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Soy (Health Benefits)

What is soy?

Soy is the name used to refer to any food made from the soybean, a grain which is native to Asia even though the United States is the country that produces the highest amount of soybeans in the world. Soybeans can be processed into many different types of foodstuffs and oils. Some of the products made from soybeans include soy flour, soy milk, soy paste, soy burgers, soy nuts, Tempeh and soy supplements and shakes. Soy is a complete protein. It contains all the important amino acids needed by the body. It provides the same protein content as meat but does not contain cholesterol and fat. Soy offers many health benefits including the following.

Minimises the risk of heart disease

One of the things that contribute to heart disease is cholesterol. Since soy does not contain cholesterol, substituting animal products with soy products can lower your cholesterol. According to studies, twenty five grams of soy protein per day can lower low-density lipoproteins and raise high density lipoproteins.

Help prevent prostate cancer

Soy is known to promote healthy prostate function. It is rich in Isoflavones, which are organic compounds that have antioxidant properties. They can act as estrogens and they have protective functions in the body. Soy protein also inhibits the enzymes that stimulate prostate cells to grow. The low rates of prostate cancer in Asian men have been partly attributed to the consumption of soy.

 

Enhances bone health

Soy enhances bone health by keeping them strong and resistant to mineral loss. Studies performed in Asia indicate that soy prevents the loss of bone tissue in women who have reached menopause, reducing osteoporosis in the process. Soy also helps prevent arthritis.

 

Boosts the immune system

Soy is rich in saponins, a class of natural detergents. Saponins bind to cholesterol in the intestines and this prevents its absorption. Apart from helping to lower cholesterol, saponins also ward off microorganisms. They therefore play an important role in enhancing immune system function.

 

Helps maintain colon health

One of the serious ailments associated with the digestive system is colon cancer. Even though there are no scientific studies that offer definitive claims that soy can prevent colon cancer, it plays a role in keeping the entire digestive tract healthy. The intake of soy has been proven to reduce the proliferation of colon cancer in people suffering from this ailment.

 

In order to benefit from soy, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that people take at least twenty five grams of soy protein daily. Soy should also be consumed with many different types of vegetables, fruits and other low fat and high fibre foods. To achieve optimal health, it is wise to consult with a doctor. This includes even when you are travelling. If you reside within the European Economic Area (EEA), you can receive a certain degree of free medical care when travelling within the EEA, if you have a valid EHIC card. This card covers state provided emergency treatment during your visit abroad. It covers most accidents but you are not allowed to travel abroad in order to use the card to receive medical care. A European Health Insurance Card covers procedures like renal dialysis, maternity care and treatment for chronic or pre-existing conditions that may come up while you are abroad.

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