Soybean is very popular in Asian countries and is cultivated mostly in China. Soybean is a source of dietary protein all around the globe. Many countries depend on soybeans as key source of dietary protein. For the past 30-35 years soybeans have been produced in United States for the purpose of consuming in the form of whole grain. More number of soybean plants are cultivated to extract the oil from the seeds. There are many products which can be made from soy. Soy is a strong and hard plant and is able to flourish in temperate weather from Midwest to the South.
Soy as a Food Source
Soy is known for its high nutritional content and it is a source of 8 essential amino acids. Whole soy foods are also an excellent source of vitamin B, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Soy foods are rich in protein and contain low saturated fats. Soybeans contain 38% of protein which makes an excellent diet for people who would like to consume plant proteins. Soybeans can either be eaten raw or cooked. Soy bean oil is used for cooking.
Soy milk is a very common nutritious drink consumed mostly by youngsters. Soy milk is prepared by soaking, grinding and boiling soy beans with water. Nutrients present in soy milk provide energy and boost your body functions at optimum level. There are many benefits of drinking soy milk.
- Lipid profile – Soy milk improves your lipid blood profile and soy milk fat is mostly unsaturated with zero cholesterol. The transport of cholesterol in the blood stream is inhibited by monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids present in soy. Research says that regular intake of soy can significantly lower the concentration of triglyceride and low density lipoproteins (LDL) in blood. Soy also helps in increasing the level of high density lipoproteins. People having a family history of coronary heart disease and high cholesterol are advised to drink soy milk regularly.
- Strengthen blood vessel integrity – Drinking soy milk can protect your blood vessels from lesions and hemorrhage.Omega-3, omega-6 fatty acids and phyto-antioxidants helps in protecting the blood vessels. These compound helps in defending the inner lining cells from free radical attacks and cholesterol deposits. These compounds bind to the blood vessel lining and improve the fluidity and flexibility of your blood vessels.
- Weight loss – Soy milk is known to promote weight loss as it contains low sugar content. A cup of soy milk has 80 calories which is equivalent to skim milk. The monounsaturated fatty acids present in soy milk inhibits the intestinal absorption of fat.
- Prostate cancer – Phytoestrogen, a unique hormone is present in soy milk which can inhibit the production of testosterone in men. Reduced testosterone levels prevent prostate cancer.
- Prevents osteoporosis – Phytoestrogen in soy milk helps in accelerating calcium absorption and prevent bone mass loss. Fortified soy milk with extra calcium and vitamin D can be used as a nutritious diet.
- Postmenopausal syndrome – Sudden reduction of estrogen level is seen in women during menopause. Sudden drop in estrogen level can create a number of health problems in postmenopausal women. Phytoestrogen present in soy is an effective estrogen replacement in postmenopausal women. Regular consumption of soy helps to prevent and alleviate the postmenopausal syndrome.