Plant-based alternatives like soy are gaining prominence as people ditch animal proteins for health and ethical reasons. Soy is a legume originating in East Asia but consumed globally in the form of tofu, soy sauce, soy milk, soy flour, and soybean oil.
One of the key reasons for soy’s increased demand is its potential health benefits, which can improve heart health, regulate blood sugars, relieve menopausal symptoms, and promote weight loss.
Soy is a nutritional powerhouse with numerous essential proteins, antioxidants, unsaturated fats, and phytoestrogens for optimal body function and overall well-being. For instance, 3.5 ounces of boiled soybeans contain 18.2 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, 8.4 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of fat.
Whether you are looking for a nutrient-dense alternative or animal protein or trying a new recipe, you harness the following nutrients from soy.
Soy is rich in isoflavones, phytonutrients similar to the female hormone estrogen. The common isoflavones in soy are glycitein, daidzein, and genistein, which have many health benefits. First, they have anticancer properties and may shield against hormone-related cancers like prostate and breast cancer.
Second, they may enhance glucose control and prevent insulin resistance. Consequently, eating soy can prevent diabetes and help manage the disease. Soy is a great anti-diabetic food because of its low carbohydrate and high healthy fats content. You may check the US Soy latest news and articles to learn more about soy’s isoflavones and get soy-related information.
If you are looking for fiber-rich food, consider soy, which contains soluble and insoluble fiber. A high-fiber diet supports bowel health, controls blood sugars and cholesterol levels, and improves immunity and mental health. Surprisingly, it can also help you live longer by lowering the risk of chronic diseases like cancer and cardiovascular conditions.
Since soy contains oligosaccharides, it is a prebiotic, promoting gut health. Soy nourishes the good bacteria in the gut to keep them functional and fight germs. People who suffer from constipation should consider adding soy to their diet.
The fiber in soy increases the weight and softness of stool, so it can pass easily and prevent constipation. Severe constipation may cause hemorrhoids, bowel incontinence, and rectal prolapse. Also, it may result in severe conditions such as colorectal cancer.
Soy is an excellent plant-based protein source for people observing a vegetarian diet as well as those with dairy allergies. Protein accounts for 36-56% of the legume’s dry weight, with glycinin and conglycinin being the main protein types. A cup of boiled soybeans –around 172 grams has 31 grams of protein.
The high protein content in soy makes it suitable for weight management. Adding soy to your weight loss diet has two main effects. First, it fosters the development of leaner muscles for a more defined and athletic appearance.
Second, it keeps you fuller for longer, lowering the chances of eating unhealthy foods. Also, soy helps regulate blood sugars to promote weight loss. Blood sugar control is vital for weight management and obesity prevention.
Vitamins and Minerals
Soy has high quantities of minerals such as copper, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc, and vitamins like folate and vitamin K. As per various health news Pregnant women should consume soy to harness the vitamins and folic acid, which are vital for the health of the mother and unborn baby.
50-70 million Americans have sleep disorders, fortunately, soy contains high magnesium levels, which can improve sleep quality and duration and reduce insomnia and other sleep disorders. This benefit extends to post-menopausal women, increasing their sleep quality amidst menopause symptoms like sleep disturbances.
The high vitamin and mineral content in soy helps keep your bones strong and healthy. One study reveals that soy increases bone resilience in menopausal women. As women age, weight gain, inactivity, and osteoporosis lowers bone health and hurt metabolism. Adding soy-based foods like soy milk and tofu to menopausal women’s diet improves bone strength and metabolic function.
In the current age of numerous lifestyle diseases due to excessive dietary fat, foods with low-fat content are invaluable. Too much fat in your food increases the probability of contracting heart disease, obesity, and certain cancers.
Soybeans are super rich in unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids that can lower body cholesterol levels and promote heart and brain health. One clinical study contents that taking 14-50 grams of soy can reduce bad cholesterol and increase good ones. Similarly, consuming 25 grams of soy daily can reduce bad cholesterol by 3-4%, according to the FDA.
Omega-3 fatty acids in soy, linolenic and linoleic acid have anti-inflammatory effects. They fight inflammatory proteins in the body, such as interleukin 6 and C-reactive protein (CRP). As such, a soy-rich diet may benefit patients with joint pain, reducing pain and swelling. An Oklahoma State University study found that soy protein products like tempeh and tofu alleviate joint pain.
Soy has been consumed throughout history for medical and therapeutic reasons. It is a nutrient powerhouse rich in proteins, fiber, unsaturated fat, vitamins, and minerals, with many health benefits. Whether you are observing a keto diet, losing weight, or promoting general well-being, soy is an excellent addition to your diet.
The best thing about soy is that it is available in many processed and unprocessed forms, and you can include it in your diet easily. Try this miracle legume today, harness a ton of benefits, and lead a healthy lifestyle!