Soybeans, also called Soya Beans, belongs to the family of legumes. It is among the popularly consumed foods throughout the world. Soybeans have an abundance of disease-fighting phytonutrients and antioxidants that helps ward off a wide range of ailments. You can find them in various forms such as soy milk, soy flour, tofu, soy protein, soybean oil, and soy sauce. Soy recipes are not just delicious, but also easy to prepare.
In this article, we will discuss the nutritional profile, health advantages, and interesting homemade recipes of Soybeans.
Soybeans are native to eastern Asia. This makes them an integral component of Asian diets. Their cultivation and consumption began a thousand years back. Presently, they are cultivated in South America, North America, and Asia.
Their scientific name is Glycine max. They are classified under the category of oilseeds, in place of a pulse. A vegetarian diet is generally low in protein content. Due to the high amounts of plant-based protein, soybeans occupy a special place in a vegetarian diet. Due to its remarkable nutritional composition, this superfood has got a massive market.
It is consumed in the form of various types of soy products, such as textured vegetable protein, milk, flour, oil, etc. Different cultures enjoy soybeans in their own ways. Asian diets include this legume in the whole form. On the other hand, people in western regions, prefer eating a processed form of soy products.
Varieties Of Soybeans
There are about 2,500 different types of soybeans available in the market. The commonly sold types of soybeans are “black”, or “yellow”. These are available in the form of raw, mature, and roasted form. They are delicious, and crunchy in nature. They offer comparable carbs, energy, fiber, and protein.
Coming to the phytochemical composition, soybeans contain active molecules like tocopherols, phospholipids, sphingolipids, carotenoids, lunasin, isoflavones, saponins, and phytates. Phytic acid binds to ions such as mineral ions such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium, and the proteins, thereby making them less bioavailable.
Nutrition Facts Of Soybeans
Soybeans are highly nutrition-dense foods. They are high in protein and have decent amounts of saturated fat, and carbs. They are packed with all the necessary nutrients that include fiber, antioxidants, phytoestrogens, unsaturated Omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, calcium, iron, vitamin E, vitamins B, isoflavones.
This is the only vegetarian source that provides you all amino acids. Both fermented, as well as non-fermented varieties of soybeans, possess remarkable health, skin, and hair properties.
Per 3.5 ounces or 100 grams of boiled soybeans contains the following nutrients:
Protein: 16.6 grams
Carbohydrates: 9.9 grams
Sugar: 3 grams
Fiber: 6 grams
Fat: 9 grams
- Saturated: 1.3 grams
- Monounsaturated: 1.98 grams
- Polyunsaturated: 5.06 grams
- Omega-3: 0.6 grams
- Omega-6: 4.47 g
Soybean is a good source of various other nutrients such as:
- Vitamin K1
- Thiamine or vitamin B1, and
- bioactive plant compounds such as a potent antioxidant “Isoflavones”, Phytic acid, Saponins, and Isoflavones
Health Benefits Of Soybeans
Like the other types of whole foods, soybeans help promote overall health and wellness in a person.
1. Boosts Metabolism
Protein is an essential nutrient that helps build cells, tissues, blood vessels, and every vital part of the human body. It ensures adequate growth and regrowth of cells. Soybeans are a high source of protein. This nutrient keeps your metabolism active. So, you keep burning calories throughout the day.
2. Helps in Weight And Cholesterol Management
Another important use of soybeans is that they are linked to suppression of appetite in the body. This is due to their high fiber and protein content. It prevents overeating in a person that leads to obesity and various other risks.
The research done on soybean shows that this superfood lowers fat mass and body weight in a person. It reduces triglyceride and plasma cholesterol levels in the body. Soybeans provide healthy fat to the body that helps in the prevention of life-threatening ailments such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
3. Helps Protect The Skin
Soybeans have high amounts of bioactive ingredients such as isoflavonoids, tannins, proanthocyanidins, and trypsin inhibitors that show remarkable collagen-stimulating, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, UV protection, and skin lightening, effects in the body. Due to these properties, it is beneficial in keeping your skin in the best condition.
Soybean has anthocyanins that exhibit depigmentation properties. It inhibits the secretion of melanin that helps prevent the deposition of pigment in the body. The extracts of soybean have shown to reduce inflammation and wrinkles caused due to UV rays. It boosts the development of collagen and enhances skin elasticity too.
4. Lower the chances of Specific Cancers
Cancer is one of the important reasons for death in today’s age. Soy has potent two types of isoflavones i.e., genistein and daidzein that exhibits effective antioxidant attributes in the body. Its antiestrogenic and anticancer properties lower the risks of breast cancer in premenopausal women.
Soybean also has lunasin that shows cancer-preventive properties in the body. This makes it effective against prostate cancer in men.
5. Help Control Diabetes
Soybeans have complex carbs that have a low glycemic index. This along with the high dietary fiber content prevents a sudden spike in blood glucose levels in the body. Soybeans also have potent phytochemicals, peptides, and antioxidants that are effective in reducing inflammation that is the cause of diabetes.
Its impressive nutritional composition makes it effective in treating impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia, and controlling diabetes in the body.
6. Promotes Healthy Heart
Soybeans have isoflavones that are linked to cardiovascular benefits. It reduces the harmful cholesterol levels in the blood and prevents the deposition of inflammation-causing plaques in the blood vessels. This can obstruct the flow of blood to the heart and can lead to severe heart issues in the body.
Soybeans help improve cardiovascular health. It has phytoestrogens that act on receptors of estrogen in the body. It restricts the major enzyme system that leads to hypertension in the body.
7. Improves Sleep Quality
Sleep is very important for the proper functioning of the mental and physical faculties of the body. A study has shown that high consumption of isoflavones links to improved quality of sleep. Soybeans have plenty of isoflavones, which makes them helpful in treating sleep issues such as insomnia etc.
Soybean is also a good source of magnesium that is responsible for promoting restful and peaceful sleep for a good duration. Due to the presence of both these compounds, soybeans are considered to be an ideal inclusion in the diet of a person.
8. Helps Lessen Menopause Symptoms
A woman enters into menopause when her periods/menstruation stops. This condition is characterized by unpleasant symptoms that include sweating, mood swings, and hot flashes. The reduction in estrogen levels is the prime factor behind these discomforting symptoms.
Soy has good amounts of phytoestrogens that alleviates these symptoms. Daily consumption of 68 grams of soybeans daily gives you 135 mg of isoflavones per day that can help reduce menopausal symptoms to a considerable extent.
9. Enhances blood circulation
Soybeans have an abundance of copper and iron that are significant for the formation of red blood cells in the body. The appropriate amount of RBC in the body leads to an adequate flow of oxygen throughout the body and boosts the metabolism too.
10. Beneficial in pregnancy
Soybean has rich amounts of vitamin B complex and folic acid that makes it vital for the healthy development of pregnant women and her baby. Consumption of soy-based organic products such as folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects in babies that ensures healthy delivery and healthy baby.
11. Promotes healthy bones
Soybeans have impressive levels of selenium, magnesium, zinc, copper, and calcium that keeps your bones healthy, and stronger. These minerals help promote osteotropic activity. It makes your existing bones stronger and speeds up the development of new bones in the body. It also accelerates the rate of the bone healing process that makes it beneficial for the treatment of osteoporosis. Thus, incorporating soybeans in the diet keeps your bones strong and healthy.
12. Improves Digestion
Dietary fiber plays an important role in digestion. It bulks up the stool and facilitates bowel movement through the intestines. Soybeans have ample amounts of dietary fiber that are effective in the treatment of digestive troubles such as constipation, painful excretion, piles, bleeding, and colorectal cancer. Soybean also contains a specific carbohydrate named oligosaccharides, that stimulates the development of healthy bacteria in the intestine.
How To Prepare Soybeans?
Soybeans should not be eaten raw. This is because they are not easy to digest in raw form. Roasting, boiling, and steaming are some of the popular methods to make these beans. It is important to soak dried beans overnight before you cook them.
On the next morning, boil them in water in a ratio of 3:1. Roasting is a fast method to prepare soybeans. There are several delicious recipes that you can make from crunchy roasted soybeans.
Healthy Soybean Recipes
Besides the traditional means of eating boiled soybeans, there are several tasty ways to incorporate these healthy beans into your diet.
1. Soya Kebabs
- 2 cups-soaked Soya granules
- 1 tsp Vinegar
- 2 pieces of crumbled Brown Bread
- 2 tsp Garlic paste
- ½ tsp black pepper powder
- ¼ cup Chopped onions
- 2 tsp Chopped green chilies
- 1 tsp Chili powder
- Oil for cooking
- Salt to taste
Method of Preparation:
- In a bowl, add all the ingredients (except oil) and form a dough. Make small balls of it and give them desired shapes using your hands
- On a flat pan, fry these kebabs in oil till they turn golden brown on both sides.
- Serve hot with tomato sauce and coriander chutney.
2. Soybean And Quinoa Clean Salad
- 2 cups dried red quinoa
- 4-5 cups of water
- 1 cup Soybeans
- 1 large-sized apple
- 1 medium-sized orange
- 1 cup Broccoli
- ¼ cup diced Tomato
- Salt: to taste
Method of Preparation:
- Boil water and add quinoa to it.
- Let the water starts boiling. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes on low flame till quinoa is completely cooked.
- Let it come to normal temperature.
- Prepare a salad of apples, oranges, broccoli, and tomato in a bowl.
- Add cooked quinoa to it.
- Finally, add the soybeans, and sprinkle some salt over it.
- Marinate it for five to ten minutes you serve it.
- The best way to enjoy this healthy salad is in the cold form with some crispy tortilla and nachos chips.
Soybean is a versatile food. In addition to the above recipes, you can also prepare delicious soybean cutlets, chips, curries, soups, and hummus. Those who don’t have much time to prepare soy dishes can even get pre-cooked economical and delectable soy products, soy milk, etc. in the market.
How to Consume Soybeans?
As per the FDA, a diet that has low amounts of cholesterol, and saturated fat with 25grams to 30 grams of soy protein helps lower the chances of several types of diseases in the body. Soy food contains around 6.25 grams of soy protein/serving. 1 cup or 172 grams of unsalted or cooked soybeans contain around 30 grams of protein. So, consuming one and a half cups of soybeans per day is safe.
Side Effects Of Soybeans
Soybeans are generally safe when they are eaten in limited amounts. They also taste excellent when you cook them in the right way. However, an excess amount of soybean consumption increases the number of phytosterols, insoluble fiber, and protein in the body that results in constipation, and nausea.
Being a high-fiber food, soybean can lead to abdominal discomfort, bloating, and flatulence in the body. So, people who are on a low fiber diet should eliminate soybeans from the diet. Soybeans contain oligosaccharides that can worsen symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in the body.
In this way, soybean leads to abdominal issues in the body. Sticking to the right dosage helps in the prevention of these effects. Before you consume this legume, you should talk to the nutritionist. He will help decide the admissible portion of this food.
- Another side effect of soybean is that its high consumption suppresses thyroid functioning in the body. It contributes to hypothyroidism that is characterized by the low secretion of thyroid hormones in the body. Its symptoms include sleepiness, thyroid enlargement, and discomfort. This condition is mostly noticed in people who have an underperforming thyroid gland.
- There are certain people who are allergic to soy products. This happens because soy proteins such as conglycinin and glycinin that triggers soy allergy in them.
- Soybeans have compounds that mimic the behavior of the estrogen hormone in the body. Consuming soy products can cause infertility, low sperm count, sexual dysfunction, and also specific types of cancers in the body.
How to Store Soybeans?
To get the maximum benefits from soy products, you need to learn the correct method of its storage. You can buy soybeans in canned, dry, or frozen form. The right way to store frozen beans is to store them in the freezer till they are ready to use. Store dried and canned beans in a dry and cool place. Left-over soybeans that remain after cooking, can be refrigerated in an airtight jar. You can use them for a maximum of three days.
Soybean offers a wide range of vital health-boosting nutrients that includes plant compounds, minerals, and vitamins that offer innumerable health benefits. Regular consumption of nutrient-dense legumes is helpful at lowering the chances of breast, and prostate cancers.
It promotes a healthy heart, stronger bones, and active metabolism in the body. However, in some cases, soybean products can even lead to gut problems and suppressed thyroid function in the body.
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