Why is soya healthy?
There isn’t one single food that can be eaten alone for health. As stated by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its global strategy, the key to a healthy diet is “a balanced diet”. In particular, reducing consumption of fats, free sugars, salt and increasing consumption of vegetables, fruit, legumes, cereals and nuts. This should be supplemented by adequate physical activity of at least 30 minutes every day. The WHO also recommends including up to two soya foods a day in a balanced diet.
A review of 38 studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1995 showed that soya consumption reduced cholesterol levels by as much as 89%. In addition, this legume contains a number of necessary nutrients. It aids the body’s metabolism and has a preventative effect against various diseases.
The only vegetable protein with all the essential amino acids
Soya protein is the only vegetable protein that contains all essential amino acids necessary for human nutrition. Amino acids are the basic building blocks – the “bricks” of the human cell. There are 20 of them in total, 8 of which the body cannot produce on its own, which is why they are called essential. We can only get them from food.
Soya contains all 20 amino acids, which makes it unique among other plants. This also makes it a full substitute for meat. It even has an advantage over meat because it contains no cholesterol and only a small amount of fat.
It contains a lot of proteins and vitamins
Soya products generally contain high-quality proteins, calcium, magnesium and other healthy nutrients.
The most common soya product in the world is tofu. (produced by precipitating freshly boiled soya milk – hence it is sometimes called “soya cheese”).
This healthy food has a high nutritional value and also has substances with anti-cancer effects. In addition to those already mentioned, they also include various B vitamins, tocopherols, phosphorus, iron, omega-3 fatty acid, linolenic acid, which protects the heart and treats inflammation and polyunsaturated linoleic acid which is good for the metabolism.
Lecithin improves memory
One of the most important components of soya is lecithin, which is essential for the functioning of the body’s cells, lowers blood cholesterol levels, protects the heart and blood vessels, prevents lung cancer and, last but not least, improves the functioning of the nervous system and memory.
Read more: Facts and myths about soya
Eating tofu is also environmentally friendly
Eating tofu is not only more healthy than meat products. It is also more environmentally friendly and ethical, as no animals need to be kept to produce it.
The burden on the environment is measured by the “ecological footprint” left in nature, for example, by food that humans consume. If a person ate exclusively plant-based foods, they would produce half as much CO2 in their ecological footprint, use a thirteenth of the amount of water, and would occupy one eighteenth of the agricultural land compared to the average meat eater.
In addition, we produce our tofu from soya that is not genetically modified and does not contain any contaminants.
Positive effect on the heart
Soya and tofu help prevent coronary thrombosis and heart attacks, and protect against arteriosclerosis, because eating it regularly helps the blood become thinner. It improves the blood flow through the coronary arteries.
It increases the amount of calcium in the bones
The amount of calcium in soya is twice as high as in milk or in spinach. Soya and tofu also act to prevent osteoporosis.
It reduces the risk of cancer
Research has shown that soya contains substances that can prevent or even cure cancer. For example, it has been confirmed that regular consumption of tofu reduces the risk of colon cancer by half. It has also been demonstrated that it has a protective effect against breast, prostate, colon, lung and stomach cancers.
It helps menopausal women
Tofu contains substances from plants, called isoflavones, which are also partially produced in the ovaries. As a result, it helps alleviate the unpleasant symptoms of menopause.
Eating tofu helps prevent acidification of the body and consequent diseases. That means obesity, osteoporosis, gout, eczema and other consequences of the disturbance of the acid-base balance in the body. It is very important.
Soya lowers cholesterol
Dozens of studies have shown that soya improves the ratio between HDL (good) and LDL (bad) cholesterol. The American Heart Association considers this factor even more important than total cholesterol for the risk of heart disease. People with normal levels of total cholesterol also benefit from consuming soya.