Soya bean known as soy bean in North America has its origin in East Asia particularly China but has now spread to the rest of the world. Soya bean is the most widely grown legume in the world. Soya beans grow in pods like other beans, the colour of the seed could be green, yellow, white or black.

Soya beans can be eaten as boiled seeds, or processed into paste, milk, cud and powder.
It is serves as great source of protein especially to vegetarians.
Plant proteins are of low quality; they may have all the nine essential amino acids or some of them and in insufficient amounts. Thus one needs to consume a wide variety of plants to get all the nine essential amino acids in sufficient quantities. Soya bean is one plant that has all the nine essential amino acids in sufficient quantities
It is therefore a source of high quality protein; in fact the only plant source.
Soya beans have the following nutrients: Carbohydrates (30 percent), Fat, mostly unsaturated fats including omega 3 and 6 (20 percent), Protein ( 36.5 percent), Vitamins B complex and K, Minerals (potassium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc and calcium) and Phytochemicals. The energy in 100grams of soya beans is 446Kcals.
The health benefits of soya beans are therefore due to protein, low glycaemic carbohydrates, fibres, omega 3 and 6, vitamin B complex and the minerals (potassium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus among others)
Soya beans:
1. Are important for body building
Protein is an organic compound containing carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. The smallest unit of protein is AMINO ACID; when we eat protein it is broken down by our body during digestion to amino acids.
The origin of amino acid is plant, plants synthesise amino acids from carbon dioxide, water and nitrogen obtained from soil or in some cases from the air; this is followed by combining several amino acids to form protein. Animals get protein when they eat plants while man gets protein when he eats plants and /or animals.
There are 20 amino Acids, out of which 9 are essential (cannot be manufactured by the body) and thus must be gotten from foods eaten while the other 11 are non-essential (can be manufactured by the body) using nitrogen obtained from other amino acids.
The body combines the various amino acids to form proteins; two types of proteins are formed:- fibrous protein and globular proteins. The fibrous protein is strong mechanically and makes up the muscles, hair, nails and connective tissue; the globular protein which is water soluble is found within the cells and constitute the hormones, antibodies, enzymes and body fluid.
Plant proteins are of low quality,; they may have all the nine essential amino acids or some of them and in insufficient amounts. Thus one needs to consume a wide variety of plants to get all the nine essential amino acids in sufficient quantities.
However; one plant that has all the nine essential amino acids in sufficient quantities is SOYBEAN.
It is therefore a source of high quality protein; in fact the only plant source.
Functions of protein include body building (growth), provision of energy, formation of hormones, antibodies, enzymes and body fluids. Proteins also help in the transportation of certain substances in the body.
Soya beans contain a lot of protein 36.5 grams in every 100 grams.
2. Help to regulate your blood pressure
Soya beans contain a lot of the minerals called Potassium and magnesium which are known to help the heart and reduce blood pressure. Low potassium can cause Constipation, lack of appetite and poor working of the heart. Potassium appears to relax the blood vessels.
3. Prevents Constipation and Piles
Soya beans contain a lot of fibre:  fibre adds bulk to stool, making bowel movement easier. Insoluble fibre does this better. When plenty of fibre is consumed, the stool is large and soft, this stimulates the muscles of the intestines to contract, pushing out the stool (faeces) without the individual straining himself. With little fibre in the food, the stool is usually small and hard and therefore requires force to come out. Regular straining during the passage of faeces can lead to piles (haemorrhoids) and other conditions such as pouches (diverticulosis) in the large intestines. Piles can lead to anaemia due to bleeding.
4. Fights against cancer
As said earlier, soya beans are very rich in fibres; many studies in the last three decades have shown a link between increased fibre in-take and a decrease in colon cancer. This could be due to the fibre itself or the nutrients that are usually in fibre-rich foods such as vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and essential fatty acid.
5. Help in the management of type 2 diabetes
Soya beans contain low glycaemic carbohydrates, they increase the blood sugar when eaten very slowly ; this is very good in the management of diabetes mellitus. The blood sugar is kept low by regular consumption of soya beans
6. Reduce Risk of Heart Disease.
Soya beans contain fibres, soluble fibre reduces absorption of cholesterol and bile acid (which are also rich in cholesterol) from the small intestines, thereby reducing blood cholesterol level. When soluble fibres are broken down by bacteria in the intestines, some fatty acids released are said to reduce the production of cholesterol by the liver. By lowering blood cholesterol, fibres help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
7.  Reduce Risk of Stroke
Fibres lower blood cholesterol by reducing its absorption in the intestines thus helping to reduce the risk of stroke which is associated with high blood cholesterol Level. Stroke results from narrowing/blockage or rupture of blood vessels supplying blood to the brain. Soya beans as said earlier contain a lot of fibre.
8. Help in weight control/ Prevent Obesity.
Eating fibre – rich foods like soya beans helps in weight control and therefore prevents obesity. Fibre-rich foods are bulky and fill the stomach easily and there is therefore the feeling of fullness and satisfaction.

No Comments

Leave a Comment