Soybeans, which are also known as soya beans, are a species of legume that has become one of the most widely consumed foods in the world. They are extremely useful for human health and are easy to cultivate as well. These legumes are produced in greatest numbers in the United States and South America, but they are actually native to East Asia. Their scientific name is Glycine max, and they are classified as an oilseed, rather than a pulse, like most legumes.
Soybeans have become wildly important and popular in recent decades because of the rise in soy food’s popularity, including soy milk and textured vegetable protein. The high levels of protein make these soy products an ideal protein source for vegetarians and the variety of soy products has created a massive new market altogether.
The health benefits of soybeans include the following:
Improve Metabolic Activity
Soybeans are an extremely important source of protein. When you have enough proteins in your body, your metabolic functioning and the 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 proper health and regrowth of cells if they need to be repaired or replaced. It can be challenging to get enough protein when you follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, so soybeans provide an excellent alternative to your body’s daily requirements for proteins normally obtained from red meat, chicken, eggs, dairy products, and fish.
Healthy Weight Gain
A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food reveals that black soybean seed coats have an anti-obesity effect. Soybeans and soy-based products have been associated with appetite suppression to eliminate overeating, which can lead to obesity and other related risks. However, soybeans also provide a decent amount of fiber and protein, which can help in weight gain if, eaten in large quantities. Therefore, soybeans are beneficial for people who want to lose weight as well as the ones who want to gain some. Furthermore, the weight they provide to your body is not unhealthy high-fat or high cholesterol in nature, which protects you from dangerous conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Soybeans have high levels of antioxidants present in them, says a study by researcher Dan Pratt of Purdue University. This makes them good for preventing the onset of various cancers. Antioxidants seek out and neutralize free radicals, which are the dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism. These free radicals can cause healthy cells to mutate into deadly cancerous cells.
Furthermore, according to the American Institute of Cancer Research, soybeans are rich in fiber content which is also linked to a lower risk of colorectal and colon cancer. Also, research on the anticancer effects of soybeans on other types of cancer is ongoing.
Boost Heart Health
Soybeans are a source of healthy, unsaturated fat, which helps you lower your total cholesterol, specifically LDL cholesterol levels. This allows you to prevent conditions like atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease, which can easily lead to heart attack and stroke. This is confirmed by a study conducted by Dr. James Anderson, et al., University of Kentucky. Furthermore, there are some specific fatty acids that are necessary for a healthy system. Two of those fatty acids are linolenic acid, known as omega 6, and alpha-linolenic acid, known as omega 3. Omega 3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects and have a very important role in vision and brain health. Omega 6 fatty acids are also known to provide energy for the body. Finally, the fiber in soybeans has actually been shown to reduce cholesterol levels in the body by scraping excess cholesterol off the walls of blood vessels and arteries
Relieve Menopausal Symptoms
Soybeans are a very good source of isoflavones, which are essential components of the female reproductive system. During menopause, estrogen levels drop significantly. Isoflavones are able to bind to estrogen receptor cells, so the body doesn’t feel as though it is going through such a dramatic change. This can ease many of the symptoms of menopause such as mood swings, hot flashes, and hunger pains. Menopause can be a traumatic time of life for many women and soybeans are a great way to ease that major life transition.
One of the most common elements lacking in many people’s diet is dietary fiber, which is present in high quantities in soybeans. Fiber is an essential part of a healthy body, particularly in terms of the digestive system. Fiber bulks up your stool, making it move through your digestive system smoothly. Furthermore, it stimulates peristaltic motion, which is the contraction of the smooth muscles that push food through your system. It is vital also because constipation can be a very serious condition that can lead to serious conditions, including colorectal cancer. Soybeans also contain the carbohydrate known as oligosaccharides known to stimulate the production of healthy bacteria in the intestines, thus serving as a great source of prebiotics.
Improve Bone Health
Soybeans have a high vitamin and mineral content and the impressive levels of calcium, magnesium, copper, selenium, and zinc in them are also very important for healthy bones. All of these elements are essential for promoting osteotropic activity, which allows for new bones to grow and also speeds up the bone healing process. Eating soybeans can be a long-term solution for problems like osteoporosis, which commonly occurs as we age.
Prevent Birth Defects
The high levels of vitamin B complex and folic acid in soybeans are very important for pregnant women. Folic acid ensures the prevention of neural tube defects in infants, which ensures a happy and healthy baby.
Soybeans are rich and highly nutritious legumes, as per the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 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 they need to function efficiently. This maximizes metabolic activity and increases energy levels, while also avoiding dangerous conditions like anemia. The isoflavones in soybeans help to improve blood flow by reducing plaque formation in the walls of the artery.
Soybeans are an effective method of prevention and management of diabetes, primarily because they have shown an ability to increase insulin receptors in the body, thereby helping manage the disease effectively or prevent it from occurring in the first place. Additionally, soybeans have a lower carbohydrate content which makes it a great addition to diabetic-friendly meals.
Relieve Sleep Disorders
Soybeans help in reducing sleep disorders and the occurrence of insomnia. They also have a high content of magnesium, as highlighted by researchers of the University of Kentucky in their study published in the Plant Physiology journal. Magnesium is directly linked to increasing the quality, duration, and restfulness of your sleep.
Source: Organic Facts