Soy, Soy Foods, and Their Role in Vegetarian Diets
At the core of every healthy diet are protein-rich foods and rightfully so! An essential nutrient, protein is found in almost every part of the body, muscles, bones, skin, and hair (1). In order to live a healthy life, it is essential for you to consume protein from a lot of different sources.
However, this may seem like a challenge for vegetarians and vegans, that solely rely on plant based foods to get their source of protein. Contrary to popular belief, there are various plant based protein sources that provide you with your daily dose of protein. However, it is essential to look for these foods and plan accordingly.
Soy and soy-based foods are extremely good sources of protein and they make a great addition to a vegetarian diet. Let us dig deeper to understand the importance and benefits of soy and soy-based foods in a vegetarian diet:
Soy: A complete protein
The protein in our body is made up of 20 amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Of which, our body receives nine of them from the foods we eat. These amino acids are known as essential amino acids and the foods that contain them are termed complete proteins.
Soy is one of the fewer known plant based food sources that is a complete protein. Along with protein, soy foods are also rich in other nutrients such as B vitaminsVitamin B, fiber, and antioxidants and are also gluten-free (2).
So, what are the soy foods that you can consume to get your daily dose of protein? You can read toClick here to know more about soy rich food.
Foods made out of soybeans and soy products can be segregated into two categories: unfermented soy products and fermented soy products.
Unfermented soy food:
- Soy milk
- Soy nuts
Fermented soy products:
- Soy sauce
Benefits of soy products
Reduced risk of cancer and coronary disease
Soy products are filled with the goodness of isoflavones, which are antioxidants. Research shows that the isoflavones in soy may be responsible for a reduced risk of breast cancer (3). In 1996, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledged that consumption of soy protein is linked with a reduced risk of coronary disease (4).
Contrary to popular myth, the isoflavones in soy do not increase the risk of breast cancer but instead reduce the risk of recurrence (5).
Improved bone health
The isoflavone content in soy is also attributed to having a positive effect on women suffering from osteoporosis (3). This is a condition when bones become brittle and weak where even a cough or slight stress can result in a fracture.
Moreover, the high quality of protein along with well-absorbed calcium in soy products is also linked with enhancing bone health and making them stronger (6, 7).
Lower cholesterol levels
Lower cholesterol levels indicate less stress on your heart and in turn, lower the risk of heart disease. Soy has been proven to manage cholesterol levels betterSoy has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels. A 2015 study discovered that consuming soy significantly reduced levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in the arteries (8).
The study also found that consumption of soy significantly led to an increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (good cholestorel). HDL helps remove the bad cholesterol from your heart, keeping it healthier.
Weight loss and obesity management
Soybeans, being a complete protein as well as an abundant source of protein, are great for weight loss and weight management. Studies have shown that consuming high amounts of protein in your diet can help you lose weight (9).
Alongside, a study on rats indicated that soy isoflavones aid in weight loss as well as managing obesity (10). As per the study, some compounds in the isoflavones prevented the buildup of fat around the rat’s organs.
Reduced risk of diabetes and better insulin resistance
Studies have pointed out that soy-isoflavanes possess antioxidant properties and this can contribute to a healthier state for you (11). Owing to its antioxidant properties, soy isoflavones in soy-based foods such as Tempeh improve glucose tolerance and build better insulin resistance that helps also aid individuals with diabetes (12). Read more on Tempeh for Diabetes here.
Another study done on monkeys also proved that isoflavones have a positive effect on insulin resistance (13).
Including Soy Products In Vegetarian Diet
Looking at the immense health benefits of soy, you may be willing to include this protein-rich food in your diet. However, with so many soy products on in the market, you may be finding it difficult to choose the one that suits your dietary requirements.
Should you consume textured vegetable plant protein food, soya chunks, tofu, or Tempeh? The soy products list might run long. If you are looking for a nutrient-rich yet tasty soy protein food, Tempeh may be can be an ideal choice.
Tempeh: Rich In Protein, Dietary Fibre & More
A 100g serving of Hello Tempayy consists of 19g of protein, 8.5g of dietary fibre, 30% Recommended Dietary Allowance of Iron (Hello Tempayy is fortified with iron), and 49% RDA of vitamin B12 ( Hello Tempayy is fortified with vitamin B12).
Moreover, if you are looking to lose weight, Tempeh is a perfect and tasty fibre-rich food option for you. Studies have shown that consuming more fat and protein affects the hunger hormone, ghrelin, and brings down your urge to eat more (14). Tempeh has an abundance of good fats and protein.
More importantly, this soy-based food’s Tempeh’s flavour-absorbing abilities and the health benefits of Tempeh set it apart from foods such as tofu and paneer that cannot soak the flavours.
If you are looking to get started with Tempeh, we urge you to visit our store and get your hands on this protein powerhouse. We offer Tempeh in five pre-marinated flavours. In case you wish to learn more about how to cook Tempeh, you can check out these Tempeh recipes. You can even consume Tempeh for diabetes, as it helps build better insulin resistance. (this entire thing seems unnecessary here, can be added somewhere else)
With Tempeh, we offer you a variety of possibilities to add nutrition and taste to your healthy diet. Order Tempeh today and get started!