Nuggets, granules, chaanp, sauce, milk, tofu, oil and edamame - these are just some of the varieties in which soy is available to us. Soy is a very popular food all over the world and its products are being increasingly appreciated and hailed for their many health benefits.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, soybean is a legume and all soy foods are derived from it. While originating from eastern Asia, soy is now grown 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 why soy products are so popular now is because soy is packed with many essential nutrients. It's a great source of plant proteins and is, in fact, packed with all the amino acids that animal proteins have.
This apart, soy also has 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 impart. The following are some health benefits that eating soy foods can provide you with.
1. Helps build muscles: As mentioned before, soy is packed with plant proteins which are only second-best in quality when compared to animal sources. Consuming soy products can therefore help increase your protein intake and aid the building of muscles. Furthermore, eating soy can also keep protein deficiency at bay.
2. Aids weight loss: Soy foods are packed with protein and fiber, which makes these products very filling. Eating a meal with soy can keep you feeling full for longer and keep those unwanted cravings at bay, thereby helping you further in your weight loss plans.
3. Lowers dementia risks: A new study published in Alzheimer's & Dementia reveals that eating soy can help create a metabolite called equol in the gut, the presence of which can lower the risks of white matter lesions in the brain. The appearance of these lesions is the key risk for dementia in later life. Hence, eating soy foods can lower the risk of developing dementia.
4. May improve bone health: Soy foods are packed with isoflavones, a type of phytonutrient that increases flavonoid activity in the body. Studies show that increased isoflavone intake can improve bone health and even prevent the risk of osteoporosis in women who have reached menopause.
5. May help prevent cancer: Many studies indicate that the high concentration of phytonutrients in soy foods can help reduce cancer risks in men and women alike. Studies have linked increased soy intake with reduced risks of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.
For more information, read our article on Soybean.
Health articles on News18 are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.