We often hear that people who are vegetarian are not able to complete their protein intake or experience protein deficiency. Most of the individuals blame vegetarian diet for this. However, are you aware that even vegetarian diet can meet the protein demands of your body? You must be wondering that how is this possible without eating eggs and chicken? The answer is SOYABEAN.
Soyabeans are considered a good friend of vegetarians and is often called the “vegetarian meat”. They are regarded as complete and high-quality protein. In addition, they are rich in fat (low in saturated fat) and fiber but contain low carbohydrates and no cholesterol. Moreover, they are packed with several minerals such as calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, molybdenum, selenium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and vitamin B, C, E, and K. They also consist of antioxidants and organic compounds.
Despite being one of the best sources of plant-based proteins, the worth of these wonderful beans has remained behind the curtains. So let’s explore this food item by having a look at its benefits.
Benefits of soyabean
Soya-based items have garnered considerable attention in the market due to their vast variety including whole soyabeans, soya milk, tofu, soya flour, soyabean oil, and soya sauce. Various health organizations have allocated soyabeans in the category of a key food group that aid in optimizing health and preventing disease. Adding soya to your diet may provide multiple benefits, some of which are mentioned below.
1. Fulfills vitamin B12 requirements
It appears to be an ideal option for those of you who are vegetarian and want to increase their protein intake. Moreover, some of you would be strict vegetarians and may avoid consuming products obtained from animals including milk and cheese. This may lead to lack of vitamin B12 in your body. Thus, if you are one of them, soya-based products such as soya milk could be a suitable substitute which may help in meeting your vitamin B12 requirements.
2. Improves metabolism
Proteins are important for maintaining proper health and regrowth of cells if they need to be repaired or replaced. It can be difficult for you to obtain an adequate amount of protein if you follow a vegetarian lifestyle. Therefore, soyabean can serve as an excellent alternative for proteins that are usually acquired from eggs, chicken, dairy products, and fish.
3. Protects and boosts heart health
Eating soya protein instead of animal protein may help in reducing or maintaining cholesterol levels. In addition, it decreases the risk of heart diseases such as atherosclerosis that can lead to heart attack and stroke. Furthermore, two fatty acids, linoleic acid and linolenic acid present in soyabean aid in regulating smooth muscle function and maintaining blood pressure within the normal range.
4. Promotes bone health
Soyabean is known to have a positive impact on the bone and calcium balance in post-menopausal women. Studies have shown that it may decrease the risk of osteoporosis in women who have undergone menopausal stage, even those who are vegetarians.
5. Relieves menopausal symptoms
Menopause could be a very difficult period of life for many females. Soyabean intake during this phase can help in easing many symptoms of menopause, such as mood swings, hunger pains, and hot flashes. This could be due to the presence of isoflavones in soyabean, a vital component of the female reproductive system.
6. Controls diabetes and reduces weight
Soyabean has a low glycemic index (a measure which is used to estimate the effect of food on rising blood sugar after a meal) due to its low carbohydrate content. In addition, it also helps in losing weight. Thus, soya substitution seems to be a good trade-off among those who are obese or have diabetes, regardless of being vegetarian or non-vegetarian.
7. Prevents cancer
Due to the high amount of antioxidants in soyabean, studies have suggested that it offers high potential for preventing the onset of various cancers such as breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Are there any disadvantages?
Maybe or maybe not…
Although soya protein displays many advantages, few drawbacks of this food product have been observed. High intake of soyabean may cause gas and diarrhea. Sometimes, its consumption can also result in a hormonal imbalance.
Excluding people who are allergic to soya protein, soyabean and soya-based foods could be a super-healthy addition to the diet of vegetarians. As they are easy to use, you can enjoy several delicious dishes by incorporating them into your diet.