Soybean, a member of the legume family of vegetables, is great for health. The only vegetable food with all nine essential amino acids, soybean is a major source of protein, especially for vegetarians or vegans. As per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), per 100 grams of cooked soybeans contain 12.35g protein; 141 kilocalories; 11.05g carbohydrate; 6.4g fat, and 4.2g fiber.
Low in saturated fats and high in folate and vitamin C, soybeans are also one of the best sources of magnesium, calcium, iron, thiamin, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Healthful and filled with nutritional uses, you can eat soybeans, drink them in milk alternatives and even take them as supplements. Potential benefits of soybeans include:
1. May Help in Obesity Management
Studies show that the compounds in soy isoflavones may prevent fat buildup around the internal organs. Researchers are also of the view that soy supplementation may help in managing obesity. Owing to this essential soy benefit and increased soy demand, worldwide soybean production has more than doubled in the past two decades, expanding into a market worth $123 billion.
The global soy supply chain is constantly on the rise, with soy production reaching great heights in the United States, China, Japan, Brazil, and Asia. The United States is the largest producer of soybeans in the world, accounting for 85% of the worldwide demand.
2. May Safeguard Heart Health
Phytosterols, the plant compounds in soybean, inhibit cholesterol absorption in the body. As per studies, the fiber and phytochemicals in soybean also work towards reducing low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol in the human body. These, in turn, reduce the chance of heart diseases.
3. Can Reduce the Risk of Cancers
Soy isoflavones can also help reduce the risk of hormone-related cancers, like prostate and some breast cancers. Some studies show that women who consume soy may have a reduced cancer risk after and before menopause. Nevertheless, the American Cancer Society has still not clarified whether processed soy, like textured vegetable protein or soy protein isolates, may offer the same advantages.
4. May Cut Down the Chance of Type 2 Diabetes
Studies suggest that soy isoflavones can also reduce the chances of type 2 diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity or the glucose-absorbing ability of the cells.
5. Soybean May Alleviate the Signs of Sleep Disorder
Loads of magnesium in soy can help increase restfulness and the duration and quality of sleep. Health professionals also put down that soybeans may be beneficial in reducing the chances of insomnia. Another study suggests that the estrogen-like compounds in soybean may help postmenopausal women gain quality sleep.
6. May Treat Osteoporosis
According to studies, 40 to 110 milligrams of soy isoflavones may improve bone mineral density while reducing bone loss. You may achieve the same result by having 35 to 110 grams of cooked soybeans or 140 to 440 grams of tofu. Soy isoflavones may also be the most effective hormone replacement therapy for women experiencing osteoporosis, which degenerates the bones and causes easy fractures.
7. It may Promote Proper Blood Circulation
The Journal of the American Dietetic Association says that soy’s copper and iron content may help in the production of RBCs or Red Blood Cells. At the same time, its isoflavones improve nitric oxide levels in menopausal women, further improving vascular functions, such as blood circulation.
As per health experts, appropriate amounts of RBCs in the body get good amounts of oxygen to the organs and the blood flow they require to function efficiently. The body also experiences increased metabolic activity with increased Red Blood Cells.
8. Soybean Can Improve Digestion
High quantities of dietary fiber in soybean promote overall body function and play an important role in improving digestion. Fiber bulks up the stool, allowing it to move smoothly through the intestines and out of the body. It also stimulates peristaltic movement or muscle contraction within the body to ultimately push food through the digestive system. By warding off constipation, soybean also helps people eliminate symptoms like bleeding and pain during bowel movements and even colorectal cancer. The oligosaccharides or carbohydrates in soybeans stimulate the production of healthy gut bacteria that also serve as prebiotics.
9. May Protect the Skin
Soybean exhibits collagen-stimulating, anti-inflammatory, skin-lightening, UV protection, and antioxidant effects. Its bioactive ingredients, like trypsin inhibitors; isoflavonoids; proanthocyanidins, and tannins, are highly beneficial in dermatology and cosmetology.
While the depigmentation properties of trypsin inhibitors may reduce pigment deposition, anthocyanins inhibit melanin production. Studies also suggest that soybean extracts may reduce inflammation and wrinkles caused due to UV rays. These extracts may also improve skin elasticity and collagen. The same studies state that Daidzein, a soy isoflavonoid, may prevent cellular procedures that cause atopic dermatitis. Several studies also back the fact that soybean may prevent skin cancer. Nevertheless, further research is required to confirm this statement.
10. May Ward Off Depression
Soy isoflavones can have antidepressant properties that help alleviate depressive symptoms. Eating soybeans regularly may also improve your mood as they are loaded with tryptophan, the amino acid that produces serotonin, a neurotransmitter linked with calmness and happiness.
So, you may not even be aware of several benefits of soybean, and if consumed in a perfectly planned way, this superfood may help your body function properly. From maintaining diabetes to controlling blood sugar and cholesterol levels, soybean is one of the richest sources of antioxidants and proteins that promote overall well-being.