Health Benefits of Soya

The Health Benefits of Soya

Soya: Introduction

These days soya bean is most popular in vegetarians and vegans or for people who want to reduce the amount of meat they eat. Soya bean is a native to East Asia.

Although it is a legume but is classed as an oilseed. It is found in varied sizes and seed coat colors ranging from black, brown, blue, yellow or mottled. It was a crucial crop in eastern in eastern Asia and still remains a major crop in China, Japan and Korea. According to Chinese history soya bean was one of its five holy crops including rice, wheat, barley and millet.

Various agencies consider soya bean as complete protein because of its significant amount of all the 9 essential amino acids (which our body cannot synthesize).  According to US Food and Drug Administration.

Soy protein products can be good substitute of animal products because unlike some other beans soy offers a complete protein profile. Soy protein products can replace animal based foods- which also has complete protein but tend to contain more fat specially saturated fats- without requiring major adjustments elsewhere in the diet.

Soya protein is nutritional equivalent of meat, egg and casein for human growth and health. Soya beans are very versatile and can be used as whole soya beans, soya sprouts, or processed as soya milk, tofu, tempeh, soya sauce or meso. Soya can also be used as an ingredient for non-food products such as candle wax and Bio diesel, which are becoming popular because of their longetivity and are healthier.

There are wide ranges of soya food products available in market.

Soya: Food Products

Soya Dairy Products

Soya diary products is lactose free quality, those with lactose intolerance can consume soya milk. It is rich in calcium, vitamin D and A, magnesium and potassium. Soya yogurt, tofu, frozen soy desserts are an alternative of soya milk in market.

Whole Grain Soya

Soya bean flour added to your wheat flour increase your fibre intake. Recommended Dietary Allowance of protein for adult males (25-50 years ) is 63 gm and 50 gm for adult females(25-50 years).

Soya Protein

Soya protein available as tofu, tempeh, soy nuts, soy nut butter, soy crumbles are rich in high quality protein, low in total fat and saturated fat and are cholesterol free. They are also rich in fibre, potassium, folic acid, iron, vitamins and minerals.

Soy Oil

Soya oil is low in saturated fat and rich in omega 3 fatty- acids. Because of its flavor for taste it works well in all kinds of cooking and baking.

Soya is becoming popular not only because of its protein quality but also because of its varied and large amounts of health benefits which are mainly due to its isoflavone, genistein and daidzein. All over the world scientists are giving priority to its role in prevention of chronic diseases.

Soya: Benefits

Protects Heart

Many researchers have shown that soy food may prevent heart diseases by reducing total cholesterol, LDL, BP and prevent atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in arteries). After menopause, when the production of natural estrogen drops cholesterol levels in women will go up and they become more susceptible to heart attacks. The soy isoflavone have a weak estrogen activity, which is large enough to help reduce the cholesterol level. 

Reduces the risk of Osteoporosis

Studies have shown that soy isoflavone (phytochemicals) inhibit bone breakdown and thus reduces osteoporosis. Diets rich in animal proteins cause more calcium to excrete in the urine. Replacing animal protein with soy protein may help to prevent calcium loss from the bone and this indirectly improves bone health. 

Reduces the risk of Breast, Colon, Prostrate Cancer

Soy isoflavone, particularly genistein and daidzein prevent cancer by inhibiting the growth of existing tumor cells. Studies have shown tha populations, which regularly consume soy foods, have lower incidences of breast, colon and prostrate cancer. 

Soy relieves Menopausal Syndrome

Hot flushes seen in menopausal women due to reduced estrogen production, which plays a role in controlling body temperature can be reduced by soy isoflavone. 

Inspite of its benefits, soy should be avoided by those who have thyroid disorders, dampness in the form of excess mucus, yeast sensitivity, tumors and cysts, digestive problems like loose stool, irritable or bloated bowel.