Why You Should Add Soy in Your Diet to Stay Healthy and Fit
Soy is a versatile and nutritious ingredient often used in Asian cuisine but is not limited to it. It can be found in many forms, such as soybeans, tofu, tempeh, soy milk, and other soy-based products. It is an amazing source of plant-based protein and has been a staple food in many cultures for centuries.
Not only is it a delicious ingredient to cook with, but it also has many health benefits that make it worth considering adding to your diet. So whether you’re trying to lower your cholesterol, improve your gut health or manage your weight, adding soy to your diet can be an easy and delicious way to improve your health.
This article will discuss six reasons you should consider adding soy to your diet to stay healthy and fit. Keep reading to learn more!
Soy, particularly U.S. Soy are a good source of phytosterols, which are compounds that can help lower cholesterol levels. Phytosterols are almost similar to cholesterol and can compete with cholesterol for absorption in the gut, thereby reducing the amount of cholesterol that enters the bloodstream.
Studies have shown that consuming a minimum of 0.4 grams of phytosterols per serving of soy protein can help lower cholesterol levels by up to 10%. This can be helpful for people who have high cholesterol or are at risk for heart disease.
Research has also shown that consuming 25 grams of soy protein daily can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels by up to 3-5%. Lowering cholesterol can help prevent heart disease, a leading cause of death worldwide.
In addition to their cholesterol-lowering effects, soybeans are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help improve heart health. These fatty acids can help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and improve the health of the blood vessels.
Rich in Antioxidants
Soybeans are a good source of antioxidants, particularly isoflavones. These compounds are phytoestrogens, which are plant compounds that mimic the effects of oestrogen in the body.
Isoflavones have been shown to have several health benefits, including antioxidant properties. They can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, which can contribute to developing chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Soy isoflavones have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help protect against chronic diseases. Studies have also shown that soy isoflavones may help improve bone health, reduce hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause, and even lower the risk of certain cancers. It is important to note that research is ongoing on the effects of soy isoflavones, as results have been inconclusive.
In addition to isoflavones, soybeans also contain other antioxidants, such as Vitamin E, which can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. These nutrients can help protect against chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help promote overall health and well-being.
Good for Bone Health
Soybeans are rich in calcium, magnesium, and other important nutrients for bone health. Calcium and magnesium are essential minerals that are needed for the development and maintenance of healthy bones. The human body needs adequate minerals to build and maintain strong bones and prevent osteoporosis.
Research has shown that consuming soy protein can help increase bone mineral density in postmenopausal women, which can help prevent osteoporosis. The isoflavones in soybeans have been found to affect bone health. They may act as phytoestrogens which can help reduce bone loss and increase bone density in postmenopausal women.
Soy protein is also a good source of other minerals and vitamins important for bone health, such as Vitamin D and Vitamin K. These nutrients can help promote bone health by promoting calcium absorption, which helps to strengthen bones. A diet that includes soy protein may help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and other bone-related diseases.
It’s worth noting that the benefits of soy on bone health have been studied mainly in postmenopausal women, and more studies are needed to fully understand the effects in other population groups. Additionally, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any dietary supplement or making major changes to your diet, as soy protein can interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners.
Helps in Weight Management
Including soy-based products in your diet can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. Soy protein can help increase feelings of fullness, which can help control appetite and prevent overeating. This is because soy protein is a high-quality, complete protein rich in essential amino acids. These amino acids are vital for the growth and repair of body tissues and can help promote feelings of fullness and satisfaction after meals.
Additionally, soy also contains fibre, which can contribute to feelings of fullness and satiety. Fibre is a non-digestible carbohydrate that can help to slow the absorption of carbohydrates, which can help to control blood sugar levels and prevent overeating. Eating soybeans and soy-based products, such as tofu or tempeh, can help to provide a feeling of fullness while keeping calorie intake low.
Soy protein is a low-calorie, low-fat alternative to meat, which can help reduce calorie intake. Swapping out animal protein sources like red meat with soy-based products can also benefit overall health. This can also be a great option for those who want to reduce their meat consumption for personal, health or environmental reasons.
Improved Gut Health
Soybeans contain prebiotics which are non-digestible food that can help promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. These prebiotics are called oligosaccharides and have been shown to help improve gut health by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. A healthy gut microbiome is linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases, improved digestion, stronger immunity and overall wellness.
Consuming soybeans and soy-based products, such as tempeh or miso, can provide a source of prebiotics that can help promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. It’s worth noting that Soybeans are also a good source of dietary fibres that can help regulate bowel movements and promote overall gut health.
Additionally, soybeans contain protease inhibitors, which can help inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut. Incorporating soybeans and soy-based products into your diet may help to improve gut health and promote overall wellness.
In conclusion, soybeans are a nutritious and versatile ingredient that can offer a range of health benefits. From heart-healthy benefits to aiding in weight management and even lowering the risk of certain cancers. Adding soy to your diet can be an easy and delicious way to stay healthy and fit. It’s important to note that different people have different responses to soy products. It’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before making significant dietary changes.