(Copyright 2020, Simona Zaino )
Full or partial reproduction of this article requires permission from the author.
If you thought soy and soy products were just the latest vegan 'frenzy'.. read on! Below, I give the 3 top reasons for including this powerful food in your diet!
Soyabean is a species of legumes native of East Asia. It s a highly nutritious food. 100 grams of raw soybeans supply 446 calories as 9% water, 30% carbohydrates, 20% total fat and 36% protein.
(please notice these proportions vary greatly for soy-based products such as tofu, miso, tempeh, soy sausages, etc.)
Soybeans are also rich in essential nutrients 100 grams of raw soybeans provide 37% (RDV) in dietary fiber, 121% RDV iron, 120% RDV manganese, 101% RDV phosphorus and several B vitamins, including folate (94% RDV). They also contain: vitamin K, magnesium, zinc and potassium.
(Note: for human consumption, soybeans must be cooked with "wet" heat to avoid toxicity)
So what are the top 3 benefits of soy?
1. Soy contains complete protein and healthy fat!The protein in soy and soy products contains all the essential amino-acids (essential= the body cannot produce them). So it's an ideal replacement for meat protein.
It also contains mostly unsaturated fats and it's cholesterol-free compared to animal fat. Some studies even show that soy protein lowers tryglycerides, reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol, and raises HDL (good) cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of heart disease.
2. Soy contains carbs with a very low glycemix index, meaning it stabilizes blood sugar and prevents the cycle of sugar crash and sugar rush.
3. Soy is great source of calcium and iron, again making it a good alternative to dairy products and meat.
There are many other benefits of soy (e.g. anti-cancer properties) and new studies are regularly being carried out on these to provide more accurate findings and results.
So why not adding soy products to your regular diet? They come in many forms and are very versatile. You could try eating a soy-based meal a couple of times a week. Short of ideas? Check out my recipe for Orange, Red onion & Tofu salad
IMPORTANT: women with a history of breast tumor should consult their doctor before introducing soy or soy product into their diet, due to the potential estrogenic effects.
Reference: www.askdrsears.com and www.hsph.harvard.edu