Soy is one of the widely used crops in the family of legumes. Since its domestication in Asia—where it has been a household food in traditional foods like miso, tempeh, and tofu—soy has traveled every continent, where it is used in a wide range of nutritional arrangements.
In modern cuisines, soy comes in such forms as soy sauce, soy meat, soy milk, and soy oil, as well as continuous use and upgrading traditional use. Most people who want or have been directed by medical officers to have nutritional changes by reducing flesh foods and animal products have found soy a better replacement for animal meat.
The benefits of soy, however, go beyond simple vegetarianism or veganism. Soy is that unique bean that cuts across and has something for everyone.
Here are five benefits of soy in day-to-day life.
Soy is a Versatile Food
The sustainable protein consumption has grown highly over the last few decades, making the U.S. stand out as one of the top global soy growers. In the U.S., as well as in many countries across the globe, soy is being used as a versatile food that fantastically fits well in most nutritional crevices.
Soy comes to our dining table in many forms. To the Asian folk, Edamame (soybeans in their pod) have been enjoyed warmly or tossed through a salad. Tofu can be tried firm, smoked, or marinated in stir-fries, curries, or on the BBQ. Miso can be added to soups, sauces, and marinades instead of regular stock.
Also, soy nuts—a tasty snack of roasted soybeans—are something everyone should try. Soy burgers, sausages, and slices can be a great and delicious meat alternative, low in saturated fat.
For vegans especially, soy has essential protein components such as those found in animal products that they cannot access. While a lot of research on the protein component of soy is still a work in progress, most researchers agree that soy is an excellent non-flesh food in terms of an essential amino acid (EAA) content, with eight out of the nine EAA, save for methionine. With a good wholesome diet with a combination of a rich diet of fruits and legumes, and nuts, a vegan who uses soy products is good to go.
Soybean Helps Relieve Sleep Disorders
You didn’t expect soy on the shelves of relief mechanisms for sleep disorders. Besides its top-notch nutrition value, soy can help deal with insomnia and other sleeping disorders. Among the many nutrients and minerals that soybean contains is magnesium, which is in high amounts.
So how is magnesium related to sleep disorders like insomnia? Magnesium increases the quality, restfulness, and duration of your sleep. Remember, insomnia stills your periods of sleep and makes you remain awake. Magnesium works at cross-purpose with this. It is, however, essential to abide by the simple street rule of “too much of anything is dangerous.” Use just a reasonable portion, i.e., enough to satisfy your routine nutritional needs. Too much magnesium can work against your intentions of good sleep and keep you awake because of irritations.
Soybean Help Improve Blood Circulation and Cardiac Health
Blood circulation is the basis of systolic and diastolic cycles, without which life ceases. Foods rich in iron are essential to ensure the continuous production of blood. Iron is mostly found in animal meat products. According to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, iron and copper are abundant minerals in soybean. Both components are vital for producing red blood cells (RBCs), which are very important in supplying the body with oxygen, especially the extremities like the brain, limbs, etc.
Unlike animal products, soybeans are a good source of healthy unsaturated fats that can assist you in lowering your cholesterol levels. Too much cholesterol can block your arteries and bring about high blood pressure. Health experts believe certain fatty acids are necessary for a healthy cardiovascular system. Two of those, called linolenic acid and linoleic acid, are found in soybean, popularly known as omega-3 fatty acids.
Soy Enhances Health and Strengths of Bones
Soybeans have impressive levels of zinc, selenium, copper, magnesium, and calcium, which help keep the bones stronger and healthy. These minerals allow new bones to grow, strengthen existing ones, and speed up bone healing. Osteopaths believe eating soybean can be a long-term solution for treating problems like osteoporosis, a common condition affecting old age. This can also work well for vegetarian athletes who need bone strength for intense physical activities.
Soy Help in Managing Menopausal Symptoms
When women reach menopause—the time that marks the end of their menstrual cycles characterized by a natural decline in reproductive hormones when a woman reaches their 40s or 50s—they experience a drastic drop in estrogen levels. These could lead to several menopausal symptoms like vaginal dryness and sleep disturbances.
Soybean contains isoflavones in abundance, which is a vital component of the female reproductive system. Including soy in one’s diet can help deal with menopausal symptoms because isoflavones in soy bind the estrogen receptors so that the body doesn’t feel the change.
While soy has been used for decades primarily in human and animal nutrition, it is even beneficial in your day-to-day life. Soy can be used in various foods and even as beverages and can help keep your cardiac health at its best.