Consumer demand for soy products has grown over the last few years as a result of increased interest in health, nutrition and natural therapies.
An increasing range of great soy products are available on the market from soymilk, soy yogurt, right through to tofu.
Whole soybeans are made up of approximately 40 percent protein, 30 percent carbohydrate, 20 percent oil, five percent hull, and less than one per cent of biologically active components such as isoflavones (or antioxidants).
Some of the nutritional benefits of soy are:
- High quality protein. Soy protein is the only plant protein classified as a ‘complete’ protein, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids our bodies need. Soy protein may also benefit the heart.
- Dietary fibre, both soluble and insoluble fibre, which is important for our bowels, and can assist in heart health.
- A low Glycemic Index (GI), which can provide a sustained energy release.
- A vast array of vitamins and minerals to help our bodies function and keep us feeling great, including vitamins B2 (riboflavin) and folate, and minerals such as iron, zinc and calcium.
- Good fats – predominantly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated, as well as no cholesterol. The polyunsaturated fats include the essential fatty acids linoleic (omega-6), and alpha linolenic (plant omega-3) – known for their benefits on the heart.
- Phytoestrogens or plant bioactives, which include isoflavones. Isoflavones are also considered an antioxidant, working as one of the body’s defence mechanisms. Ongoing research is continuing, to fully understand the potential benefits of soy and soy isoflavones. These areas include heart health, bone health and women’s wellbeing.
An adult needs on average 800mg of calcium daily. Three serves of calcium-rich foods everyday, such as calcium-enriched soymilk and dairy foods, can help meet the recommended daily calcium amounts. Enjoy soymilk in cooking, on cereal or as a refreshing fruit smoothie. It means no compromise on taste, plus loads of goodness!
Discover more about the benefits of soy.