Soybean Health Benefits
The health benefits of soybeans are comprehensive. You can harness the benefits of soybeans in a number of ways. You can drink soy milk, eat tofu, or enjoy the cooked high fiber low carb soybeans themselves. While soy is a popular food eaten by many vegans and some vegetarians, even meat eaters can capture the health benefits of soybeans or soy products while on a healthy low carb diet or keto diet. And, as you discover some of these soybean health benefits, you will see that people on a diabetic diet can benefit even more so.
1. Complete Protein
One of the main health benefits of soybeans is that it is a complete protein. From the inside out, the entire human body is composed of protein. You may have read the statement that we are walking, talking proteins in other posts. The point is to emphasize the fact that we need an adequate protein intake for the body to function and remain healthy. Soybeans can be a healthy source of protein. You can get the soy protein from drinking an unsweetened soy milk or tofu. You can also learn how to make a homemade soy milk or homemade tofu.
2. No Cholesterol
While meats are a complete source of protein, they come along with cholesterol that can clog your arteries and cause cardiovascular problems. Therefore, the next one of the health benefits of soybeans to mention is that you get the protein without getting the cholesterol. Soybeans are cholesterol free!
3. High Fiber
Fiber is a highly beneficial macronutrient that plays an important role in your overall health. Sadly, most people do not eat enough fiber. A high fiber diet can do everything from boost your immune system to lower your blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol levels. A 100-gram serving (about 1/2 cup raw) of soybeans contain 9.3 grams of fiber. You can benefit from the fiber in soybeans when you eat the soybeans or soybean flour. You can also purchase a low carb, keto okara (soy pulp) flour or learn how to make your own okara (soy pulp) flour. There are delicious canned black soybeans as well as delicious bagged dry yellow soybeans.
4. Low Carb
Most beans or legumes are very high in carbs. So, coming across a low carb keto friendly bean that you can eat is extremely rare. So, being low carb is definitely one of the health benefits of soybeans for people on the keto diet, low carb diet, or diabetic diet. A 100-gram serving (about 1/2 cup) of raw soybeans contain 30 grams of carbs. A 1/2 cup of cooked soybeans provide 11 grams of carbs and 6 grams of fiber. Therefore, 1/2 cup cooked soybeans provide 5 grams of net carbs.
5. Healthy Fat Source
Soybeans contain a small amount of healthy fat. Healthy fats are beneficial to your heart health and brain health.
6. Excellent Potassium Source
Potassium is often found in high fiber foods. So, this is another one of the health benefits of soybeans. Potassium is responsible for many different functions in the body. In a similar way that insulin keeps the blood sugar levels balanced, potassium’s role is to keep the sodium levels balanced which ultimately keeps the blood pressure balanced. An important difference between insulin and potassium is that an organ inside the body produces insulin, there is no organ inside the body producing potassium. Therefore, potassium is a nutrient we must intentionally include in the diet every day. A 100-gram serving (about 1/2 cup raw) of soybeans contain 1,797 milligrams of potassium which is more potassium than a banana provides . A 100-gram small banana provides about 362 milligrams of potassium. So, the amount of potassium that soybeans contain is definitely one of the noteworthy health benefits of soybeans.
7. Hormonal Benefits
There are at least two hormone related health benefits of soybeans.
- Insulin – Research indicates that eating soybeans can increase the number of insulin receptors found on the cells . In this way, sugar is ultimately able to leave the blood stream and enter the cells. And as a result, sugar can carry out its role inside the cells. Therefore, blood sugar levels decrease, and energy increase. Therefore, soybeans may be able to benefit insulin resistant diabetics.
- Estrogen – Soy mimics estrogen. Therefore, eating soybeans can relieve the symptoms of menopause in women. Menopause is characterized by an estrogen level decrease. Soy can bind to estrogen receptors and thereby mitigate the reduction of estrogen that the body is producing. In this way, common symptoms of menopause can be reduced.
If you are making your own soy milk, you may be interested in some of the homemade soy milk recipes. You may find some of them to be really delicious! This concludes the health benefits of soybeans.