Soybeans, excellent source of protein

 The soybean originated in China and has been cultivated there for over 13,000 years. It was first introduced into Japan before becoming popular in other Asian countries.

Soy food products come in many forms such as soy milk, soy flour, soy hot dogs, soy burgers and soy cheese.

The simple sugars raffinose and stachyose found in unfermented soy foods are not digestible and can cause flatulence and abdominal discomfort.

Health Benefits of Soybeans

  • Nutrients

Soybeans are an excellent source of protein and molybdenum. They are a very good source of iron, calcium, phosaphorus, and dietary fiber. They are a good source of vitamins B1, B2, B6, and E and folic acid. They also contain other health promoting compounds, including phytosterols, lecithin, isoflavones, phytoestrogens, and protease inhibitors. The amino acid profile of soy is a little low in methionine and tryptophan, but is still regarded as an excellent source of protein, soybeans (38% protein), soy flour (40 to 50% protein), soy protein concentrates (70% protein), and soy protein isolates (90 to 95% protein).

  • Reduce LDL Cholesterol

Increased consumption of soy foods has been associated with reduction in LDL cholesterol in both clinical and observational studies. Human studies have also shown that soy protein is effective in lowering plasma cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations.

  • Cancer Prevention

Soybean consumption is thought to be one of the major reasons for the relatively low rates of breast cancer and prostate cancer in Asian countries.

Results of numerous studies are suggestive of a possible relationship between phytoestrogen intake and reduced prostate cancer risk.

The results of the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study suggest that a high intake of soy bean curd (tofu) might have preventive effects against the risk of ovarian cancer.

  • Testosterone


There has been some evidence suggesting a mild inverse relationship between soy protein intake and testosterone levels in males. A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition concluded that a 12-week supplementation with soy protein did not decrease serum testosterone or inhibit lean body mass changes in subjects engaged in a resistance exercise program.


  • Coronary Artery Disease

In a study of forty-one hyperlipidemic men and postmenopausal women it was concluded that consumption of soy products reduces coronary artery disease risk because of both modest reductions in blood lipids and reductions in LDL cholesterol, homocysteine, and blood pressure.

1. Soy contains amounts of oxalate and individuals with a history of oxalate-

Containing kidney stones should consume soy in moderation.

2. Genetically modified soybeans should be avoided if possible.

3. Women with estrogen-sensitive breast tumors should restrict or avoid

Consumption of soy.

Compiled by: RaghdaSawas