Soybeans contain all three of the macro-nutrients required for good nutrition: complete protein, carbohydrate and fat, as well as vitamins and minerals, including calcium, folic acid and iron. The delicious, slightly nutty flavored soybean has been cultivated in China for over 3,000 years but the good news about soy’s culinary versatility and exceptional health benefits is a relatively recent phenomenon in the West.
Different varieties of soybean, truly amazing legume are available throughout the year. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially recognized the cholesterol-lowering effects of soy protein in 1999 with a health claim stating that 25 grams of soy protein per day may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Nutritional Value of Soybean
Given below is the amount of nutrients in 1 cup (172 gm) of soybean:
Â· Omega 3 Fatty Acids – 1.03 g
Â· Phosphorus – 421.40 mg
Â· Potassium – 885.80 mg
Â· Protein – 28.62 g
Â· Tryptophan – 0.37 g
Â· Calories – 297
Â· Copper – 0.70 mg
Â· Dietary Fiber – 10.32 g
Â· Iron – 8.84 mg
Â· Vitamin A – 189 IU
Â· Vitamin B2 – 0.49 mg
Â· Vitamin K – 33.02 mcg
Â· Magnesium – 147.92 mg
Â· Manganese – 1.42 mg d
Â· Molybdenum – 129.00 mcg
Most soy foods are also low in saturated and Trans fats, one reason why the American Heart Association has recognized soy foods’ role in an overall heart-healthy diet.
Recent research suggests that soy may also lower risk of prostate, colon and breast cancers as well as osteoporosis and other bone health problems, and alleviate hot flashes associated with menopause.
Like soybean, its milk is also full of nutrition. The presence of isoflavones is the most important and unique benefit of soy milk. Each cup of soy milk contains about 20 mg isoflavones (mainly genistein and daidzein).
Cow’s milk does not contain isoflavones. Isoflavones have many health benefits including reduction of cholesterol, easing of menopause symptoms, prevention of osteoporosis and reduction of risk for certain cancers (prostate cancer and breast cancer).
Incidents of above mentioned cancers are very low in countries with high intake of soy products, including soy milk. Isoflavones are also antioxidants which protect our cells and DNA against oxidation. Vegetable proteins have the advantage that they cause less loss of calcium through the kidneys. It is known that a diet rich in animal (and dairy protein) creates a higher risk for osteoporosis.