Soy foods have played an important role in the traditional diets of many regions throughout the world for many centuries. Soy contains protein, calcium and isoflavones. Soy protein is extracted from soy bean.
The soy bean is one of the very few plants that provide a complete protein source (40% protein). Soybeans contain the essential amino acids that form what is known as a complete protein. The body cannot synthesize essential amino acids, they must be obtained from food.
Soy foods have become more widely available in the Western culture. Extensive research has confirmed that we need to consume less fat and more fiber. The soy bean provides high-quality protein and is relatively low in fat content. It also contains other macronutrients carbohydrates, fats and micronutrients, fiber, minerals and vitamins which make soy beans an excellent and complete source of food for human consumption. Soy is also a unique dietary source of many phytochemicals (naturally occurring compounds in plants), the most well known and thoroughly studied of them are isoflavones.
Regular consumption of soy in Southeast Asian populations is associated with the reduction in the rates of certain chronic health conditions like cardiovascular disease. Recent experimental evidence suggests that phytochemicals, i.e. isoflavones in soy are responsible for its beneficial effects which may also help in enhancing bone health. Soy foods can also be a great source of nutrition for women, children and simply a good food for all ages to enjoy both its taste and health benefits.
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