Health Benefits of Soya Beans

Soya Beans

Soya beans, like many other legumes, are proteinous powerhouses. But, beyond this commonly known fact, soya beans and its derivatives offer numerous health benefits. This commodity is packed with several essential nutrients that significantly contribute to the consumers’ well-being. From heart health to hormonal balance, soya beans can significantly help to improve overall health.

Here are some of the impressive health benefits of soya beans and why you should incorporate more of them into your diet. 

Rich Source of Protein Boosting Growth and Tissue Repair

Proteins some of the most important nutrients the human body needs to function optimally. While all types of nutrients are equally important, a serious protein deficiency will significantly affect the body compared to other nutrient classes. That’s because protein is vital for building and repairing tissues, supporting muscle growth, and maintaining a healthy immune system.

Most of the proteins humans consume are from animal flesh and products. While this is okay for the most part, it creates a dilemma for people who do not or can not consume animal flesh.

Soya is an excellent plant-based protein source which serves as a better and healthier alternative to animal-based protein. According to the US FoodData Central, a cup containing 172 grams of boiled soya beans contains approximately 31 grams of protein. Similarly, soya beans at dry weight contain 36-56% protein content.

Improve Heart Health

Scientific studies suggest that Soya bean consumption can be linked to a sizeable reduction in Cholesterol level, thereby improving heart health. Soya beans contain soluble fibre that binds to cholesterol and aids in their elimination from the body.

In addition to that, Soya beans contain isoflavone compounds that help to promote healthy blood vessel functions, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. 

Unlike animal-protein sources, soya beans primarily contain polyunsaturated fats, which are good for heart health. The saturated fats present in animal protein sources like beef or pork may raise the risk of heart disease. 

Moreover, consuming more soya beans can help lower systolic blood pressure by 2 to 5 points and further reduce risks of heart-related complications.

Alleviate Menopausal Symptoms

Menopause is a common phenomenon among older women aged 45 and above. It is a natural occurrence whereby a woman stops menstruation, which heralds the loss of their ability to reproduce.

Menopause is often accompanied by hormonal imbalance and unpleasant symptoms such as hot flashes, sweating and mood swings resulting from a reduction in estrogen levels. Soya beans contain phytoestrogen compounds, which serve as estrogen supplements. They help regulate the hormonal imbalance and neutralize the accompanying symptoms.

Reduce the Risk of Osteoporosis and Improve Bone Health

Osteoporosis is a condition involving reduced bone density, which results in an increased risk of fractures among older women. Soya beans are a common dietary remedy prescribed for this condition, especially among vegetarians.

Soya beans are a good source of calcium and magnesium, essential minerals for maintaining strong and healthy bones. Calcium is crucial for improving bone density, while magnesium plays a role in bone structure development.

Moreover, bone density loss in older women is also identified with menopausal symptoms. Estrogen also contributes to bone strength in women as such, Phytoestrogen from soya bean consumption can help reverse osteoporosis by supplementing estrogen production.

Reduce the Risk of Cancer

Several observational studies suggest that certain compounds present in soya help prevent breast cancer in premenopausal women. The theories suggest that the Isoflavones and lunasin compounds present in Soya beans help mitigate tumour development in young women. 

As such, early exposure to soya beans from a young age may help develop immunity against cancer later in life, especially among women. In addition, some scientists believe the phytonutrients present in Soya beans may help shrink tumors.

Similarly, studies suggest that Soya bean consumption may also help prevent prostate cancer in men. Reports suggest that men who eat more soya beans are less likely to get prostate cancer. Scientists have pointed to two compounds, Genistein and Daidzein, as the main contributors to this effect.

Manage Diabetes

Soya beans have a low glycemic index and can be beneficial for individuals with diabetes. The complex carbohydrates and fibre in soya beans slow down the release of glucose into the bloodstream, helping to stabilize blood sugar levels.

In addition, Soya bean consumption may help to improve insulin sensitivity. This is because the protein in soya beans also assists the development of insulin receptors, helping with diabetes management.

Some reports suggest that fermented soya bean products are better antidiabetic agents. Fermentation alters the chemical structures of compounds in the soya beans to produce the effects. 

Contains Healthy Antioxidants

Soya beans also contain natural polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants. These compounds help neutralize the effect of free radical molecules that cause oxidative stress that often characterizes the onset of chronic diseases and ageing.

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