Soybean is naturally one of the legume family, which is wholly edible with the seed. It is originally native to East Asia, especially China and its suburbs, i. e. Japan and Korea. However, with modern agriculture, it is now cultivated all over the world, Brazil and Argentina are now top producers.
Soybean Meal Varieties
Although soybean is wholly edible when cooked, it is hardly consumed like that, but rather fermented to make miso, tempeh or paste, sprouted for salads, grounded for milk, prepared for tofu, etc. Some do eat cooked soybean with its pods (edamame).
Health-conscious individuals like soybean because of its low saturated fats, which is between 10–15%. You see because saturated fats turn solid in room temperature, it raises the risk of clogged arteries and veins. On the other hand, polyunsaturated fats in soybean also contain omega 3 & 6, which lowers the chances of chronic illness.
As soybean has zero cholesterol, regular consumption lowers cholesterol in those with high cholesterol.
Lower blood pressure — Soybean has loads of protein than carb, which is a good mixture for lowering blood pressure.
Stronger Bones most women lose a lot of bone mass after menopause, causing what we call brittle bone disease. However, the Isoflavones, a plant chemical in Soybean mimics the effects of oestrogen in the body preventing brittle bone. It is proved that the Isoflavones in soybean help shrink cancer tumours in both breast and prostate cancers.
More Iron — Soybean has more iron. This is essential as it supports the blood to deliver oxygen throughout the body.
More Potassium — Soybean has more potassium. Potassium helps normalise the heart-beat rate. It also supports the kidneys to filter waste and nerves to work better.
Soybean is a high fibre meal and this regulates bowel movement. It contains 63% meal, of which 50% is protein, 17% is oil, and no starch. This makes it an ideal meal for diabetics as well.
The Difference Between Soy And Dairy Milk
Let us first consider dairy milk, as this is more popular and frequently used than soy milk.
Dairy milk is very rich in calcium which is good for strong teeth and bone. It also has more of other vitamins too, especially B12 and D. Dairy contains more saturated fat, which is bad for the heart.
Soy milk, on the other hand, has low LDL, and more phytonutrients for healthy muscle and bone.
However, both dairy and soy milk do undergo manufacturing process to fortify them with essential nutrients, and also remove excess fats from dairy milk. So the choice is yours, which will depend on how your body tolerates either dairy or soy milk.
What About Gout And Soy Products?
Gout is an illness with excess uric acid in the blood. The excess uric acid then crystalises and deposits in the joints, causing inflammation and pain. The excess uric acid is usually from protein, (both animal & plants). So soybean, being rich in plant protein can also cause gout.
However, if a gout patient eats a protein-based meal in moderation, drink plenty of water, lose weight, he/she is likely to be fine.
What About Cancer Patient?
There some ‘’gossip’’ about dairy feeding cancer cells, so cancer patients are advised to avoid dairy altogether. There’s no scientific evidence to prove this. What we know is that some patients with oestrogen receptor-positive breast cancer should avoid soybean entirely.
Soybean — The Bad And The Ugly
Soybean is the number one genetically cultivated crop in the United States of America. Contrary to popular opinion by the FDA, GMO is neither safe nor healthy to consume. It is therefore advisable to look for non-GMO organic soybean for your own personal consumption.
Soybean Oil Causes Detrimental & Neurological Changes In Brain Of Mice
America is the largest consumer of soybean oil and is often marketed as a healthy alternative. Soybean Oil is widely used in fast foods, baby formulae and animal feed.
The University of California Research Team found that soybean oil induces diabetes and obesity in mice. The study paper is published in Endocrinology, (a scientific journal) shows how soybean oil seriously impacts on the hypothalamus, area of the brain that regulates mood and behaviour.
The study concluded that there’s high evidence that it can increase the risk of Parkinson disease, Alzheimer’s, autism and dementia in humans. It affects more than one hundred of the mice genes, including one controlling oxytocin, the love and bonding hormone, metabolism hormone pathways, including insulin (synonymous with diabetics). Also affects the upregulation in genes associated with anxiety, depression and schizophrenia.
Lead Researcher, Poonamjot Deol has this to say, ”If there is one thing I want people to take away from this study, it is that: REDUCE YOUR CONSUMPTION OF SOYBEAN OIL.”
Soybean And Female Fertility
There is a concern regarding whether eating too much soybean has an adverse effect on female reproductive system. The issue here is that the female reproductive system depends on an adequate hormone level to function properly. Soybean contains oestrogen properties in form of daidzein and genistein. These are forms of phytoestrogens. which can affect the function of oestrogen in the body, if found on a high level.
Soybean and Prostate in Men
Men should not eat too much soybean products, because of their prostate health. According to medical research in the USA, including isoflavones, which is plentiful in Soybean, may increase the risk of prostate cancer in men.