Nuggets, pellets, chaanp, sauce, milk, tofu, oil, and edamame – these are just a few of the varieties in which soy is available. Soy is a very popular food around the world and its products are increasingly popular and praised for their many health benefits.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, soy is a legume and all soy foods are derived from it. Although originally from East Asia, soybeans are now cultivated and processed in large parts of Asia, South America and North America. Soy products are very easily available all over the world in grocery stores.
Why are soy foods so popular?
The main reason soy products are so popular now is that soy is packed with many essential nutrients. It is a great source of plant protein and actually contains all of the amino acids found in animal protein.
That aside, soybeans also contain high amounts of dietary fiber, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin B1, vitamin B9, vitamin K, and minerals like copper, manganese, phosphorus and molybdenum. Soy also contains phytonutrients like isoflavones, phytic acid, and saponins, which increase antioxidant activities in the body.
Benefits of eating soy foods
Thanks to all these nutrients, soy has many benefits to offer. Here are some health benefits that eating soy foods can bring you.
1. Helps build muscles: As mentioned earlier, soy is packed with plant proteins that are only second best compared to animal sources. Consuming soy products can therefore help increase your protein intake and promote muscle building. What’s more, eating soy can also prevent protein deficiency.
2. Helps to lose weight: Soy foods are high in protein and fiber, which makes these products very filling. Eating a meal with soy can help you feel fuller for longer and ward off those unwanted cravings, thus helping you to continue with your weight loss plans.
3. Reduces the risk of dementia: A new study published in Alzheimer’s and dementia reveals that consuming soy can help create a metabolite called equol in the gut, the presence of which may reduce the chances of white matter damage in the brain. The appearance of these lesions is the main risk of dementia later in life. Therefore, consuming soy foods can reduce the risk of developing dementia.
4. Can improve bone health: Soy foods are filled with isoflavones, a type of phytonutrient that increases the activity of flavonoids in the body. Studies show that increased consumption of isoflavones can improve bone health and even prevent the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.
5. May help prevent cancer: Numerous studies indicate that the high concentration of phytonutrients in soy foods can help reduce cancer risk in both men and women. Studies have linked increased soy consumption to a lower risk of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.
For more information, read our article on Soy.
The health articles on News18 are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and largest resource for verified health information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.