5 Benefits Of Adding Soy To Your Diet
Incorporating something new into our diet can sometimes feel like a tiresome endeavor. Unless it is a trending food like the regularly photographed avocado on toast or the popular Matcha latte, we can get lazy about trying new things, especially if we are the ones cooking them. Yet, trying new things is essential to bringing fresh nutrients into our bodies. Eating fish is excellent for omega-3 levels, and getting a sugar rush from fruit is much better than crashing over a box of cookies, but what about trying humble, simple, and nourishing food like the understated soy?
What is soy?
Soy is a powerful food because it contains all nine amino acids making it a complete protein. This is good news for vegans and vegetarians who want to consume protein without having meat and other animal products. There are different colored soybeans available, including yellow, green, and black. Green is popularly known as edamame, while yellow is often used to make tofu, tempeh, and soy milk. Black soybeans are vastly used in traditional Asian dishes.
The soybean has been at the epicenter of controversy over the last few years because some fear the high risk of breast cancer or preventing the thyroid from working optimally. Yet, the benefits of incorporating soy into one’s diet are also significant. Balance is vital when consuming soy, much like any other food, and by consuming U.S. soy, you would buy a local product that can be helpful to your health and the environment.
Five benefits of including soy in your meal plan
1. Get your protein intake.
As stated, soy is a complete protein because it contains all nine amino acids, including the ones our body cannot produce naturally. Few foods on this planet can do so and also be suitable for vegans. Soy, along with quinoa, is one such example. If you want to reduce the amount of meat and animal products in your diet, soy is an excellent protein that will help you stay healthy physically and mentally while adhering to a vegan-based diet.
2. Help fight climate change.
The climate crisis feels overwhelming, and many people out there feel hopeless. Despite the seriousness of it all and the enormity of the problem, you can make a huge difference. Action, rather than apathy, is key to seeing real change. You may not be able to afford an electric car or quit traveling for good, but you can reduce your carbon footprint by eating less meat and animal products.
Going vegan is a drastic change, and it is essential to find protein replacements to remain healthy. Luckily, a vegan food like soy can give you the protein you need and keep you full and mentally strong while knowing that you are helping fight against climate change.
3. Get a dose of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are essential substances that help your body fight against free radicals. The latter is harmful cells that enter the body through smoking, pollution, and inhaling other toxic chemicals. These free radicals can reap havoc on the body. They can cause dull skin and lead to a higher risk of cancer, heart disease, and other disorders. Neutralizing these free radicals is essential to keep things balanced, so we must consume antioxidant-rich foods. Soy, along with blueberries and CBD, is an excellent example of an antioxidant-rich food that can fight free radicals.
4. Nourish your mental health
Omega 3 is a critical nutrient to keep mental health disorders at bay. Anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues can worsen when your diet lacks omega-3 fatty acids. As a vegan or someone who eats very little meat or fish, it is challenging to consume this nutrient because it is usually found in fish. Yet, with a soy-rich diet, you can be sure your body gets this critical nutrient. Soy, much like seaweed, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, with 510mg in half a cup of soy.
5. Improve heart health
Research shows that a diet with little or no animal products is excellent for minimizing the risk of heart disorders, lowering cholesterol, and lowering obesity risks. Still, it is challenging to go vegan, especially if you love your protein intake. With soybean in your diet, you can minimize the number of times you consume meat to minimize the risk of chronic disorders. Eating soy rather than steak is a sure way of seeing drastic changes in your body. It is an excellent way of losing weight fast and lowering cholesterol levels and high blood pressure if you have tipped the scales and are at risk of chronic disorders.
The benefits of including soy in your diet are evident, but it does not mean it should be your only source of protein. Quinoa, beans, and legumes must be added to your meal plan to balance the different nutrients and give yourself the best chance to feel healthy and energetic. Starting small is always best when trying something new. Try edamame as a snack, or switch to soy milk the next time you have a bowl of cereal.