Eating a balanced diet is a challenge for everyone. The good news is it’s easy to eat healthy with soy. Soybeans have many nutritional benefits.
Protein is an important part of your diet because it serves as a building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. So you want to be sure you’re getting your daily dose of protein.
Soy is the only plant protein that’s considered a complete protein. That means it contains all nine essential amino acids — those that are necessary for basic cell function. The body can’t produce them, so we must get them from our food. And soybeans are a great source! The average adult requires around 50 grams of protein per day.
Although fats tend to have a bad reputation, we need them. And some fats are better than others. Essential fats are responsible for providing energy, maintaining healthy skin, transporting vitamins, and more. They also promote heart health.
Soy contains polyunsaturated fats — healthy fats that are essential in our diets. Like essential amino acids, essential fats cannot be produced by our bodies and must be consumed through food. Because soy contains these fats, it helps to regulate smooth-muscle contractions and blood pressure.
Soybeans are a source of soluble fiber, which can help lower cholesterol levels and potentially reduce the risk for heart disease. Soy also provides insoluble fiber, which regulates the digestive tract. A healthy digestive system means a reduced risk of colon cancer.
To top it all off, soy has high concentrations of calcium, which is necessary for strong, healthy bones.
How to Eat More Soy
Adding soy to your diet doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it can easily complement what you are already eating. Try these tips to introduce soy into your diet:
- Add canned soybeans to chili
- Choose roasted soynuts for a snack
- Add tofu to your favorite smoothie
Soy is loaded with nutrients that improve your health in many ways. The Food and Drug Administration suggests eating at least 25 grams of soy protein a day, so next time you’re in the grocery store, look for some soy to add to your list!