooped a handful of beans, washed them and threw them in a small pot of water. The proportion is about one handful to about three rice bowls of water. The color should turn out a dark reddish brown after being boiled for about 20 minutes.
Like what Sonia suggested, don’t boil the beans till they break or the water would turn out murky. Also, you should filter the water out after boiling. Leaving it longer than 10 minutes would cause the beans to soften too much and the water looking murky too. Don’t add any sweetener. The taste is very palatable and it’s easy to gulp a few cups.
And if you want to stretch the use of the red beans, you can boil them further till the beans soften and break and you’ll get red beans soup!
Great exfoliating ingredient
Other than being ingested, Adzuki beans also make a great skin care ingredient, often included in facial cleansers or exfoliators. As a matter of fact, Azuki beans have been used in Japanese skin care regimen for centuries as they contain a natural foaming agent called Saponin, which cleanses pores by removing dirt and dead skin cells, drawing out impurities and promoting circulation.
Marie Veronique Advanced has an exfoliating cleanser containing Adzuki bean powder that promises to loosen dead skin cells with zero irritation, and imparts a refined polish to the skin. This very fine powder gently exfoliates with a scrubbing action. I’ve tried that cleanser before and liked it very much. It’s a very gentle scrub with an intoxicating scent.
So all in all, red beans or Adzuki beans are not just nutritional but they’re tasty and great for beauty. However because of their “heaty” properties, consuming them regularly may cause constipation issues. They may also cause digestion issues for some and pain for those with gout. If it’s just red beans water you’re drinking, drink moderately like two cups a day and monitor if they cause you any issues before continuing long term intake.
If all goes well, just dream of achieving Sonia Sui’s perfect V-shaped face and excellent svelte figure as you drink red beans water. (^_^)