Soybeans are one of the common plant foods that contain complete protein. Soy protein is nearly equal in quality to meat, milk, and egg protein. Unlike animal protein, soybeans are low in saturated fat and are cholesterol-free.
Soybeans contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber may help lower serum cholesterol and control blood sugar. Insoluble fiber aids digestion.
Soybeans are rich in vitamins and minerals. They are a good source of vitamin K, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese.
Effects on health
Soy in your diet can lower cholesterol. Soy may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Whether eating soy products can reduce hormone-dependent cancers (breast cancer, prostate cancer) is still unclear, with some studies finding positive results and others not. However, there is no evidence that eating soy foods increases the risk of breast-cancer recurrence or death, so it is safe for breast-cancer survivors to eat soy. Moderation is the key.
Those who have gout should not eat a lot of soy, but foods to avoid for those with gout depend on the individual.
Try these forms of soy
Tofu = soybean curd. Often used as a meat substitute, e.g., in “vegetable patties”. Comes in a variety of textures, and absorbs flavours well.
Edamame (“ed-a-MAH-may”) = young green soybeans. Take them out of the pod and eat as a snack, or put them in a salad. Often served salted.
Soy nuts = roasted soybeans, a tasty snack
Soy milk = ground soybeans mixed with water. Can be consumed by people who are dairy sensitive, by strict vegetarians, or by anyone who likes the taste.