Soybean or soya bean is a species of legumes that has become one of the most widely consumed foods in the world for its many health benefits. soybeans are native to East Asia and are highly grown in India as well. People who follow a strict vegetarian diet often use soybean to replace meat for protein.
Along with having a high protein content, soybeans are also rich in saturated fats, fiber, antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids, and phytoestrogens, among other essential nutrients required by the body.
In recent times, soybeans have grown to popularity due to their derivatives such as tofu, soy milk, and textured vegetable protein. This variety of soy products has created a new massive market altogether, primarily benefiting the vegan population.
Foods containing soy have also been shown to have several health benefits. For example, the health benefits of soybean for menopausal women include lowered risk of osteoporosis, protection from coronary heart disease, and fewer hot flushes. According to experts, including soybean in your daily diet can help you maintain a healthy body as well as overall well-being.
With that said, in this post, we will be discussing the health benefits of soybean, its nutritional facts, and the best soybean recipe that can be made at the comfort of your home.
Table of Contents
Nutrition Value of Soybean
Soybeans are composed of protein and also contain good amounts of fat and carbs. 100 grams of boiled soybeans contain:
- Calories – 173
- Fiber – 6 grams
- Carbohydrates – 9.9 grams
- Protein – 16.6 grams
- Fat – 9 grams
10 Proven Health Benefits of Soybean
Soybean has been part of the traditional Indian diets for centuries. It contains phytonutrients and antioxidants that are linked to numerous health benefits. And don’t forget the protein content, which is in abundance. Here are the potential health benefits of soybeans.
1. Soybean Helps Relieve Sleep Disorders
One of the primary benefits of soybean is that not many know that soybean can help relieve the symptoms of sleep disorder. According to health professionals, soybeans can help in reducing the occurrence of insomnia along with other sleeping disorders.
Since soybean contains magnesium in high amounts, which is linked to increasing the quality, restfulness, and duration of your sleep, it would be beneficial that you add it in your daily diet.
Other than this, according to a study soybean also has estrogen like compounds that help postmenopausal women to gain some quality sleep.
2. Soybean May Help Manage Diabetes
Eating soybean is an effective way to manage and prevent diabetes. According to several studies, soybean has the ability to increase the insulin receptors in the body.
As a result, it can prevent diabetes from occurring in the first place or can help manage the disease effectively if you are already suffering from it. Further, the carbohydrate content in soybean is incredibly low, which makes it an excellent anti-diabetic food.
A review conducted on fermented soybean relevance in Asian Diets has revealed that it may help prevent the progression of type 2 diabetes. Eating soybean will keep your blood sugar levels in check and will make sure that it doesn’t spike thanks to the soy isoflavones. Isoflavones improve glucose control and reduce insulin resistance in the body. This delays the process and helps diabetics.
3. Soybean Help Improve Blood Circulation
As per the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, iron and copper are two essential minerals that are found in abundance in soybean. Both components are vital for the production of red blood cells (RBCs).
Soy Isoflavones helped in Nitric Oxide levels in Post Menopausal women. It improves vascular functions like blood circulation.
According to health experts, with an appropriate amount of red blood cells in the body, the essential organ systems, including the extremities of the body, can get the proper oxygen and blood flow they need to function efficiently. With the increase in red blood cells, your body experiences maximized metabolic activity.
4. Soybean Essential for Pregnancy
Soybean is rich in folic acid and vitamin B complexes that are very essential for pregnant women. Pregnant women are told to consume soy-based organic products as folic acid in soybean helps in the prevention of neural tube defects in infants, ensuring a healthy delivery as well as a healthy baby.
Birth defects are normal if the mother-to-be doesn’t take care of the nutrition requirements. Therefore, it is important to consult with your concerned gynaecologist and pen down the list of things to eat during pregnancy.
Make sure to note down the quantity of soy that is safe to be consumed by a pregnant mother. Nutrition is not only important to the infant but the mother as well. Therefore, a thorough consultation is essential before one starts consuming soybeans.
5. Soybean for Healthy Bones
Soybeans have high mineral and vitamin content. The impressive levels of zinc, selenium, copper, magnesium, and calcium in soybean help in keeping the bones stronger and healthy.
All these elements in soy can help in promoting the osteotropic activity, allowing the new bones to grow, making the existing ones stronger, and speed up the bone healing process.
Doctors and health experts believe that eating soybean can be a long-term solution for treating problems like osteoporosis, which is a common condition affecting the old age. With that said, you must include soybean in your daily diet to ensure your bones are strong and can evade any diseases.
6. Soybean Aids Healthy Digestion
Dietary fiber is present in soybean in high quantities. Dietary fiber is essential for total body functioning and plays a vital role in the digestive system. Fiber helps in bulking up your stool, allowing it to move through the intestines smoothly and exit the body.
Fiber helps in stimulating the peristaltic motion in the body, which is the contraction of the muscles in the digestive system that push food through the system. People suffering from constipation are recommended to consume fiber-rich foods as it helps proper bowel movements. Constipation, if not looked into, can lead to some serious conditions like bleeding, pain while clearing the bowel, and even colorectal cancer.
Soybean is a fiber-rich food source that also contains oligosaccharides, a carbohydrate that is known to stimulate the growth of healthy gut bacteria, acting as a prebiotic.
7. Relieve Menopausal Symptoms
Soybean contains isoflavones in abundance, which is a vital component of the female reproductive system. When women reach menopause, they experience a drastic drop in estrogen levels.
This can lead to several menopausal symptoms like hot flushes, abdominal cramps, hunger pains, mood swings, etc. Isoflavones bind the estrogen receptors in a way that your body doesn’t feel the change. Including soybean in your daily diet can help in relieving menopausal symptoms.
However, this may take a few months to reduce these symptoms. There are several studies like the 2015 analysis that found that soybean reduces hot flashes among postmenopausal women by 11%.
8. Soybean Improves Heart Health
soybeans are a good source of healthy unsaturated fats (with 2 grams MUFA and 5.06 grams PUFA) that can help you lower your cholesterol in the body. People suffering from high LDL cholesterol are prone to experiencing conditions like coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis. These conditions have a bad repo as they can lead to stroke and heart attack.
According to health experts, there are certain fatty acids necessary for a healthy cardiovascular system. Two of those are found in soybean called linolenic acid and linoleic acid, popularly known as omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids boost anti-inflammatory effects and play a crucial role in brain and eye health. Consuming soybean can help boost your cardiovascular system by reducing the bad cholesterol levels along with taking care of your brain and vision.
9. Soybean Possesses Anti-Cancer Properties
Most people don’t know, but the high levels of antioxidants in soybean could help prevent the onset of numerous cancers.
According to a study conducted at Purdue University, the antioxidants found in soybean can help kill numerous cancer cells and remove free radicals from the body.
Antioxidants are responsible for neutralizing free radicals, which, if not looked after, can cause healthy cells to turn into deadly tumors and cancer cells. Free radicals are perilous by-products of cellular metabolism, which need to be neutralized. Apart from preventing the development of cancer-causing cells in the first place, soybean can also help reduce the side effects of cancer treatment.
A study conducted by the American Institute of Cancer Research found that women with breast cancer experienced reduced fatigue and fewer menopausal symptoms after the consumption of soy derivatives.
10. Aids Healthy Weight Management
One of the biggest reasons why soybean is a celebrated food across the globe is that it can help you lose weight.
High protein content in soybean allows for the development of leaner muscle. And also, protein helps you stay fuller, preventing you from munching unhealthy snacks during odd hours. Further, it helps regulate insulin levels, thereby curbing obesity in a healthy manner. Several studies have found that soybean incorporates anti-obesity effects.
Healthy Ways to Consume Soybean
Traditionally, people soak a handful of soybeans in water overnight and eat it before they go to the gym or exercise. However, there are plenty of delicious and tasty ways to include soybeans in your daily diet. With that said, we are going to tell you how to make:
- Soya granules (soaked in water) – 2 cups
- Vinegar – 1 Teaspoon
- Brown Bread – 2 crumbled
- Garlic paste – 2 teaspoons
- Powdered black pepper – 1/2 teaspoon
- Chopped onions – 1/4 cup
- Chopped green chilly – 2 teaspoons
- Chili powder – 1 teaspoon
- Vegetable oil or any cooking oil of your preference
- Salt to taste
- Take a bowl and mash all the ingredients together (except cooking oil) and give desired shapes with your hands
- Heat the pan and grease with oil
- Put the kebabs and cook on both sides till golden brown, brushing with oil if needed.
- Garnish with lemon slices and serve hot
There are plenty of health benefits of soybean, and if consumed in a planned manner, it can help your body reach new heights, whether it is properly functioning, weight loss, etc. From controlling the cholesterol levels to maintaining diabetes, soybean is a rich source of protein and antioxidants that will help you in keeping your overall well-being.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Is soybean good for health?
A. Yes, Soybean is a powerhouse of health benefits. It helps manage diabetes, improves blood circulation in the body, prevents coronary heart disease, lowers the risk of developing breast cancer, aids digestion, etc.
Q. Why is soybean bad for you?
A. Excessive consumption of soybean can have negative effects on your health. It can cause issues in female fertility and hormonal imbalance in men, interfere with thyroid regulations, etc.
Q. Does soy have side effects?
A. Yes, excessive consumption of soy has side effects like constipation and bloating, breathing problems, nausea. Also, it sometimes leads to chronic inflammation.
Q. Is soy Safe for males?
A. Soy is a high-protein food that manages cholesterol and helps in gaining muscle mass. However, excessive consumption of soy can cause an imbalance of testosterone levels in the body.
Q. How much protein is in a soybean?
A. Soy is rich in protein content. Every 100g of soy contains 16.6 grams of protein.
Q. What are the 5 uses of soybeans?
A. Soy is rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. However, there are other uses of soybeans. Firstly, It is used for human consumption, as animal food, for industrial use in terms of paints and cleaning products, as biodiesel and as high-performing engine oil.
Q. What is the best way to eat soybeans?
A. You can either eat blanched edamame, a young bean that is harvested to extract soybeans or include soybeans as a versatile food, which you can steam and add in salads and stews. Even puree them to make kebabs and falafel.
Q. Is Soybean good for weight loss?
A. Soybean has adequate fibre content that makes you feel full and avoid overeating. Also, the presence of monounsaturated fatty acids in soy can help you burn some calories, easily.
Q. What are the nutritional contents of soybeans?
A. Soybeans are high in protein, low in saturated fat, and are an excellent source of folate, calcium, iron, manganese and potassium.