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The Soybean: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

By Surabhi Agrawal October 09, 2021

The soybean is a versatile and sustainable crop that can be used for soy sauce, soy milk, soy flour, tofu, and more. 

Soybeans are a nutritious food that provides many essential vitamins and minerals as well as protein. 

Soybeans are an excellent source of soybean oil made up mostly polyunsaturated fat, with soy protein and soybean fiber making up most of its remaining calories although it does contain a small number of soybean carbohydrates. 

In this blog post, we will explore the health benefits of soybeans from their nutritional facts to know how they can work in your diet!

## Nutrition Facts

Soybean is a great source of plant-based protein, fiber, polyunsaturated fats, soybean oil & soy protein which make it one of the most versatile yet nutritious legumes available on grocery store shelves today.

Carbs : Soybeans are made up of about 24 percent protein, 52 percent carbohydrate, and 22 percent fat. The soybean's protein is complete in that it provides all the essential amino acids that your body needs to function properly. This makes soy an excellent option for people who follow a plant-based diet or are unable to eat meat because soybean protein is just as nutritious and can be used in many of your favorite dishes!

Saturated Fat : One soybean contains about 0.44 grams of saturated fat, which isn't bad considering that most other nuts contain almost twice the amount (about one gram) per serving. If you are on a low-carb diet, soybeans may be a great option for you!

Monounsaturated Fat : In soybeans, monounsaturated fat makes up about 16 percent of the total fat in one serving. This type of healthy fat helps to reduce LDL cholesterol levels and increase HDL cholesterol levels in your body by promoting blood circulation, which is very important for a healthy heart.

Polyunsaturated Fat : Polyunsaturated fat makes up about 66 percent of soybean's total fat, which is an excellent source! As we've already learned from the soybean nutrition facts above, polyunsaturates are essential for good health and should be included in your diet. They also help lower blood cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease.

Vitamins & Minerals: Soybeans are an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus. soybean has a trace amount of thiamin (vitamin B-l), riboflavin (vitamin B-ll), niacin (Vitamin B-III), pantothenic acid (vitamin B-IV), vitamin A, potassium, zinc soybean has no cholesterol.

Calcium : One soybean provides about two percent calcium, which is a small amount but very beneficial as soybeans are not often known for their high content in this mineral. Calcium helps to improve bone strength and reduce the chances of developing osteoporosis.

Iron: Soybeans contain about four percent iron, which is an essential mineral for the production of red blood cells and helps to maintain a healthy immune system. Iron quickly absorbs oxygen in your body as well as transports it throughout the entire cardiovascular system! It also provides energy by converting carbohydrates into glucose. Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world, so soybeans are a great option for vegetarians and vegans who need to get their iron from other sources.

Magnesium: One soybean provides about one percent magnesium which helps your body create energy by activating enzymes; it also produces a protein that makes up muscles, bones, and tissues. Magnesium is an essential mineral for the regulation of blood pressure as well as healthy nerve function!

Potassium: Soybeans provide about eight percent potassium which helps your heartbeat regularly by maintaining a normal fluid balance in cells; it also regulates muscle contractions while helping to maintain a steady heartbeat. Potassium is also essential for healthy kidney and digestive function!

Zinc: Soybeans provide about one percent zinc which is an antioxidant that helps to protect your cells from damage; it also plays a role in energy production by providing the amino acids used to make protein. Zinc deficiency can lead to serious complications such as delayed wound healing, skin lesions, hair loss, diarrhea, and eye/mouth ulcers.

## Health Benefits

Soybeans are a high-fiber and protein-rich food that can help keep hunger at bay for a long time. Here we list out its many benefits -

  1. Soy is one of a select group of plant-based protein, which is essential for building muscle mass. 
  2. Soybean also contains fiber to aid in digestion! Soy products like soybeans and soy nuts provide the body with healthy polyunsaturated fats -- soybean contains the ideal ratio of omega-three to omega-six fatty acids which can help reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease. 
  3. Soybean nutrition facts are also beneficial to people on a weight loss regime or who have diabetes. 
  4. Soybeans can help improve cholesterol levels in the blood and reduce heart disease risk (, ). A diet that is low in saturated fat but high in soy protein may be able to work better than other diets for lowering LDL cholesterol (). 
  5. Good for Vegans / Vegetarians - soybeans are a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals that can be easily included in vegetarian diets. 
  6. High fiber content, soybeans are also gluten-free and easily absorbed by the body! 
  7. It has anti-inflammatory properties. 
  8. Soybean has been found to help reduce the risk of certain cancers such as prostate cancer and breast cancer. 
  9. Soybeans also contain isoflavones which may help prevent or lower heart disease and osteoporosis.
  • Soy products like soy milk and soy yogurt are often recommended by doctors for women with high estrogen levels because soy can help balance hormones and fight some forms of cancer. 
  1. Soy products like tofu can provide soy protein and soybean oil to the body while soy milk can provide some soybean fiber!

## How to Prepare & Store?

Frozen, canned, or dry soybeans are all viable options available in the market. Keep frozen soybeans in the freezer and use them as needed. Canned soybeans should be rinsed before consumption to remove excess sodium or sugar. Dry soybeans need to be cooked, either boiled or soaked overnight (which reduces cooking time).

Remember, the only way you can't consume soybeans is raw. In their raw form, they aren't digested. Beans can be prepared in a variety of ways, which include boiling, roasting, and steaming.

Cooking - Soybeans should be boiled until just done, covered with water, and simmered for at least one hour. The beans will take on a darker color when they are fully cooked. Allow it to cool completely.

For best results, make sure to store any leftover cooked soybeans in an airtight container and use them within three days.

## Allergies

Soy is one of the most prevalent food allergies. It's also one of the most common soy products that people consume.

According to Food Allergy Research and Education, it’s especially prevalent in babies and kids, with 0.4% of children being allergic to soy. Soy allergies are more common in infants, but they can occur at any age. For some children, soy allergies are lifelong problems. If you're allergic to soy, you'll have to avoid all of its varieties.

## Conclusion

Soybeans are a great addition to any diet due to their high amount of antioxidants, plant-based fats & proteins, vitamins & minerals as well as soluble dietary fibers. They're also a gluten-free legume that's easily digested and absorbed by the body. 

They reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart diseases and are very useful in weight loss programs. 

Soybeans can provide an excellent source of soy protein & soybean oil to anyone looking for a healthy dietary addition!

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