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Nutrition and Fitness » Soya : Health Benefits

Soya has become synonymous with healthy eating. Soya is an excellent source of dietary fibers and proteins. It is a rich source of vitamin B6- important in building amino acids and in the formation of neurotransmitters. It is often recommended as an alternative for meat in low fat-diets, labeled as “Wonder-Food”.

Soy beans contain high amount of proteins, including all essential vegetable-sourced amino acids. They are a rich source of calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, B-vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and fibers.

The health benefits of soya mainly come from the rich quality and quantity of soya proteins and from its isoflavones content genistein and diadzein. The health benefits of soya include the following:

• The isoflavones present in the soya show the same result as estrogen on the bones. Soya products do not contain lot of calcium but the isoflavones may help in reducing the osteoporosis risk and also inhibit the bone breakdown.

Soya helps relieve the menopausal symptoms. Menopausal symptoms are mainly caused by the low estrogen levels. Soya isoflavones, through their estrogen like effect, help control these menopausal symptoms and control the body temperature.

Soya reduces the risk of heart diseases. Soya contains low fat and thus helps reduce the total cholesterol level of the blood and prevent plaque buildup in the body.

• The soya isoflavone genistein may also increase the flexibility of the blood vessels, thus reducing the risk of a stroke or a heart attack.

Soya helps in the prevention of certain types of cancers which include breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer.

Soya food is very nutritive. They are rich source of proteins. This protein is of high quality because it contains all the essential amino acids. They are thus very important food for vegans.

Soya is a good source of natural antioxidants like lecithin and vitamin E which prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.

• Soya being a rich source of magnesium plays a significant role for bones, heart and arteries.

Warning: Soya food is an allergen especially for children. Therefore, it should be avoided by the soya-allergic people. Excess consumption of soya can cause thyroid problem. It can slow down the thyroid causing the body to function in an adequate rate.

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