Glycine max, commonly known as soybean in North America or soya bean, is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses. Traditional non-fermented food uses of soybeans include soy milk from which tofu and tofu skin are made. The protein in soy is a “complete” protein — the most complete you can get from vegetable sources — and just as good nutritionally as animal protein. They are an excellent source of a variety of nutrients, including iron, vitamin B6, and phosphorus, and a good source of potassium and calcium. Also, they are rich in the phytochemicals called isoflavones.
Nutrition Table (as per USDA National Nutrient Database)
Legume Leader in Protein –
Your body needs protein, which is a complex organic compound made up of amino acids, for basic cell function. Complete proteins contain the nine essential amino acids. As MedlinePlus explains, your body can’t synthesize these essential amino acid, so food is your only source. Soybeans are higher in protein than all other legumes and are the only plant source of complete protein.
Promotes Cardiovascular Health –
Substituting saturated fat sources with unsaturated fats may help lower your cholesterol levels. Elevated serum cholesterol levels lead to atherosclerosis and the increased risk for heart disease. The National Soybean Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois says the oil derived from soybeans contains no cholesterol and is a source of polyunsaturated fat. Soybean oil is a rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, including the two essential fatty acids called linoleic acid and linolenic acid. These two essential fatty acids are precursors to hormones that regulate smooth muscle contractions and blood pressure. Because your heart is a muscle, there is significance in this health benefit. Soybeans are a source of soluble fiber, which can help lower cholesterol levels and potentially reduce the risk for heart disease.
Promotes Digestive Health and Prevent Colon Cancer –
Soybeans are a source of insoluble fiber, which adds bulk to stools and helps waste pass quickly through the digestive tract. According to the Mayo Clinic, a high-fiber diet normalizes bowel movements and promotes digestive health. Adding soybeans to your diet may prevent colon cancer, diverticular disease, constipation and hemorrhoids.
Supports Bone Density and Ease Symptoms of Menopause –
Soybeans have a high concentration of calcium, which is a mineral crucial to bone health. Soybeans contain isoflavones, which are substances that have a chemical structure very similar to estrogen. Isoflavonesinfo says isoflavones can interfere as well as activate the activity of your own estrogen. During menopause, when estrogen levels drop, isoflavones bind to the estrogen receptors in cells and ease the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes. The isoflavones in soybeans increase bone density in women and offer protection against osteoporosis.
Soya flour is usually mixed with wheat flour in 1:4 or 1:5 proportion to prepare chapatis, parathas, sheera, pancakes, low cal biscuits etc. A small amount of soy flour is often added to commercial-prepared baked goods like soya breads / soya rolls because it makes a moist, tender product.