Soybeans are highly nutritious foods that are quite common in plant-based diets. Vegans and vegetarians follow a diet style that is devoid of animal foods, which could lead to some nutrient deficiencies. To make up for the nutrients they lack by avoiding animal food, plant-based dieters have to include diverse plant foods in their diets and soybean is one such plant based food.
Nutrient Profile Of Soybeans
Soybean is a good protein source that contains all the essential amino acids that our body needs. It is a cholesterol-free food that is rich in polysaturated fats including omega-3 fatty acids. Soybeans also contain fiber, iron, vitamin B, and antioxidants.
Soy Beans And Phytoestroegens: The Controversy
The presence of phytoestrogens in soybeans has made it the focus of criticism and controversy. Phytoestrogens are natural substances that are found in dried beans, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and peas. Beans contain a type of phytoestrogen called isoflavones. There is no denying that the chemical structure of phytoestrogens resembles that of human estrogen but its strength is much lesser than human estrogen. In fact, phytoestrogens are 100 to 10000 times weaker than human estrogen.
Scientific studies and reviews based on the effect of isoflavones on humans have found that it is safe for health. The concerns are sourced from the results of animal studies but as phytoestrogens behave differently in different species, there isn’t anything to be worried about.
Soybeans And Heart Health
Soy can promote healthy blood flow by bringing down the cholesterol levels and plaque build-up in the arteries. It reduces the risk of heart disease by interfering with cholesterol synthesis in the liver. Isoflavones and the proteins in soybeans work together to lower blood cholesterol levels.
How Does Soy Foods Help Handle Menopausal Symptoms?
A hot flush is a common symptom reported by most women that are going through their menopause. They are described as sudden feelings of heat that originate from nowhere and spread throughout the body at a quick pace.
Many studies have found that soy foods can contribute to reducing hot flashes in menopausal women.
In addition to its rich nutrient profile, soy foods are also famous because of their ability to reduce the risk of various medical conditions. Some studies have found that eating soy foods regularly during teenage can reduce the risk of breast cancer in women.
There are several options in soy foods including tofu, tempeh, soy milk, and more, all developed using different methods of processing soybeans.