Soybeans or soya beans are a species of legume and an important component of Asian diets. Soybeans can be eaten whole or processed to produce soy protein, soy flour, tofu, soy milk, soy sauce, and soybean milk. They contain antioxidants and phytonutrients that contribute to its wealth of benefits. Soybeans are rich in protein, fiber, essential vitamins and minerals while low in fat and calories. You can consume them roasted, sprinkled with salt or boiled and make a perfect protein substitute. Below are the amazing health benefits of soybeans.
Alleviate Menopause Symptoms
Menopause is a difficult time in a woman’s life when menstruation stops. It’s characterized by unpleasant symptoms like sweating, hot flashes and mood swings due to a reduction in estrogen levels. Surprisingly, Asian women experience less of these symptoms compared to Western women. This is because of dietary habits like the higher consumption of soy foods in Asia.
However, soy works differently in different women. It’s more effective in so-called equol producers, individuals who possess a type of gut bacteria able to convert isoflavones in soybeans into equol. Equol is believed to be responsible for many of soy’s health benefits.
Reduce the Risk of Cancer
Cancer has contributed to many deaths in modern society. Observational studies have indicated that consuming soy-rich products may reduce breast cancer risk and protect men against prostate cancer. Soybeans compounds, isoflavones and lunasin are responsible for the potential cancer preventive effects. Early exposure to isoflavones in life protects against breast cancer later in life. But this evidence is only limited to observational studies which show the link between soy consumption and cancer prevention.
Improve Bone Health
Osteoporosis is a condition that leads to reduced bone density and increased risk of fractures, especially in older women. As a result of antioxidant properties, eating soybeans can increase bone density, resulting in stronger bones. Soybeans also contain calcium, zinc, copper, and magnesium which improves the overall bone health. Additionally, these minerals help in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis.
The body requires a strong base of important nutrients to help fight against viruses and illnesses. Protein is one of the main contributors to a healthy immune system in our bodies. Soybeans happen to be an excellent source of protein, thus consuming a large amount can help your body fight against invaders which lead to illnesses. All soy products can also boost your protein levels and ultimately increasing your body’s immunity.
Vitamins and minerals such as zinc and magnesium in soybeans have been shown to help boost brain health. By increasing your soybeans intake, you boost your focus and ability to remember. This is especially important in older people since they tend to lose their memory. In addition to that, magnesium in soy helps to prevent anxiety and problems associated with brain health. Adding soybeans to your diet can help reduce your stress levels and give you improved clarity and memory.
Poor blood circulation can affect all of the body’s organs and should, therefore, be treated quickly. Consequently, one can suffer from anemia due to lower levels of hemoglobin. Your body should have an adequate amount of red blood cells to prevent anemia and poor circulation. Soybeans contain high levels of iron and copper both of which are extremely important in the production of healthy red blood cells. The red blood cells produced prevent anemia and regulate blood circulation.
Prevents Heart Attack and Stroke
Consuming soybeans lowers your cholesterol. This is due to the fiber in soybeans which decreases the absorption of cholesterol in the body and gets rid of fat layers formed on the surface of the arteries. This benefits have led to soybeans being termed as heart-friendly and can be consumed to prevent risks of heart attack and stroke. Don’t forget that the fatty acids in soybeans can lower your blood pressure promoting the development of a healthy cardiovascular system.
Soybeans are rich in magnesium which regulate healthy sleep cycles. They are considered to be of great help if you’re trying to get rid of sleep-related problems such as insomnia. Soybeans can help you get an uninterrupted and peaceful good night sleep.
Soybeans are rich in multiple minerals, protein, and good carbs. Consuming 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of boiled soybeans helps you get the following nutrients:
- Water: 63
- Protein: 16.6 grams
- Carbs: 9.9 grams
- Sugar: 3 grams
- Fiber: 6 grams
- Calories: 173
- Fat: 9 grams
Soybeans are considered safe for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. But consume a normal amount, especially during pregnancy because excessive consumption can harm the baby. Also, children allergic to cow’s milk shouldn’t be given soybeans. The same goes for people with bladder cancer or an under-active thyroid, who should also avoid soybeans.
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