Whether you gobble them up whole at a sushi restaurant or add it to your post-workout shake, soybeans and soy supplements are loaded with health benefits. These amazing legumes do a lot more than taste great.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, humans have been using soybeans as a food source for about 5,000 years. Soy supplements, whether they're capsules, powders or even bars, are produced from soybeans, which must be cooked to kill toxic trypsin inhibitors before being consumed or processed. The active ingredients within soybeans are soy isoflavones, which are credited with soy's many positive effects.
Wondering what else soy can do? Here are 10 reasons we think you should give soy a try for your health:
1.Protein Alternative -- Soy is a great option for anyone looking to add more protein to their diet but want/need to avoid dairy products. You can find soy protein powder to make shakes with and soy milk, along with a host of other foods using soy as the main source of complete protein. Soybeans are also low in fat but rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber as well.
2. Heart Health -- Soy has been shown to have positive effects on a number of heart-related issues, including lowering "bad" (LDL) cholesterol and high blood pressure and maintaining the integrity of the blood vessels to prevent heart disease. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends 25 mg of soy protein per day, as part of low-saturated fat, low-cholesterol diet to prevent heart disease.
3. Women's Wellness -- Women turn to soy during the different hormonal changes within their lives. Soy can help reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), like cramping, as well as the hot flashes of menopause. Adding soy to the diet also supports breast health, reducing pain and possibly the risk for breast cancer.
4.Cancer Prevention -- As mentioned above, soy is being studied for its role in preventing certain types of cancer, including breast, lung, endometrial and prostate cancer. In an 2003 study published in the medical journal Cancer investigation, genistein, one of the soy isoflavones, was shown to prevent carcinogenesis in animals.
5. Diabetes -- Soy supplements can help reduce the risk for kidney disease as well as heart disease in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Adding a soy supplement can help these vital organs function normally, reduce the loss of protein in the urine and boost "good" (HDL) cholesterol while lowering LDL cholesterol.
6. Strong Bones -- Soybean supplements and food products can also protect the bones from losing density and mass, which can lead to osteopenia and osteoporosis. For individuals who don't consume dairy, this can be a calcium-rich option to prevent bones from weakening, which can cause fractures and breaks.
7.Baby Nutrition -- Soy can be found in infant formulas instead of milk produced by cows. A 100 g portion of soybeans contains approximately 197 mg of calcium, 29 mg of vitamin C and 6.8 g of protein. Perfect for vegans/vegetarians or for babies who are lactose intolerant, you can find these formulas in liquid or powdered form for mixing on your own.
8. Antioxidant Power -- Soybean oil is rich in antioxidants like vitamin E, more than extra virgin olive oil, which helps reduce oxidative stress within the body. Antioxidants also fight off free radicals, which can damage the cells, and strengthen the immune system.
9. Brain Support -- You can get a healthy dose of omega-6 fatty acids from soy. Omega-6 fatty acids are beneficial not only to heart health, but also protect the tissues of the brain to help hinder cognitive decline.
10. Fitness Formula -- Soy protein powders and soy milk can help you manage weight as a healthy dairy substitute. With plenty of nutrients and a healthy dose of fiber, soy can help you feel full longer without all the extra calories and fat. Soy protein can also fuel your workout and help muscles recover afterward, so you build lean muscle.
Soy products can cause mild digestive upset, so follow instructions carefully. Soy is also a very common allergen, so be sure to check with your doctor before adding a soy supplement to your routine, especially if you suspect you may be allergic.
Check out our great selection of soy products and supplements at eVitamins. We'll be back next Monday with another great supplement. Have a great week!
Products you may like:
Now Foods Soy Isoflavones Why you may like this product? Soy isoflavones have many
healthful benefits, including
relieving symptoms associated
with menopause, like hot
flashes. Now's supplement
provides 150 mg per capsule,
and can be taken daily to help
Nature's Plus Spiru-Tein Vanilla Why you may like this product? Each serving of this
delicious, easy-mix powder
provides 14 g of protein plus
100 percent of the recommended
dietary allowance (RDA) of
calcium. Available in 10
flavors, this soy protein
powder helps to boost energy
and leave you feeling
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