Soybeans also known as soya beans are a legume that has become one of the most widely consumed foods in the world. Soybeans are highly nutritious and come in a variety of colours including green, yellow, brown, or black among others.
Soya beans are highly nutritious. They have protein, carbohydrates, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin, Thiamine, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Folate, Calcium, Copper, Zinc, Magnesium, Manganese, Iron, Phosphorus, and Potassium. They are so rich in protein that people who follow a strict vegetarian diet use them as a replacement for meat. Soya beans are also rich in saturated fats, fibre, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids and offer many health benefits.
May prevent heart attack and stroke
Heart disease including heart attack and stroke are connected to cholesterol levels. Eating soy-rich foods can help lower cholesterol levels and get rid of the layers of cholesterol on the walls of the arteries and other blood vessels. They specifically lower bad cholesterol also known as LDL cholesterol.
Omega-3 fatty acids also reduce the risk of stroke and help with heart disease. 6 Health Benefits Of Eating Foods Rich In Omega 3 Fatty Acids And Their Sources
May help manage diabetes
Eating soybeans is an effective way to manage and prevent diabetes. Soya beans have the ability to increase the insulin receptors in the body which can prevent diabetes from occurring in the first place.
It can also help manage diabetes more effectively if you are already affected. It has low carbohydrate content which makes it a diabetes-friendly food.
Eating soybeans keeps blood sugar in check and prevents spikes. It lowers blood sugar and insulin levels for people with type-2 diabetes.
May improve fertility
Soy-rich diets may improve fertility. One study found that women who consumed more soy were more likely to give birth following fertility treatments than those who did not. However, men may not experience the same fertility-boosting benefits.
May reduce menopause symptoms
Isoflavone is a compound found in soya beans that is very similar in structure to the hormone estrogen. When estrogen levels drop in menopausal women one of the physical effects is uncomfortable persistent hot flashes. Isoflavones because of their similarity with estrogen help ease symptoms such as hot flashes.
Another effect of low estrogen levels during menopause is weak and brittle bones, a condition known as osteoporosis. Consuming soybeans may reduce bone loss and improve markers of bone health in menopausal women.
May reduce the risk of cancer
Diets rich in soy have been liked to lower the risk of certain cancers. Soybeans are rich in antioxidants which neutralize free radicals that damage cells. In this way, they fight against cancer. One study suggests that high soy intakes pre and post-diagnosis may lower the risk of breast cancer recurrence in premenopausal women. It also lowers the risk of dying from the condition and the risk of developing cancer altogether.
Types of cancers whose risk is lowered by consuming more soy include breast cancer, endometrial cancer, digestive tract cancers, colon, and colorectal cancers especially in women, and prostate cancer in men. There’s also a lower risk of dying from stomach cancer, cancer of the large intestine, and lung cancer.
May help maintain body weight
The fibre in soybeans keeps you feeling full longer which automatically reduces food cravings and caloric intake. This makes soya beans a natural way to regulate appetite. This can be helpful for people trying to lose weight.
For people trying to gain weight, eating high amounts of soybeans can help because of the high protein content. It will also be healthy weight gain because it does not lead to unhealthy fat accumulation and does not increase the levels of bad cholesterol.
May relieve sleep disorders
Soybeans can help lower the occurrence of insomnia and other sleep disorders. They contain high levels of magnesium which is linked to improved quality of sleep including restfulness and duration of sleep.
Essential for pregnancy
It is rich in folic acid and B-complex vitamins which are essential for pregnant women. Folic acid in soya beans helps prevent birth defects in infants as well as ensuring a healthy delivery.
Helps fight depression
The folate content in soybeans helps to produce serotonin which helps uplift your mood. Many studies show isoflavones exhibiting antidepressant effects in women. Given the depressing state of the world, here’s hoping more soybeans find their way to your plate.
Potential soya beans side effects
May cause mild side effects like
- Allergic reactions include rash and itching and anaphylaxis in some people
Soya beans precautions
- It may be unsafe during pregnancy.
- It may trigger allergic reactions in people who are allergic to peanuts.
- People with kidney failure or kidney stones, or a history of either should avoid taking large amounts of soy products.
- Children who are allergic to cow’s milk may be sensitive to soy products. Parents should use soy products with caution.
- Avoid soy products if you have bladder cancer or are at a high risk of getting it. They may increase the chances of getting it.