Benefits of Soy

Understanding Soy

Benefits of SoyIn the recent times we hear a lot about soy and soy products. 10 years ago we had a few products in the supermarket, but now it is swamped with soy products natural and chemical alike. Soy products come in forms of consumables and external applicable. Now let us dive deep into understanding a bit more about soy, benefits of soy and contradiction of soy benefits.

What is Soy

The word ‘Soy” is commonly used to refer about food sources and ingredients derived from soy bean. Soy bean is a type of legume.

Throughout Asia, soy foods have been consumed for centuries as part of their diet, and as an important source of high-quality protein.  And these  people exhibit low rates of many of the chronic diseases that is found in Western civilisation.

Did you know that due to the massive shift in attitude about soy, soy food sales increased from $300 million to nearly $4 billion between 1992 to 2006, practically overnight, according to the Soyfoods Association of North America.

Scientific research has confirmed that substituting soy protein for animal protein in the diet can lead to beneficial effects in lowering blood cholesterol levels. Research also points that soy protein contribute towards maintaining bone health, relieving menopausal symptoms, provide protective effects against certain forms of cancer and enhancing athletic performance.

According to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 25g of soy protein per day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. If you have health issues consuming more would be advisable. To reach the 25g per day, we need to consume three to four serves of soy protein.

Soy protein is a high quality protein, equal in quality to meat, milk, and egg protein. Soy protein meets or exceeds the essential amino acid requirements of both children over the age of two years and adults and is highly digestible.

Are all Soy products have the same benefits?

As per Professor Mark Wahlqvist (President of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences), it is important to distinguish between traditional and modern forms of soy. The traditional forms of soy are ones which are characterised by tofu, (bean curd, soy is a bean) tempeh (tempeh’s principally used in Indonesia, it’s a fermented form of soy) and in Japan, traditional forms include miso soup, tofu, probably brought from China as well, and a fermented form of soy called nato. So they’re the traditional forms of soy and they’re characterised by being fairly intact, the whole bean is eaten, or has been processed by the traditional food technology, like fermentation, which probably confers important benefits.

But the other forms of soy in the West are often based on soy isolates, where the protein is used as a food ingredient. They’re used in reconstituted products, everything from meat look-alike products, to soy drinks.

But unfortunately unfermented and processed soy products such as soy milk, soy cheese, soy ice cream and soy burgers does not contain the rich benefit of fermented soy products.

Unfermented soy products (that you should be avoiding):

Resources and Recommendations:

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