Published: 09/28/2012 - Updated: 08/31/2016
The reputation of soy as a super food is now stronger than ever, not only is good for the heart, it fights cancer and also protects bones.
In a study conducted in China, 68,000 women who ate more soy in a diet were about 30% less likely to develop colorectal cancer.
While another study with 14,000 Japanese men who ate soy regularly, showed that reduced the risk of prostate cancer by up to 40%. No doubt worth eating soy.
Nutritional properties of soy
Soy is part of the large family of legumes, and was one of the first foods grown by humans. It comes from Asia and had been cultivated in China for 13,000 years.
Like all good source of vegetable protein, the protein of soy is almost as complete as proteins originating from the meat.
All legumes, such as soybeans, have no cholesterol. Although soy is a bit fatter than other legumes, it is only good fat (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 fatty acids).
Soy is also an excellent source of minerals like calcium, iron and zinc.
Remember that our bodies don’t absorb iron plant (legumes, grains, vegetables, nuts, tofu) as it absorbs animal iron. Eat vitamin C sources with meals to help your vegetable iron absorption. Examples of vitamin C rich foods include citrus fruits, red peppers, strawberries and broccoli.
Benefits of soy for health
The chemical composition of soy and the effect on human health have been studied for more than 20 years.
Heart health: The addition of soy foods may help reduce certain blood fats, improve vascular function and help control blood pressure.
Menopause: A daily intake of 2 to 3 servings of soy foods a day can help reduce the symptoms of menopause. One serving equals 250 ml of soy drink, 125 ml of cooked soybeans, tofu 100 g or 60 g of edamame.
Breast cancer: To help prevent breast cancer, soy foods should be eaten starting from childhood or adolescence. Start eating soy products during adulthood; they may prevent breast cancer. For breast cancer survivors, soy is still a healthy food because its adds protein, fiber and variety. Soy supplements form pills, powders and isolated components of soy foods aren’t as effective as fresh soy.
Soy, a versatile food
To include soy in our diet can add variety. I will bring some recommendations to use it in your diet.
Try the edamame
It is a practical and easy to consume soy product. These sweet soybeans can be stored in the freezer. Buy them peeled for preparing side dishes very fast. Steam them for 10 minutes and then add them parmesan cheese or soy sauce; also we can add them to stews or pasta.
Experiment with miso
Made from fermented soybeans, you can use it instead of butter, potatoes and pasta, and get a nutty and salty flavor.
Experiment with tofu
Dry it with a napkin and freeze. Thawed liquid releases and it results more consistent with a fibrous texture, perfect for grilling on skewers with teriyaki or barbecue sauce.