Soy protein, as its very name suggests, comes from soybeans. It is one of the must-haves for those who follow a vegetarian diet, as this is the closest protein that resembles meat proteins. The protein offers a variety of health benefits and is regarded as a complete food in itself. Soy foods serve as a great source of many amino acids, fiber, vitamins, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. The versatile soy can be eaten in a variety of ways too, like raw, boiled, roasted, dried, flaked, and so on. However most people dismiss it by terming it as a “health food” and unless they are on some “special diet”, they want to steer clear of soy. However, soy is not only the food of athletes; it is much more than that. It is a complete diet and should be consumed by people of all age groups. Apart from having numerous health and dietary benefits, soy also proves to be a tasty treat to the tongue. Want to know more? Read on to explore the various benefits of a soy protein diet.
Health Benefits of Soy Protein Diet
Soy protein diet has been found to be helpful in the following cases:
Breast & Prostate Cancer
Soy proteins contain phytochemicals, which help in reducing the growth of some cancer cells, mainly breast and prostate ones. Many studies have found people on a high soy protein diet to be less susceptible to breast and prostate cancer. So, if you are at a high risk of contracting cancer, say because of your genetic makeup, you should incorporate soy in your diet.
Consumption of soy protein can protect the body against osteoporosis. It has been seen that people who have incorporated soy protein diet in their lifestyle have lower prevalence of fractures. Soy products are high in calcium, magnesium, and boron, which are crucial for bone health. They also help prevent bone loss. Therefore, old people as well as those who do not consume calcium substitute on a regular basis should integrate soy in their diet.
Studies have shown that the women who consumed a high soy protein diet had healthy menopause. This is because the isoflavones present in soy are helpful in relieving the menopausal symptoms. Soy has also proved helpful in preventing hot flashes, a common menopausal symptom.
Even a little portion of soy proteins (as little as 25 mg) can help decrease cholesterol level. They contain all essential amino acids of protein. This, in turn, leads to soy protein’s direct involvement in heart health. A diet laden with soy protein reduces the risk of heart attack and provides many other cardiovascular benefits as well.
Soy contains lecithin, which helps in getting rid of cellulite. It also helps in weight management, by providing the much-needed energy to dieters. It prevents the body from storing unnecessary fat. At the same time, soy has high fiber content, which increases the rate of metabolism, so that the body burns fats quickly and effectively. Soy protein diet has low glycemic index, which helps keep the ‘hunger craving’ in check and keeps you satiated for a longer period of time. Thus, it’s one of the best diets for weight management.
Regular consumption of soy products adds to the chances of having a normal delivery and also provides the necessary vitamins and minerals to the expectant mother. They are good for the overall health of the mother and baby. Soy helps increase the nutritional value of other foods and boosts the immune system as well.