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Nutritional Value of Soyfoods

Updated on August 21, 2011

Soyfoods are great sources of protein, it is estimated that soyfoods are much higher in protein than most other vegetables since they derive about 40% of their calories from protein. Soyfoods are healthy and highly nutritious foods that are good alternatives to meat, studies have shown that the quality of the protein in soyfoods is almost that same with that in animal foods. Besides, foods made from soybeans and other soy products are an excellent source of vitamin B6 and folic acid, the former involves in various metabolic reactions and closely related amino acid metabolism, and the latter is a important supplement for pregnant women.

Compared with other beans, soybeans are high in unsaturated fat which are considered very healthy due to lack of cholesterol. Foods made from soybeans are also good sources of linolenic acid, which is an omega-3 fatty acid that is abundant in fish and fish oils. Eating soyfoods can help to reduce the risk for both cancer and heart disease. Other types of soy foods such as textured soy protein (usually called textured vegetable protein, or TVP), soy flour or tofu can have less fat if they are made from defatted soy products.

Most soyfoods are calcium-rich during their production process, for example, when making tofu, calcium salts are always added, some soymilk is fortified with calcium to increase its function as a good substitute for cow’s milk. Soyfoods are also high in iron, a useful tip to increase your iron absorption when eating soy foods is to eat them with an orange or other fruits rich in vitamin C.

Soybeans have long been very popular in East world such as China and Japan, and it has gaining popularity most recently in Western countries not only for its nutritional values but also as a possible contributor to the prevention of many diseases. Growing evidences have shown that soyfoods have great potential to help reduce the risk of hormone-dependent cancers such as breast cancer, heart diseases, osteoporosis, kidney diseases and menopause.

Five health benefits of soyfoods

1. Enhancing immune function: soybeans are rich in protein and many essential amino acids that can enhance human immunity.

2. Preventing hardening of the arteries: soy lecithin can help to remove the cholesterol attached to the vessel wall, prevent hardening of the arteries and prevent cardiovascular diseases. Soybean Lecithin also has the function to prevent the excessive accumulation of fat in liver, and thus effectively prevents obesity caused by fatty liver.

3. Soybeans contain soluble fibers, which help to relax the bowels as well as lower cholesterol level.

4. Soybeans contain substances that inhibit the secretion of trypsin, which are effective in the treatment of diabetes. Soybean saponins have significant lipid-lowering effect.

5. Soybean isoflavone is a type of phytoestrogens that is similar to estrogen, it can reduce menopausal symptoms and delay aging in women.

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