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The Joy of Soy: The Health Benefits & Uses of Soy

Updated on March 10, 2018
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In her lifestyle & beauty articles, Michelle will break down the tips, trends, & methods that have proven to be the best.

Eat soy, be healthy
Eat soy, be healthy | Source
Edamame in it's shell
Edamame in it's shell | Source

The Joy Of Soy

You don't have to be a vegetarian to find pleasure in soy.

But unless you are a vegan or vegetarian, it's unlikely you will ever get to experience the many tasty forms soy can take in the food world.

The soybean is considered by many agencies to be a complete source of protein, which is essential for those who have decided to become vegan or vegetarian.

Not only is soy amazingly good for your body (including the potential to ward off cancer) but it can taste delicious too.

The numerous uses for soybeans depend on what country or culture you are familiar with. For instance, in Japan, the soybeans are boiled whole in their pods and served with salt. In China - where they invented tofu - using tofu and tofu paste is extremely popular.

"Edamame can be added to salads, rice mixtures, or eaten plain. Either way, you prepare it, there's no guilt factor involved because it's full of nutrients."

Edamame - Benefits & Taste

The edamame dish, which consists of the immature soybean in its shell, has numerous health benefits. The taste of this firm little bean is fresh and addictive (especially with a little-added salt).

You can find the most popular edamame dishes in Japan, Hawaii, China, and Korea. Edamame is gluten-free, low calorie has no cholesterol, contains tons of protein, iron, and calcium. Edamame is known to help prevent health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

10mg of soy in your diet a day can also help to decrease breast cancer recurrence by 25%.

Here in the United States, you can go to a Japanese restaurant and order up a dish of edamame, or you can now buy packaged, frozen edamame already taken out of its shell. With the frozen edamame, you can experiment at home with some extra seasoning.

Edamame can be added to salads, rice mixtures, or eaten plain. Either way, you prepare it, there's no guilt factor involved because it's full of nutrients.

Edamame seasoned with salt and pepper - easy and delicious!
Edamame seasoned with salt and pepper - easy and delicious! | Source

Baking Frozen De-shelled Edamame - Try This

  1. Take the frozen de-shelled edamame out of the bag. Rinse under cold water (in a colander), drain. Then spread out the desired amount onto on 8x11 or 9x13 baking dish.
  2. Drizzle the edamame beans with some olive oil (at least 1 tbsp). Then add seasonings such as salt, pepper, garlic, grated parmesan cheese, or perhaps a spicy seasoning such as 1/2 tsp chili powder or 1/8 tsp paprika - your choice. Experiment!
  3. Place the baking dish in the oven pre-heated to 400 degrees, and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Note: If baking the edamame with parmesan cheese, try using parchment paper to make them more crispy...

Did You Try A Variation Of The Above Recipe? If So, Rate it!

5 stars from 1 rating of Baked Edamame
A filling, tasty bowl of soy nuts
A filling, tasty bowl of soy nuts | Source

Soy Nuts

Soy nuts are absolutely delicious and great for you.

Soy nuts are just soybeans soaked in water, drained, and then baked or roasted. The soynut is a winner on many levels.

Soy nuts are packed with protein, fibers, vitamins, and they are relatively easy to find in your local grocery store. They also taste delicious, with a nutty flavor and a little bit of salt.

Soy nuts are the perfect go-to when you're having a craving for potato chips or something salty. Grab soy nuts at the store and keep them on hand for a nutritious, filling snack.

Soy nuts, soy milk, soy sauce, and tofu  - healthy, tasty favorites we can thank the soybean for...
Soy nuts, soy milk, soy sauce, and tofu - healthy, tasty favorites we can thank the soybean for... | Source

"Soy milk has the same amount of protein in it as cow's milk and is considered a complete protein."

Soy Milk contains massive amounts of protein, fiber and added calcium.
Soy Milk contains massive amounts of protein, fiber and added calcium. | Source

Soy Milk

Soaking dried soybeans in water and then grinding them will produce soy milk, which is basically a mix of water, oil, and protein.

In the last decade, soy milk has become increasingly popular in the western world and has been a traditional beverage in Eastern Asia for centuries.

Soy milk has the same amount of protein in it as cow's milk and is considered a complete protein.

Soy milk also has zero cholesterol and only a small amount of saturated fat.

Soy milk can be consumed by people who are lactose intolerant as well as fed to babies via soy-based formulas to substitute breast milk.

There are a wide variety of products available today for soy milk. There are soy yogurts and soy creamers for coffee to substitute cow's milk.

Many of the soy milk comes in several different flavors, tasting rich and creamy.

"In the last decade, soy milk has become increasingly popular in the western world and has been a traditional beverage in Eastern Asia for centuries."

There are a bunch of selections of soy milk available on the market today
There are a bunch of selections of soy milk available on the market today | Source
Tofu uncooked...
Tofu uncooked... | Source
Fried tofu - delicious!
Fried tofu - delicious! | Source

Discover Tofu

Tofu (also known as bean curd) is made by coagulating soy milk and flattening the curds into squares.

Tofu can be purchased soft, firm, or extra firm and it's ability to absorb flavor like a sponge makes tofu an extremely versatile ingredient.

Tofu originated in China approximately 2,000 years ago.

Scholars assume that the spread of tofu was increased with the need for protein in the vegetarian diet of East Asian Buddhism.

A large amount of protein and iron in tofu, along with its notably low-calorie count is what makes it a popular staple among vegetarians and vegans worldwide.

Tofu has a multitude of functions in traditional Chinese medicine, including healing those who are weak, malnourished, have high cholesterol, or to aid milk supply in breastfeeding mothers.

Tofu can also be consumed with liquor because it detoxifies the body at a faster pace and helps to protect the liver.

Tofu can be fried, smoked, frozen, fermented, dried, and even pickled. It can be made to taste sweet or savory, depending on the choice. There are so many recipes available for tofu that everyone should at least try one of them.

"A large amount of protein and iron in tofu, along with its notably low-calorie count is what makes it a popular staple among vegetarians and vegans worldwide."

Plenty of people out there are simply horrified by the idea of tofu, or other soy products. But, in truth, the health benefits outweigh the fear of trying something new.

You don't have to be a vegetarian or vegan to eat a soy product. You just need to care about what goes inside your body and enjoy the taste. Flavor can be added to any soy product. So if you haven't already, add a little soy into your life - pronto!

© 2016 Michelle Zunter

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    • Farawaytree profile image
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      Michelle Zunter 2 years ago from California

      Thank you. Have you tried edamame beans? They are delicious. And so many ways to prepare them....

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      I've eaten a variety of tofu recipes, all of which I like, but I have not had any luck with cooking it myself. I'll keep trying and also other soy products. Thanks for this valuable information.

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