This post was last updated on November 29th, 2022 at 02:42 pm
Soy foods are an integral part of a vegetarian diet across the globe. Widely popular as a vegan protein source, soy foods originate from soybeans that grow on leguminous plants. There are many use cases for soybeans in the food industry. Traditionally, soy forms an essential part of Asian cuisine. They are popular as substitutes for milk or meat.
Several foods contain soy, like soybean oil, tofu, soymilk, soy sauce, soy meat alternatives, and soybeans (whole or edamame).
Following Are Several Ways Soy Foods Can Improve The Health And Well-Being Of Our Families.
1. Elevates Women’s Health
Soybeans, consumed either in whole matured form or in the form of edamame (pre-matured and steamed), contain a substance called phytoestrogen that acts similarly to the female hormone estrogen. This substance can reduce the severity of hot Flashes for post-menopausal women. U.S. Soy also help improve bone density for older women who have osteoporosis.
2. A Lean And Healthy Protein Source
According to an article by the National Library of Medicine, soy foods are a complete source of protein. Consuming soybeans gives you all nine essential amino acids for the human body. Adding Soyfoods like Tofu and soy milk to a family’s diet can provide a healthy protein source for all family members. Protein is essential for healthy muscle and the overall growth of the body. The protein in soy foods can help early development in kids. Processed soybeans are a source of soy protein isolates, an ingredient for soy protein bars that act as a healthy mid-meal snack.
3. Helps Maintain A Healthy Heart
As per a recent article by the State government of Victoria, soy foods are great for cardiovascular health. They contain low cholesterol (LDL) and low saturated fats. Clinical trials and studies by the US FDA suggest that consuming 3-4 servings of soy daily can reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by up to 4% and marginally increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Having a High HDL-to-LDL ratio works positively for a healthy heart. Soybeans are also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Hence consuming soyfoods can improve heart health for both young and elderly members of your family, reducing the risk of stroke, heart attack, or hypertension.
4. Improves Gut Health
A healthy gut is vital for maintaining a healthy body and mind. Whole soy foods like soybeans are crucial to maintaining a healthy gut. According to a study, soybeans contain high quantities of dietary fiber rich in oligosaccharides, a carbohydrate that helps the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Healthy gut bacteria improve the colon’s immunity, reduce liver inflammation, and help sequester nitrogen in the body, thus reducing stress in the kidneys. Therefore, for a healthy gut, liver, and kidneys, soy foods can be an essential add-on to your family’s diet.
5. Strengthens Bone
According to a study, soy protein is more beneficial for bone health than animal protein. Animal protein sources increase calcium excretion from bones, whereas soy protein isolate can decrease calcium excretion in bones. A reduced calcium secretion can further improve bone density and lead to stronger bones in adults. Therefore, for your elderly members in the family whose bone densities are low, you can add soy foods to their diet in moderate amounts.
6. Boosts Mental Health
According to a study published by psychiatry experts, frequent consumption of soy foods can help lower the risk of depression. Isoflavones in soy protein and in wide varieties of soy foods like tofu and soy milk can help mitigate major depressive disorder. In older adults, regular soy consumption can have a beneficiary effect on their mental health.
7. Prevents Lifestyle Diseases
The isoflavones present in soybeans act as antioxidants that have positive anti-inflammatory benefits on your body. According to a study on soybean effects on insulin, soybean can stimulate insulin receptors in the body. Its high fiber content helps regulate blood sugar levels. As a result, soybean can help prevent or reduce diabetes. In addition, the antioxidants also help prevent cancer and reduce the symptoms in breast cancer patients. Iron and copper found in soybeans help improve blood circulation and reduce the chances of hypertension. Folic acid in soybeans can help women during pregnancy and in the early development of fetuses and infants.
8. Healthy Cooking Oil
Soybean oil is popular among households as a low-fat cooking oil with a high concentration of mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Therefore, it is a perfect edible oil for a family that like consuming fried foods. Soybean oil has high resistance to heat and does not oxidize quickly, leading to a healthy fried meal that is not detrimental to your heart. The oil is also very versatile and can be helpful for frying, baking, roasting, or sauteing. Soybean oil is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, making it beneficial for a healthy heart and glowing skin.
9. Meat And Dairy Alternatives For The Vegan Household
While going vegan can add to the planet’s sustainability, vegan families need help finding an option for meat or a good protein source. Soy foods can replace meat as a lean and healthy source of protein. In Asian countries, tofu and miso form a staple diet. Tofu is an apt meat alternative because of its low calories and high absorption of spices. Soy protein isolates can be an excellent replacement for whey proteins for vegan bodybuilders. Family members who are lactose intolerant can replace dairy products with soy milk-based foods.
10. Power-Packed Food For Pets And Farm Animals
If you are a family living on a farm, soybean can be a healthy food for your farm animals. The high fiber content improves digestibility in cattle, pigs, and chickens. Soy is less allergenic than meat for dogs and acts as a safer protein. A healthy combination of potassium and lysine (an essential amino acid), soy foods can act as a balanced diet for your pets.
To summarize, soy foods can be a boon for your family’s health and well-being because of their high protein, low-fat and antioxidant-rich properties. However, soy food intake should happen in moderation as excessive intake may cause a disturbance in thyroid function. As with any edible items, always check with your family doctor or dietician on the right amount of soy foods for your family, and always take moderate amounts.