Opting for plant-based choices is the best way you can fight climate change. Among the various plant-based options, soy is a prime example. Unfortunately, this legume has gotten a bad reputation over the years, labeled as an unsustainable plant-based option. Indeed, some farmers are growing soy unsustainably and using a high percentage of it for animal feed (over 70 percent). In contrast, the soy used to feed humans is around 7 percent.
Finding soy farmers growing this legume with sustainable practices is the way to fight against climate change. Farmers are conducting crop rotation, using little to no-till water, and utilizing precision farming technology to remain on the right track to ensuring soy remains a sustainable and healthy plant-based option because its benefits are significant.
Soybeans are a highly nutritious legume that originated in East Asia but are now grown worldwide. Soybeans are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and many other nutrients, making them a popular ingredient in vegetarian and vegan diets. The following are eight significant soy benefits that you might not know about.
Lower the risk of high cholesterol
Soybeans contain isoflavones, which can lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels in the blood, thus reducing the risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that soy protein can reduce the risk of heart disease by as much as 25 percent. According to U.S. Soy news opting for this nutritious source of protein and eating less red meat during the week can help keep the risk of high cholesterol low. In doing so, you can avoid the severe consequences of high cholesterol, including stroke, heart attack, and obesity.
Lose weight with a healthy lifestyle habit
Unlike animal products with high calories, soybeans are low in calories and high in protein, which can help with weight loss by reducing hunger and promoting feelings of fullness. From soy yogurt to soy-based jerky, edamame, and more, soy comes in various formats to enjoy versatile snacks. Even so, consume soy snacks that are not heavily processed or fried. An excellent way to avoid consuming too many processed foods is by checking the ingredients list. If there are too many ingredients and you can barely recognize more than the first three, that signifies a highly processed snack.
Prevent the weakening of bones (osteoporosis)
Osteoporosis is called the “silent disease” because people generally do not realize they have it until they suffer a broken bone. This disease occurs when the bones weaken to the point where they break easily. Often, people with osteoporosis suffer a fractured wrist, hip, or spine. Consuming vitamin D-rich food and calcium is one way to lower the risk of osteoporosis. Exercising, not smoking, and limiting the amount of alcohol you consume are also important, as is adding soy to your diet. Soybeans contain calcium and other minerals that are essential for strong bones. Studies have shown that consuming soy can help prevent osteoporosis and reduce the risk of fractures.
Lower the risk of breast cancer
Soy contains compounds called phytoestrogens, which can block the effects of estrogen on breast tissue, reducing the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer. Studies show that soy-based products, as part of a healthy lifestyle, can reduce the risk of breast cancer. Many choose to avoid soy because of the belief that soy increases breast cancer. The reason is that soy contains isoflavones which are plant estrogens, and researchers have linked high estrogen levels to higher risks of breast cancer. However, experts explain that soy food does not contain high levels of isoflavones, enough to heighten the risk of breast cancer.
Promote digestive health and lower blood pressure
Soybeans are high in fiber, which can promote digestive health by keeping the digestive system regular and healthy. Fiber can help to prevent constipation and improve bowel regularity. Besides being fiber-rich, soy also contains peptides that lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of hypertension. As you switch to soy rather than animal products, you also lower the risk of high blood pressure thanks to fewer calories and less bad cholesterol.
Enjoy better skin health
Soy contains compounds known as isoflavones that can help improve skin health by reducing the appearance of wrinkles and improving skin elasticity which can become more evident with exposure to the sun and pollutants.
Lower the risk of inflammation
Inflammation in the body is a severe health concern, and few people are aware. Inflammation can result in a list of illnesses, including diabetes and cancer. Lower inflammation ensures overall mental, emotional, and physical health. Soy can help tackle the inflammation caused by physical habits. Soybeans contain compounds that can help reduce inflammation in the body. Studies show that soy reduces inflammation in the joints, thus leading to less pain and better mobility.
Climate change is a pressing issue that is compelling us all to act responsibly to ensure the safety of our planet. While there are many ways we can help fight this issue, one of the simplest and quickest ways to reduce the dangers to our world is by eating a plant-based diet, and soy is just one excellent example. Animals require a significant amount of land to grow, and the more animal products we eat, the more land we use in an unsustainable manner.