Soybeans are high in protein, and are also a decent source of both carbs and fat. Soy foods are rich in vitamins and minerals including folate, potassium and fiber.
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.
It helps 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.
There are several products gotten from soybeans, they include; soy cheese, soy yogurt, soy nut butter, soy sauce, soy oil, soy milk and soy ice cream. Which ever way its taken, the benefits still remain.
Soybeans contain antioxidants and phytonutrients that have been linked with various health benefits. Some of these benefits are:
(1) Metabolic Activity
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.
(2) Prevention of Breast and Prostate Cancer
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in modern society. Eating soy products has been linked with increased breast tissue in women
However, most observational studies indicate that consumption of soy products may reduce the risk of breast cancer. Studies also indicate a protective effect against prostate cancer in men.
(3) Healthy weight gain
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.
(4) Alleviation of Menopausal Symptoms
Menopause is the period in a woman’s life when menstruation stops. It is often associated with unpleasant symptoms, such as sweating, hot flashes, and mood swings, effects that are brought about by a reduction in estrogen levels.
Studies indicate that isoflavones, a family of phytoestrogens found in soybeans, may alleviate the symptoms of menopause. Soy products do not affect all women in this way.
Soy only seems to be effective in so-called equol producers, women who possess a type of gut bacteria able to convert isoflavones into equol. Equol has been suggested to be responsible for many of the beneficial health effects of soy consumption.
(5) Bone Health
Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by reduced bone density and increased risk of fractures, especially in elderly women. Consumption of soy products may reduce the risk of osteoporosis in women that have undergone menopause.
(6) Digestive Health
Soybeans are rich in fiber which is one of the most common elements to be lacking in a person’s diet. 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.
(7) Birth Defects
The vitamin B complex levels in soybeans is high, 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.
(8) Circulation and Oxygenation
Copper and iron are two 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.
Adverse Effects and Individual Concerns
Even though soybeans have a number of health benefits, some individuals need to limit the consumption of soy products, or avoid them altogether. There are some potentially negative health effects of consuming soybeans as a part of your diet which include the following:
(1) Suppression of Thyroid Function
There are concerns that high consumption of soy products may suppress thyroid function in some people and contribute to hypothyroidism. The thyroid is a large gland that regulates growth and controls the rate at which the body expends energy.
Studies indicate that isoflavones, found in soybeans, may suppress the formation of thyroid hormones in humans.
(2) Estrogen Levels
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.
(3) Flatulence and Diarrhea
Like most other beans, soybeans contain insoluble fibers, mainly raffinose and stachyose, which may cause flatulence and diarrhea in sensitive individual.
Although not unhealthy, these side effects of soybean consumption can be unpleasant.
There are certain anti-thyroid 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.
(5) Soy Allergy
Food allergy is a common condition, caused by a harmful immune reaction to certain components in foods. Some people are allergic to soybeans and need to avoid them altogether.
Its best you know your body system and know what it can take.
Besides these effects, which is seen in just a few people, soybean is a healthy and beneficial choice of food.
Eat healthy, live long!