The Benefits of Adding Soya to Your Diet
Soya has long been used as a healthy substitute for many food ingredients. The bean has been touted for decades as a source of numerous nutrients, including protein, amino acids, calcium and fibre.
And more recently, it has been discovered that soya also contains phytochemicals that boost its benefits to our health.
Soya for the Heart
Scientists have been studying soya’s benefits to the heart since 1909.
Soya has been found to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, while preserving HDL (good cholesterol) levels. Soya also contains lecithin and Vitamin E, two natural antioxidants that are good for the heart.
Another heart benefit of soya is the fact that it contains the isoflavone genistein, which is thought to reduce blood clotting.
This could help prevent both heart attacks and strokes. Genistein is also believed to help prevent the formation of artery plaque.
Soya Protects Against Cancer
Many types of cancer have been linked to elevated hormone levels. Excess oestrogen, for example, has been associated with numerous types of cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.
The isoflavones found in soya – genistein and daidzein – are being studied in relation to the prevention and treatment of these and other hormone-related cancers.
These components of soya are believed to prevent and sabotage the growth of cancer in a number of ways. Especially in the prevention of oestrogen entering cells, and they may block genes and processes that are necessary for cancer to take hold, grow and spread.
Studies have also shown genistein to activate helpful genes that promote the self-destruction of cancer cells.
Soya for Healthy Bones
Calcium is one of the most important nutrients we can consume for healthy bones. Using soya as a replacement for animal foods allows us to keep calcium in our diet, as many soya foods and drinks are high in calcium.
In addition to calcium, soya contains magnesium and boron, two nutrients that enhance the effects of calcium.
Soya Fights Hot Flashes
Hot flashes and night sweats are two of the most bothersome symptoms of the menopause.
Research has shown that menopausal women who consume soya flour each day have a large reduction in symptoms such as hot flashes.
How Can I Add Soya to My Diet?
There are many foods available that contain soay.
Soya milk can be used as a substitute for cow’s milk, and soya flour is a healthy substitute for wheat flour.
Tofu is a popular soya-based food that can be eaten alone or used in recipes.
And fresh green soya beans, known as Edamame, can be cooked and eaten alone or used in recipes.
Soya has numerous health benefits. It provides us with several essential nutrients, and studies have proven it to be helpful in the prevention and treatment of many ailments.
The benefits of adding soya to your diet are many – whether you’re battling health problems or just want to improve your overall health.