7 Amazing Facts About Soy Protein
Soya beans, also known as Glycine max, is a kind of legume native to Asia. Asian diets have been embracing soy protein and all its benefits for thousands of years now. At present, they are chiefly grown in the United States, along with parts of eastern Asia. In Asia, people also eat soybean as a whole, even though the western countries are much more into the heavily processed variant of soy products. Different kinds of soy products are available worldwide, such as soybean oil, soy sauce, soy milk, tofu, soy protein, and soy flour.
So, what makes soybeans such a widely preferred food item across the world? The secret lies in its rich store of phytonutrients and antioxidants connected to several health benefits. And, here are seven more amazing facts about soy protein.
1. Soy Protein Helps in Muscle Building
Though whey protein is usually the first thing that comes to mind in terms of muscle building, U.S. Soybean Export Council claims soy protein to have similar effectiveness. Many people believe that soy protein can lower testosterone levels and affect muscle development, though this is nothing but a myth. Neither soy supplements nor soy foods have any considerable impact on testosterone levels. Soy is a good protein source and has a rich arginine component that helps in muscle growth.
2. Soy Protein Is Rich in Different Phytonutrients
The health benefits of having soy protein mainly come from different phytonutrients they have, like isoflavones. It is famous for preventing certain forms of cancer, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and several other conditions. The FDA has even allowed the manufacturers of soy-based foods to list out their health benefits on the label.
The multiple health benefits of soybeans have made it known as 'meat without bones.' Though the soybeans look smaller than other beans, they are the powerhouse of proteins similar to eggs, meat, and dairy products.
3. The Role of Soy Protein in the Japanese Diet
Soy protein forms a foremost part of the Japanese diet for several reasons. The Japanese believe that soy protein is the main reason why their women have lower rates of menopausal issues, osteoporosis, and breast cancer.
The estrogen levels of women are low in their menopausal years. The isoflavones present in soy protein come in handy, relieving mood swings, hot flushes, and controlling bone loss, which are all estrogen functions. Additionally, when the estrogen levels are normal, soy protein’s added help assists in controlling PMS.
4. The link between Prostate Cancer and Soy Protein
There is a curious link between prostate cancer, soy protein, and Japanese men. Now, Japanese men have the lowest rate of prostate cancer in the world. Research clearly shows that the rate of prostate cancer increases in Japanese men when they come to the United States. Though the western diet and genetics have a significant role in making this health difference, studies show that soy’s inclusion in the diet has an essential role in alleviating prostate cancer symptoms.
5. Soy as an Eco-Friendly Alternative to Animal Protein
Soy protein has all the essential amino acids useful in manufacturing specialized protein structures that the body needs. To add to that, it's naturally free of cholesterol and low in saturated fat, as these are both elements found in animal products.
Adding soy protein to the diet boosts vitamin K and folate intake, including minerals like iron, magnesium, and calcium. Eating whole soya beans can also increase your fiber intake, and that isn't something you will get from animal protein.
6. Soy Protein Does Not Create a Feminizing Impact
Another popular myth that soy protein might lead to 'man boobs,' which is why many men avoid consuming it. There has been only one study that reported the feminizing impact of soy protein in a sixty-year-old man. The subject's intake of isoflavones was around 360 mg/day. The Japanese men have about nine times that amount, but any such effect did not occur. The subject was also on an unbalanced diet, where soy foods formed his primary source of calories.
7. Impact of Soy Protein on Breast Cancer
Women with breast cancer who have about two servings of soy protein every day had a mortality rate of 7.4 percent and the cancer occurrence rate of 8 percent. Now, when you compare this with women who had breast cancer and had fewer amounts of soya, it showed a mortality rate of 10.3 percent and a recurrence rate of 11.2 percent. Thus, there is about a thirty percent decrease in mortality risk.
Asian Epidemiologic research showed that women have a 30-60% less chance of breast cancer if they consume soy protein every day during their youth. Besides that, neither endometrial cancer nor breast cancer occurs by regular soy foods consumption, said the North American Menopause Society.
As you can see, soy protein is rich in amino acids and fiber, making it an essential component of your daily diet. So, if you are yet to include this actual food item in your diet, it's high time for you to embrace it and stay healthy and fit. Do not forget to consult a doctor to know which foods to include and what amount, especially if you have any ailment.