Soybeans have a wealth of health benefits, including the ability to improve the metabolism, help people gain weight in a healthy way, protect heart health, defend against cancer, reduce the effects of menopause, improve digestive health, promotes bone health, protect against birth defects, increase circulation, decrease the risk of diabetes, and generally tones up the body.
Table of Contents
- What are Soybeans?
- Soybeans Nutrition Facts
- Health Benefits of Soybeans
- Side Effects of Soybeans
What are Soybeans?
Soybeans, which are also known as soya beans, are a species of legume that have become one of the most widely consumed foods in the world. They are extremely useful for human health, and they are easy to cultivate as well. They are produced in greatest numbers in the United States and South America, but they are actually native to East Asia. Their scientific name is Glycine max, and they are classified as an oil seed, rather than a pulse, like most legumes. Soybeans have become so wildly important and popular in recent decades because of the rise of soy food’s popularity, including soy milk and textured vegetable protein. The high levels of protein make it an ideal protein source for vegetarians, and the wide variety of soy products has created a massive new market.
One of the reasons it is so widely cultivated is because it contains more protein per acre of land than any other crop. They grow up to 2 meters in height and is a green, low-lying plant. The soy protein are so universally useful that this small, unassuming bean has become globally significant. Furthermore, soybeans are packed with other essential nutrients, making it extremely important for people on diets, those who need to improve their general health, and vegetarians and vegans throughout the world. We can talk about the importance of soybeans all day, but why are they so important? What exactly is contained in these wonderful beans? Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional facts of soybeans.
The many health benefits of soybeans comes from the wealth of nutrients, vitamins, organic compounds, and other nutrients, including a significant amount of dietary fiber and a very large amount of protein. In terms of vitamins, soybeans contains vitamin K, riboflavin, folate, vitamin B6, thiamin, and vitamin C. As for minerals, soybeans contain significant amounts of iron, manganese, phosphorous, copper, potassium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and calcium. It is also a good source of organic compounds and antioxidants, further boosting the healthy impact of soybeans.
Health Benefits of Soybeans
The many health benefits of soybeans include the following:
Improve Metabolic Activity
As mentioned above, soybeans are an extremely important source of protein. When you have enough proteins in your body, then your metabolic functioning and overall system will get a major boost. Proteins are the building blocks of cells and blood vessels and basically every essential part of the human body. Proteins from soybeans ensure the proper health and regrowth of cells if they need to be repaired or replaced. It can be difficult to get enough protein when you follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, so soybeans provide an excellent replacement for the proteins normally acquired in red meat, chicken, eggs, dairy products, and fish.
Healthy Weight Gain
Soybeans actually work in both ways, actually. First of all, soybeans and soy-based products have been associated with appetite suppression, which can help people eliminate overeating, which can lead to obesity and all of the related risks. However, soybeans also provide a decent amount of fiber and protein, which can help lead to weight gain, if soybeans are eaten in large quantities. Therefore, soybeans are beneficial for people that want to both lose and gain weight. Furthermore, the weight that it can provide your body is not unhealthy high-fat or high cholesterol in nature, which protects you from dangerous conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
The levels of antioxidants in soybeans make it generally good for preventing the onset of various cancers. Antioxidants seek out and neutralize free radicals, which are the dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism. These free radicals can cause healthy cells to mutate into deadly cancer cells. Furthermore, the high fiber content in soybeans means has been connected to a reduction in colorectal and colon cancer, since fiber helps to ease the digestive process and put far less strain on the gastrointestinal system.
Boost Heart Health
Soybeans do supply some fat, but it is not supplying you with a saturated fat diet. Soybeans are a source of healthier, unsaturated fat, which helps you lower your total cholesterol. This can allow you to prevent conditions like atherosclerosis, which can easily lead to heart attacks and strokes. Furthermore, there are some specific fatty acids that are necessary for a healthy system. Two of those fatty acids are linoleic acid and linolenic acid. These two fatty acids, found in significant amounts in soybeans, regulate smooth muscle function in the body, and helps to maintain appropriate blood pressure levels. Finally, the fiber in soybeans has actually been shown to reduce cholesterol levels in the body by scraping that excess off of the walls of blood vessels and arteries.
Relieve Menopausal Symptoms
Soybeans are a very good source of isoflavones, which are essential components of the female reproductive system. During menopause, estrogen levels drop significantly. Isoflavones are able to bind to estrogen receptor cells, so the body doesn’t feel as though it is going through such a dramatic decrease. This can ease many of the symptoms of menopause, such as mood swings, hot flashes, and hunger pains. Menopause can be a traumatic time of life for many women, but soybeans are a great way to ease that major life transition.
Boost Digestive Health
One of the most common elements to be lacking in a person’s diet is fiber. Fiber is an essential part of a healthy body, particularly in terms of the digestive system. Fiber actually bulks up your stool, making it move through your digestive system smoothly. Furthermore, fiber stimulates peristaltic motion, which is the contraction of the smooth muscles that pushes food through your system. Fiber is vital to our bodies because constipation can be a very serious condition that can lead to more serious conditions, including colorectal cancer.
Improve Bone Health
There is a very high vitamin and mineral content in soybeans, and the impressive levels of calcium, magnesium, copper, selenium, and zinc are very important for a variety of processes in the body. Perhaps most important is their role in bone health. All of these elements are essential for promoting osteotrophic activity, which allows for new bones to grow and also speeds up the healing process of bones. Eating soybeans can be a long-term solution for problems like osteoporosis, which commonly occurs as we age.
Prevent Birth Defects
The vitamin B complex levels in soybeans is impressive as well, and the high levels of folic acid are very important for pregnant women. Folic acid ensures the prevention of neural tube defects in infants, which ensures a happy and healthy baby.
Copper and iron are to minerals found in abundance in soybeans, and both of these are essential for the formation of red blood cells. With an appropriate amount of red blood cells in the body, extremities of the body and essential organ systems can get the blood flow and oxygen that they need to function efficiently. This maximized metabolic activity and increases energy levels, while also avoiding dangerous conditions like anemia.
This dreaded disease has been on the rise in the global population for more than a decade. Soybeans are an effective method of prevention and management of this disease, primarily because soybeans have shown an ability to increase insulin receptors in the body, thereby helping to manage the disease effectively or prevent it from occurring in the first place. Early studies focusing on this specific relationship of soy products to a decrease in Type 2 diabetes are still in the early stages, but the early results are very promising, primarily in Asian populations.
Relieve Sleep Disorders
Soybeans help to regulate a number of aspects of the metabolism, which should be able to help in reducing sleep disorders and the occurrence of insomnia. However, soybeans also have a high content of magnesium, which is a mineral that is directly linked to increasing the quality, duration, and restfulness of your sleep.
Side Effects of Soybeans
Although there are a wide range of beneficial aspects to consuming soybeans and related soy products, there are also some potentially negative health effects of consuming soybeans as a part of your diet. For example:
Estrogen Levels: Since there are estrogen-mimicking compounds in soybeans, men can occasionally develop a hormonal imbalance if they consume high amounts of soybeans or soy milk, for example. In men, this can lead to infertility, sexual dysfunction, lower sperm count, and even an increase in the chances of certain cancers. Additional research is ongoing in this area.
Goiters: There are certain anti-thyrodi compounds contained in soy that can disrupt the activity of the thyroid gland and result in goiters, as well as an interruption of normal hormonal activity in the body.
Besides these effects, which are seen in a relatively small portion of the population, soy is a healthy and beneficial choice for millions of people around the world. Give it a try!