Soya

Soya bean is a legume native to East Asia. It is used to make soya milk, tofu, soya sauce and textured vegetable protein (TVP). Soya beans contain are one of the only non-animal sources containing all 22 amino acids, this includes the eight essential amino acids that cannot be made in the body. This makes it a good alternative source of protein for Vegans.

Soya is rich in vitamin A, and also rich in many minerals including potassium, phosphorus and zinc. It is also a source of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids which have a cholesterol lowering effect. As well as lowering the risk of heart disease and other associated health problems.

Soya contains isoflavones which are types of phytoestrogen. These are believed to have beneficial effects on cancer patients, and as they have a very similar structure to oestrogen, they may also ease the symptoms of menopause. Soya also contains phytic acid which acts as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory.

 

Nutritional Benefits

Omega-3 and 6
  • Help to lower the levels of LDL cholesterol
  • Helps to maintain heart health and lowers risk of heart disease
Vitamin A
  • Maintains immune system health
  • Helps maintain healthy skin
  • Helps maintain eye health and vision in dim light
  • Contributes to iron metabolism
Zinc
  • Metabolism of macronutrient, fatty acids and vitamin A
  • Contributes to DNA and protein synthesis
  • Maintains normal bones, nails, hair and skin
  • Protection against oxidative stress and damage to cells
  • Maintains immune system health
  • Contributes to normal fertility levels
  • Helps to maintain normal levels of testosterone in the blood
Phosphorus
  • Contributes to normal energy yielding metabolism
  • Aids absorption and utilisation of calcium in the bones and teeth
  • Contributes to normal cell membranes
Potassium
  • Maintains nervous system health
  • Maintains normal muscle function
  • Maintains normal blood pressure

 

Risks and Side Effects

Allergies to soya are fairly common.

Phytic acid found in soya can have a chelating effect which can impair the absorption of minerals in the body.

 

Uses

Soya beans make such a variety of products it has many uses. It is a popular non-dairy milk, soya sauce is used a lot in cooking, and tofu and TVP are often used to replace meat in vegetarian and Vegan foods.

 

Soya products we have available can be found here.

Recipes using soya can be found here.

 

Photo: Rosalie Ruardy