Is it a coincidence or they intentionally decided to celebrate Soy – The cheat meat in a month that starts with a prank day? Whatever the reason is, I am glad we have a whole month dedicated to celebrating this plant-based nutritious food. Initially, soybean used to be cultivated and consumed mostly in eastern Asia until it became a popular substitute for the protein found in the limited availability of meat products during World War II. It is now the most widely grown and used legume worldwide, especially by the vegans.
Soy is a versatile bean which is not limited to any one form of food. Soy milk, soy meat, soy sauce, tofu, tempeh, bread, cereals and what not, there is an endless option itself to choose from. It was often consumed by non-vegetarians and vegans as a substitute for meat proteins and lactose alternative. But now, it is a widely accepted health food.
The health benefits that soybean has to offer are a lot. First and foremost they are known for being an excellent source of protein which is equivalent to animal foods in protein quality with an added advantage of significantly reducing the cholesterol levels, unlike the animal protein. It is also high in fiber, B vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids that are essential nutrients for our health.
Soy contains a powerful variety of phytoestrogens called 'isoflavones', a natural chemical found in plants which play an important part in lowering the risk of breast cancer. Although it’s still under research, studies so far say that women who have a soy-rich diet are less prone to the risk of cancer. This chemical also helps with hormonal imbalances, PMS and difficulties during the menopause period.
Including soy food in your diet is not a difficult task at all considering the number of variants they produce out of this humble yet power packed bean. You can switch your regular milk with soy milk, can make soy burgers, soy meat curries or soy meatballs, the ones who are into fitness can use soy protein powder or even use it in baking along with your regular flour. As I have mentioned above, the options are definitely in plenty, so there is no excuse not to make this a part of your everyday diet for a healthier tomorrow.