In today’s world, it has become rampant among people to lose touch with food and its various benefits to our health. Even food specialists like dietitians and nutritionists may sometimes overlook the advantages of including ordinary foods like soy in our diet.
As much as soy has been consumed in Asian countries like China and Japan for thousands of years, it wasn’t until recently that Western culture began embracing soy as more than just an alternative to meat and dairy products.
The growing demand in Western countries and globally has made soy and its by-products easily available in stores. People are starting to fully acknowledge its nutritional value to their bodies, thus seeing the need to incorporate it into their diets.
Soy comes in various forms, such as soy milk, soy sauce, and tempeh. It is an excellent source of high-quality proteins, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. All these nutrients are shown to be associated with various health benefits, including improving bone health, lowering blood pressure, and offering protection against particular cancers.
This post will examine the top health benefits of soy protein that will help you embrace it and, to a much larger extent, convince you to add it to your diet. You’ll understand how the nutritional composition of soy protein contributes to a balanced diet and aids in nourishing your body. So let’s get started!
Enhances Cardiovascular Health
Soy protein may help to enhance cardiovascular health as it is low in saturated fat and cholesterol free.
Cholesterol is an essential substance in the human body that plays a key role in creating healthy cells. However, when it is in higher quantities than the regular amount required by the body, it puts cardiovascular health at risk as it can cause diseases like strokes and heart attacks.
Nonetheless, this is controllable by including soy foods such as edamame and tofu in your diet. They help lower cholesterol levels by eliminating the extra cholesterol from the walls of arteries and blood vessels, thus lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
So, with a well-managed global soy supply chain and properly informing people on the benefits of soy, we can help reduce the reported cases of heart problems at early stages.
Additionally, soy protein is essential in maintaining healthy blood pressure. It comprises vital fatty acids like linoleic and linolenic acids, which the body cannot produce. These acids in soy protein help reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
Relieves Sleep Disorders
Another health advantage of soy protein that people fail to recognize is that it relieves sleep disorders. Soy protein is an excellent source of magnesium that helps improve sleep quality by reducing insomnia and other sleeping problems. Magnesium helps ease the central nervous system and causes chemical reactions in the body that increase sleepiness.
Furthermore, soy protein comprises estrogen-like chemicals essential in regulating sleep, especially for postmenopausal women. Estrogen helps decrease sleep latency, increase sleep time, and enhance sleep maintenance.
Improves the Digestion Process
Soy protein has a significant amount of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is crucial for the proper operation of the entire body, and more essentially, it is a nutrient required by the digestive system for bulking up stools. This allows for easy passage through the intestines as they exit the body.
Dietary fiber also helps enhance the body’s peristaltic motion, the muscle contraction that drives food through the digestive system. Decreased peristaltic motion can lead to constipation. Thus, constipation patients should consume fiber-rich meals such as soy to help promote regular bowel motions.
Constipation is a serious condition that, if not properly treated, may cause significant diseases like hemorrhoids, fecal impaction, and bowel incontinence.
In addition to being a high source of fiber, soy proteins also contain oligosaccharides. This carbohydrate promotes the development of good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, thus ensuring a safe and healthy digestion system.
Promotes Growth of Healthy Bones
The process of bone formation is crucial, and it requires a constant and sufficient supply of certain nutrients.
Soy protein contains significant amounts of vitamins and minerals like calcium, zinc, potassium, and magnesium that promote the growth of strong and healthy bones. These soy nutrients help to advance the growth of new bones while also strengthening the existing ones and fastening the process of bone repair.
Health professionals suggest eating soybeans can be a long-term treatment for osteoporosis, a disorder that messes the bones by weakening them to an extent they are more likely to break.
Osteoporosis is a frequent ailment affecting older people. Therefore, soy protein should be a common part of their diet to promote the development of strong bones.
Provides Anticancer Benefits
Soy protein has been associated with a decreased likelihood of specific cancers, such as breast cancer in females, prostate cancer in males, and colorectal cancer in both genders. It is the richest source of isoflavones, a type of plant estrogen that functions similarly to human estrogen but with decreased impacts.
Soy isoflavones imitate the role of estrogen in humans through binding and activating estrogen receptors. In turn, this process helps reduce the growth of breast cancer cells in women.
Additionally, soy protein consists of adequate quantities of antioxidants. Antioxidants play a key role in offering protection from the damage caused by free radicals and destroying numerous cancer cells.
Free radicals are metabolism’s by-products that must be neutralized to prevent healthy cells from developing cancerous tumors and growth. With the help of soy antioxidants, the free radicals are destroyed, ensuring the body’s safety from cancer.
Contains High-Quality Proteins
Another outstanding health benefit of soy protein is its high protein concentration. Protein is present in every human cell as it is the building block of body cells and blood vessels. Therefore, soy protein helps to keep body cells in good shape by repairing the damaged ones and promoting the development of new cells.
In addition, protein helps oxygenate the body. The red blood cells comprise a protein element known as hemoglobin which carries oxygen throughout the body. Haemoglobin also helps transport carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs, giving the red blood cells their color and shape.
Moreover, soy protein helps curb hunger by eliminating the urge for frequent eating. It plays a critical role in reducing the levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and boosting the level of leptin, the hormone that makes you feel full.
Soy protein, when consumed in moderation, provides various health benefits that need to be acknowledged and embraced. Soy protein helps improve heart health, promotes the growth of healthy bones, reduces the risk of cancer, promotes digestion, and enhances sleep quality.
Also, soy protein is a reliable source of high-quality proteins that help the body reduce hunger and repair and build body cells. We should realize and embrace the benefits of soy protein by incorporating it into our diets, a process that has been made easier with the availability of soy protein in various food forms.