We have long known that soy can be an ideal replacement for any one who suffers form lactose intolerance and lets face it, that is becoming more and more of us! Soy foods can provide us with many nutritional benefits, from the likes of being high in protein to cholesterol-free, as well as providing us with an abundance of good old vitamins.
Soy itself can come in many forms, from the commonly known milk to solid soy foods such as edamame beans, tofu, soy nut and other foods like cheese made from soy. The trick that a lot of people miss is that when they eat soy that has been processed, such as in health bars and snacks, they are actually losing a lot of soy’s nutritional components, meaning you aren’t getting as many of the vitamins and minerals that you should be getting!
Therefore if you are looking to introduce soy into your diet then you should do this through the whole food approach rather than with processed products. Soy can be an essential tool for vegetarians because it is a ‘complete’ protein and a lot of vegetarian proteins aren’t, what this means is that it is gives you good levels of amino acids, making it a great source of lean protein and helps you increase muscle mass. Research also suggests that eating soy foods can help to lower cholesterol and improve your overall health, it’s also great for keeping your blood sugar levels in check and this is ideal for anyone suffering from diabetes.
As for the vitamins that are present in soy, vitamins B6 and B12 help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and can even slow age-related memory decline…so be sure to get your parents on some soy produce. As well as these vitamins helping improve the quality of your health, they are also amazing for your scalp and helping you grow hair. It is namely Folate that helps with this as it contributes to the production of serotonin and this will also help to lift your mood too.
We have barely scratched the surface of the nutrient and vitamin rich soy! Soy foods also generally contain magnesium, calcium and potassium, all of which will lower your blood pressure and aiding those with type 2 diabetes.
However soy isn’t for everyone and some people won’t like the taste of the likes of soy milk or find that it can cause discomfort after eating, especially for people with irritable bowel syndrome. But if you can handle soy then how much of it should you be looking to introduce to your diet to get the most benefits from all its nutrients? Well as of yet this hasn’t been determined, but like any other food that is good for you, you shouldn’t try and incorporate it several times in a week. Try to find the right balance for you rather than relying on what you are told is the right amount and it should make a welcome entry into your diet.