Soybeans have gone far beyond its Asian origins as its wonderous benefits are spread across the globe. Besides being the most cultivated legume in the world, soybean is also an alternative food product for vegetarians and lactose-intolerant people. Let’s find out why soybean is the King of beans!
Soya Beans or Soybeans?
Whether you call these beans, soybeans or soya beans, you are correct! Scientifically, soybeans are called Glycine max. They grow in green pods and it is the seeds that are edible. You may find it surprising but, edamame are actually young soybeans!
The soybean plant is native to China, where it has been cultivated for over 13,000 years. This plant was seen as an essential crop for the Chinese who regarded it as a necessity of life.
The soybeans that that are usually found in Singapore are either white or yellow in colour. However, they do come in green, brown or black. The texture is so adaptable that soya beans are frequently processed into a variety of foods ─ fermented or not.
In Singapore, soybeans are the basis of locals’ favourite soya milk, tofu, miso, soy sauce, bean curd skin, taucu (fermented bean sauce), and tempeh.
How Nutritious Are Soybeans?
According to US FoodData Central, an official website of the United States government, the nutritional facts for 100 grams of boiled soybeans in unsalted water are:
- Calories: 173
- Water: 63%
- Protein: 16.6 grams
- Carbs: 9.9 grams
- Sugar: 3 grams
- Fibre: 6 grams
- Fat: 9 grams
- Saturated: 1.3 grams
- Monounsaturated: 1.98 grams
- Polyunsaturated: 5.06 grams
- Omega-3: 0.6 grams
- Omega-6: 4.47 g
In simple words, soybeans are:
- High in fibre
- High in protein
- Low in saturated fat
- Cholesterol free
- A good source of omega-3 fatty acids
- A source of antioxidants
- High in phytoestrogens.
The active ingredients in soybeans are called isoflavones. Isoflavones changes in the body to phytoestrogens, which are similar to the hormone oestrogen.
Phytoestrogens have been found to help block the effects of excess oestrogen in the body. They balance out any imbalance in the percentage between oestrogen and progesterone. They appear to work by locking into the oestrogen-receptor sites on cells and in doing so they block out the stronger natural oestrogens.
Soya is regarded as equal to animal foods in protein quality. However, plant protein is processed differently to animal proteins. For example, experimental studies have shown that soy protein isolates tend to lower cholesterol levels, in those people with typically high levels, while protein from animal sources may raise cholesterol levels.
Soya beans also contain compounds called phytosterols. These plant compounds are structurally similar to cholesterol and steroid hormones. Phytosterols inhibit the absorption of cholesterol by blocking absorption sites thus, helping to regulate body weight.
Generally, it is said that 30 to 50 mg of isoflavones is enough to offer health benefits.
Below are the benefits of eating soybeans:
- Improve metabolism
- Help in healthy weight gain and weight regulations
- Protect heart health
- Reduce the effects of menopause, endometriosis, and PMS
- Improve digestion
- Promote bone health
- Protect against birth defects
- Increase circulation
- Decrease the risk of diabetes
- Tone up the body
- May reduce cancer risk (A number of soybean compounds — including isoflavones and lunasin — may be responsible for the potential cancer-preventive effects)
Maybe you have once heard that consuming soybeans can bad for men as it could affect their male hormone level thus, lowering their libido and making them more feminine. However, that is simply a myth according to NSM president, Dr Tee E Siong.
“There is no clinical evidence either that suggests soya protein lowers serum testosterone levels or exerts oestrogen-like or have feminising effects on men,” Dr. Tee said in his seminar titled Soy Nutrition, Trends & Market Development.
He then added that there is also no evidence that soy protein adversely affects thyroid function in healthy individuals
Be aware that fermented soy products like soy sauce are high in salt. However, it is still safe to consume soy sauce in moderate amount. Although soybean is also a common allergen, it will not cause you allergies that you do not already have.
We recommend CKH Pressed Tofu for those who are interested in trying out high-quality soybean food. Our Pressed Tofu is Halal certified.
It is definitely your healthier choice as well! CKH Pressed Tofu is 25% lower in sodium and higher in calcium, compared to regular soybean curds.
The ingredients are simply Non-GMO soybeans and calcium sulphate. Each serving weighs 125g (1/4 block) to ensure that it can fill your tummy and keep you happy.
Soybeans are extremely beneficial for our health. Not only can they fill our belly up, but they also help us to be healthier as well as maintaining a nice figure.
In a business perspective, more and more people are adopting a healthy lifestyle in Singapore. Thus, restaurants and cafes would gain popularity by selling soybeans and their products.
In fact, the more (unfermented) soy products you consume, the better your health gets!
Looking to buy soybean products for your business?
CKH Food Trading produces all kinds of soybean products. Please contact us through our contact form and our representative will get back to you as soon as we can. If you prefer to call us directly, please do give us a call at (65) 6261 2682.