Soy is a high-quality protein. It is one of the few known plant foods to contain all the essential amino acids, like those found in meat.
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Soy is a high-quality protein. It is one of the few known plant foods (the other is amaranth seed and to a lesser degree, quinoa) to contain all the essential amino acids, like those found in meat.
Nutrition facts about Soy Beans
Soybeans are mainly composed of protein but also contain good amounts of carbs and fat.
The nutrition facts for 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of boiled soybeans are:
- Calories: 173
- Water: 63%
- Protein: 16.6 grams
- Carbs: 9.9 grams
- Sugar: 3 grams
- Fiber: 6 grams
- Fat: 9 grams
- Saturated: 1.3 grams
- Monounsaturated: 1.98 grams
- Polyunsaturated: 5.06 grams
- Omega-3: 0.6 grams
- Omega-6: 4.47 g
Health benefits of soy foods
Research suggests that soybeans and soy foods have a range of health benefits.
Coronary heart disease and soy
Having a diet rich in soy foods is linked with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, including stroke and coronary heart disease.
Oestrogen may protect women against heart disease during their reproductive years, but rates of heart disease increase after menopause.
Soybeans have been shown to lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, both known risk factors of heart disease.
An analysis of clinical trials suggests 14g to 50g of soy protein can significantly reduce total blood cholesterol levels, LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and triglycerides, while moderately increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
The United States Food and Drug Administration also found adults who include at least 25g soy protein (about four servings of soy) daily in a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol can reduce LDL cholesterol by about 3–4%.
Whole soy products (such as soymilk, soybeans and soy nuts) have a greater effect on improving cholesterol levels than processed soy products.
It is not known how this happens – it could be phytoestrogens or soy proteins working alone or together. Other factors, such as soy’s high-fibre or low saturated-fat content may play a part.
Another reason could be, the amount of animal protein in the diet (including saturated fat and cholesterol within the animal protein) may be reduced and indirectly improve our blood cholesterol levels.
However, studies also show that eating soy protein without isoflavones results in only small cholesterol reductions, and isoflavone supplements alone have minimal cholesterol lowering effects.
Soybeans and menopause
Due to their phytoestrogen content, it is thought soy can reduce menopausal symptoms (such as hot flushes). This is based on observations of women in some parts of Asia, who tend to have soy-rich diets and typically fewer hot flushes during menopause than women on meat-rich diets.
The phytoestrogens in soy appear to act like a mild form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). However, compared with traditional HRT, it would take almost a year of regular soy consumption to have similar health benefits.
More research is needed, but soybeans may help some women to manage menopausal hot flushes, even if only modestly.
Do not take highly processed soy supplements if you have a high risk of breast cancer, or are a breast cancer survivor. Eating moderate amounts of whole soy foods appears to be healthy.
Organic foods offers nationwide delivery of Soy Beans at an affordable price.
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