Diet & Nutrition 4 MIN READ 381 VIEWS December 10, 2021

Soy Protein — Nutritional Value, Benefits, and Uses

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Soy protein
Soy Protein Food
Benefits of Soy Seeds
Side Effects of Soy Protein
Conclusion

Many people prefer soy protein over other sources of protein, despite there being different opinions about its efficacy as the best protein source. 

Whether it is the best or not, soy protein is certainly a high vegan protein source that is rich in nutrients and offers several health benefits. It controls your blood sugar levels and improves your heart health in the long run. However, several studies have come up to show how eating too much soy-rich food may increase the risk of developing breast cancer. It has eventually created a frightening effect in the market. In this article, we will look at soy benefits and the risks of its overconsumption. 

Food Rich with Soy Protein

There are various options when it comes to soy-rich foods such as soy seeds, soybeans, soy milk, soy protein powders, and soya nuggets. 

In order to understand soy benefits, we must understand the nutritional value of soy-rich foods first. They are all rich in nutrients such as protein, fibre, vitamins, calcium, to name a few. Understand which item is the best for your health as per your condition or requirement and add that to your current diet.

Let us take a quick look at some of the most popular soy food options so that you can compare the nutrients per 100 gm. 

Soybean
(soy seeds)
TofuSoy MilkTempehEdamameSoy Yoghurt
Protein18 gm17 gm3 gm20 gm12 gm4 gm
Carbs8 gm3 gm5 gm8 gm9 gm16 gm
Fibre6 gm 2 gmLess than 1 gmnil5 gmLess than 1 gm
Fat9 gm9 gm1 gm11 gm5 gm2 gm
Sugar3 gmnil4 gmnil2 gm1 gm

The amount of protein in soya bean remains around 18 gm per 100 gm. It is, therefore, the best option when it comes to soy-rich foods. It has the most amount of protein that controls your cravings for the rest of the day after you have it for breakfast/lunch. Since there are several soy seeds benefits, they are considered to be the best option for vegetarians when it comes to protein-rich foods

Soy Seeds Benefits in Our Daily Diet

There are several benefits of adding soy-rich food items to your diet, especially soy seeds. In fact, all soy foods are derived from soy seeds or soya beans. The protein in soybean helps your body in a lot of ways. Let’s take a look at the overall benefits of soy-rich protein: 

  1. Soy-rich food is easily accessible in the market these days. It is way cheaper than many other protein-rich food options. 
  2. It is a great option for you if you are a vegetarian. The main accessible sources of protein are eggs and meat. 
  3. Controlling the cholesterol level in our blood is one of the major soya bean benefits. By keeping a track of our cholesterol levels, it helps prevent our bodies from catching a lot of diseases in the long run.
  4. Soy foods are a great source of minerals such as zinc, B vitamins, and iron. Some soy food items also have vitamin D and calcium in them.
  5. Instead of consuming animal protein, you can easily replace it with soy protein that keeps your heart healthy.
  6. Soy-rich food is also great in controlling your blood pressure levels, for it is rich in arginine. It helps prevent several severe diseases like heart attack and other heart-related issues. 
  7. Many studies have shown how soy-rich foods improve fertility in women who regularly consume them in their diet.
  8. It also takes care of your gastrointestinal health. Soy foods are rich in fibre, which is great in keeping your intestines and stomach healthy.

These are some of the major benefits that soy-rich food items offer. Despite so many soy benefits, these food items have always been controversial. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why it has become a controversial source of protein in the market.

Side Effects of Soy Protein

Although soy-rich foods have been proven to be great sources of protein, vitamins, fibre and other minerals, there have been several controversies. Whether or not they are harmful to your health has not been proven yet. However, a few points need to be noted before you add soy foods to your diet:

  1. Soy-rich protein is known to be a great resource that leads to weight loss. While many people have benefited from consuming soy protein in their weight loss journey, several studies have also come up to show how it does not speed up the weight loss journey as required. The National Institutes of Health has shown in their study that soya protein is not as effective as animal protein in weight loss.
  2. A few studies have also shown how soy-rich foods decrease testosterone levels in men when over consumed regularly and not in the suggested quantities. 
  3. Soy-rich foods have been reported to suppress thyroid function and excessive consumption in high risk individuals (underactive thyroid) may cause hypothyroidism  

These are some of the main reasons why soya protein has always been controversial in the market. However, the key lies in moderation. People who consume any food item in excess experience its side effects and soy protein is no different. Hence, to avail its maximum benefits, make sure you consume this protein source in a balanced manner. 

Conclusion

Despite several controversies and different opinions, soy protein has become one of the major sources of protein when it comes to food options. People who exercise daily rely on tofu, soy milk, soybean salad, and other such soy-rich foods. It is a great alternative for animal protein and is known to cause weight loss by controlling hunger hormones. 

Having said that, every individual is different. Our bodies are different and they function differently.  Do your research before you decide whether or not you want to consume soy-rich foods. You can also consult a doctor or a nutritionist for a better understanding.

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