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Did you know that the World Health Organization recommends Soy intake to meet dietary protein requirements per day? Soy is consumed in extensive quantities in Asian countries such as Japan. In fact, you will be surprised to know that Japanese people consume about two cups of soy each day and their daily protein requirement is better met.
Soy contains proteins which are at par with egg white when it comes to richness and efficacy according to the report published by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States of America.
Soy is one of the richest plant sources for proteins. It is constituted of proteins for forty percent of its content and also contains other essential vitamins and minerals. It is rich in all the essential amino acids and it also contains iron and fibre which is a rare combination.
There are two main types of Soy, yellow soy and black Soy. Soy can be taken in a number of ways such as soy bean powder, soy milk, processed soy chunks, isolated soy proteins, isolated soy flavonoids, to name a few. There are many more methods of processing and preparing soy for consumption including soy sauce that is used extensively in Chinese and Japanese recipes. These methods of processing soy have been well in practise since olden days having known that soy contributes to healthy living in many ways.
Let us look in further detail into the many health benefits that soy has to offer.
Studies have proven that soy has the ability to reduce the transportation of cholesterol into the blood stream. Soy contains saturated and unsaturated fatty acids that prevent cholesterol accumulation. In fact, soy helps to lower the levels of low density lipoproteins and triglycerides or bad cholesterol. It also increases the percentage of high density lipoproteins or good cholesterol in the body.
Soy contains essential fatty acids Omega 3 and Omega 6 that are involved in muscle expansion and contraction. In addition, they also cause and control inflammation in blood vessels and other parts of the body. Increased presence of these essential fatty acids makes blood vessels more flexible by adhering to their inner lining and preventing cholesterol accumulation in the inner lining.
During menopause, women undergo hormonal changes that cause depression, mood swings, hot flashes, hair fall and many other varied changes. Taking Soy is an effective way to deal with these problems since soy is rich in phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are compounds that mimic the activity of the female sex hormone oestrogen and ensure that frequency and severity of menopausal symptoms are reduced.
Research studies have shown that taking Soy milk significantly reduces the blood sugar levels in diabetes patients with high blood sugar levels. Taking soy also promotes insulin receptors production and hence reduces insulin resistance. Studies show that good quantity intake of soy can help reduce the risk of acquiring type II diabetes when the whole world is at a risk of becoming diabetic pretty soon.
Soy also contains considerable quantity of zinc and boosts immune functions in the body. The presence of omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids also helps it to control inflammation caused in arthritis that causes joint pain. Alpha linolenic acid present in soy helps to control inflammation and pain caused in arthritis.
Soy is rich in vital vitamins such as folic acid, vitamin B complex and vitamin E. It contains a host of essential nutrients and minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium and copper. It also contains Vitamin K that is required for foetal red cell production. It is an easily absorbable iron source that helps pregnant women since it aids foetal development.
Soy contains phytoesterols and lecithin. Lecithin is an important chemical that is vital for proper brain functioning. The phytoestrols promote brain function and aid better functioning of the nervous system. In those with nervous system disorders such as Alzheimer’s patients, taking Soy milk has shown some improvement in brain activity.
Soy is rich in folate that promotes synthesis of serotonin in the body. Serotonin is the ‘feel good’ chemical that is made by the body. Studies show that depression is often associated with decreased serotonin levels. Soy provides a viable alternative for people to restore serotonin levels and prevent depression.
Now that you know that there are so many benefits of taking soy, you might want to make it a definite add to your kitchen and regular food.
There is a lot more to soy that this. Click here to know more about soy benefits.
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