Climate change affects the way we live. For those who are most aware of the changes we need to make, they know that small things can make a huge difference to tenacious nature and its resources. Our diet is a great example of small choices that can determine how well our world thrives.
We use more land and resources when we eat a diet high in meat and animal products. This is why many emphasize the importance of a plant-based diet, not only for our health, but also for the environment. You may not want to give up meat forever, but even going vegetarian a few days a week can make a difference to your health and the world.
The vegan industry has moved on from nasty milk substitutes and unpalatable options. These days, the competition is high and the opportunities are great. One great vegan choice you can try is soy. Asian countries have been using soy for centuries, but Western cuisine is now riding the soy trend to enjoy the benefits of innovative soy products.
How can soy-rich foods benefit your health?
Soy comes with a list of health benefits. Here are the top reasons why you should try this legume.
1. The nutritional composition of soy is extensive
The list of macronutrients and micronutrients found in soy is extensive. These legumes are a great source of plant-based protein when you want to switch up your meat-heavy diet. Soy is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, making it a great option if you want to minimize your risk of stroke or heart disease, or if you want to lose weight.
These legumes are also rich in fiber and will help with digestive issues. Other vitamins and minerals in soy include potassium, iron, and folate, which will help improve your overall health and optimize your energy levels.
2. Soy promotes heart health
Many doctors recommend a plant-based diet for heart and cholesterol patients because the benefits of going vegan are significant. You are less likely to consume bad fats when you eat plant-based foods. soy is a great example.
You can enjoy improving your health by eating these legumes in a balanced diet. Soy can reduce inflammation, balance cholesterol levels and improve blood lipid profile thanks to its isoflavones. By doing so, soy reduces the risk of hypertension, atherosclerosis and heart disease.
3. Soy optimizes bone health
The isoflavones found in soy go beyond helping with heart risks. This type of phytoestrogen may promote bone health in postmenopausal women. Soy may alleviate symptoms of estrogen deficiency, including conditions such as osteoporosis and bone loss. When you eat soy-based foods, you can improve bone mineral density and reduce the risk of fractures.
4. Soy helps regulate hormones
Isoflavones also affect hormone regulation due to their phytoestrogenic properties. These properties can mimic what estrogen does to our bodies. Although the effect is small compared to the estrogen found in our bodies, these compounds can be helpful for menopausal women who endure uncomfortable symptoms.
Studies show that soy can help relieve hot flashes and improve hormone imbalances and mood. However, studies show that not all women experiencing menopause experience similar benefits from soy.
5. Soy for cancer prevention
Preliminary studies have shown that these legumes may also reduce the risk of some forms of cancer. Such potential comes from the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of isoflavones, which may reduce the risk of colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers. Phytochemicals found in soybeans can also stop metastasis and tumor growth while enhancing cancer cell apoptosis.
6. Controversies surrounding soy
Although soy may seem like a simple legume, its industry has caused considerable controversy due to unsustainable production. What’s more, some studies show that soy’s effects on our hormones can lead to thyroid dysfunction and other ailments.
Although the studies are preliminary, note that you would need to consume a significant amount of soy per day for this to happen. The key here is to strike a balance. There are a variety of plant-based protein options, such as quinoa and chickpeas, so you don’t need to consume soy with every meal.
Fighting climate change with a plant-based diet may seem unnecessary if the vegan options you choose also harm the planet, whether it’s soy, bananas or peanut butter.
You need to learn about the food you eat. If you buy soy products, make sure you do so from brands that adopt sustainable practices. Check for identification labels that prove the brand complies with international sustainable practices that contribute to the well-being of our environment.
A diet rich in soy can provide many benefits, especially if you are older. When you reach the age when health complications begin, you should do everything you can to keep your health in check. It’s important to do this to reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease, and to avoid the medications and complications associated with them.
A plant-based diet with vegan protein like soy can help you manage your overall health, optimize your weight, and improve your energy levels. Your appearance will also benefit from soy. Expect better skin with its antioxidant properties, less visible wrinkles or dull skin.