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Soy beans : What is it?
Soy products are readily included into the dietary balance due to their unique nutritional content, allowing for the substitution of good sources of animal protein with good sources of vegetable protein.
Soy is a nutrient-dense legume (pulses). The edible element is the seeds packed in pods 3 to 8 cm long, often known as “soy beans.” Its seeds are made up of 20% oil and 40% high-quality protein.
Soy flour, soy milk, tofu, tonyu, and soybean oil are all common ingredients in traditional Japanese dishes. Its nutritional and technical features are employed in bread and dairy goods, ready meals, newborn milks, and other items.
Soy drink, commonly known as tonyu or soy milk, is the most traditional soy food. Tonyu is available in a variety of forms, including plain, flavored beverages, and in the preparation of other foods such as sweets. We also produce fermented sweets using tonyu, all-natural herbs, and fruit flavors.
Tonyu can be coagulated with a calcium or magnesium-rich salt before being used to make tofu. The resulting curd is crushed into a hard white solid. Tofu can be eaten plain or used as an ingredient in meals, cakes, and other baked goods.
Soybean oil, soy flour, and soy lecithin are also available.
Soy protein has a nutritional profile similar to that of meat, with a high proportion of unsaturated fats. These foods are especially appealing to vegetarians and vegans, as long as they are calcium-fortified.
Phytoestrogens, particularly isoflavones, are found in soy (natural active chemical compounds from plants). They work in the body like estrogens (natural hormones) once taken, but with a 100 to 1000 times lower impact than synthetic estrogens. They decrease cholesterol, lessen the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, and help to prevent malignancies including breast cancer. Indeed, a study1 found that women with the greatest levels of enterolactone (a phytoestrogen-derived chemical) have a 40% lower risk of mortality and a 40% lower chance of a disease course that is unfavorable.
Food allergies can be caused by soy protein, which is allergenic. Furthermore, soy is one of the 14 allergens that must be labeled separately. Soya is a trophallergen, which means that eating it causes an allergic reaction, which can happen even if the allergen is only present in minute amounts.
It can, however, occasionally behave as a pneumallergen. Following the emission of soybean particles in and near treatment plants, a few uncommon incidences of allergic asthma have been reported.
In addition, soy allergy might be linked to the following allergies:
other legumes (peanuts, peas, lentils, lupine); proteins from cow's milk; birch pollen (and other betulaceae).
Soy allergy affects one percent of the population, according to estimates. However, given its large consumption and the food industry's extensive usage of its derivatives, there is a risk of a rise in this frequency.
After the allergen has been ruled out, the allergy usually goes away. As a result, the first step is to eliminate the allergen from the diet. Examine the ingredient list of the items you buy to be sure they don't include soy or soy derivatives. Soy is a known allergy, and most items that contain it state such (“contains soy”, “may contain traces of soy”).
Soy products may be an excellent addition to a well-balanced and varied diet for children over the age of three.
When a kid is allergic to cow's milk, however, it is even more important to replace it with soy milk since there is a possibility of cross-allergy: a person who is allergic to cow's milk is more likely to be allergic to soy. Special milks, whose proteins have been changed to no longer cause allergic responses, are the solution for youngsters.
However, soy drinks and soy meals are not suited for babies and young children under the age of three, since they do not meet their nutritional demands. They are contraindicated, according to ANSES and the French Pediatric Society.
Soy allergy, like all food allergies, is more prone to develop if soy is introduced into the diet at a young age. It is thus not suggested to replace cow's milk with soy milk in children's meals, as is frequently done in vegetarian homes.
As a result, only baby formulae (1st age), follow-on formulas (2nd age), and growth milks (produced from cow's milk proteins or soy protein isolates) provide the nutritional demands of young children. They meet the product's regulatory composition criteria, which are particularly stringent when it comes to children's nutrition.
Benefits of soy according to micronutrients
The following are some of the nutrients found in large quantities in soybeans:
Iron is abundant in soybeans, particularly tofu. Iron is found in every cell in the body. The transfer of oxygen and the production of red blood cells in the blood are both dependent on this mineral. It's also involved in the production of new cells, hormones, and neurotransmitters. It's worth noting that the iron found in plants isn't as well absorbed by the body as the iron found in animal diets. Iron absorption from plants, on the other hand, is enhanced when it is ingested with specific nutrients, such as vitamin C.
Zinc may be found in abundance in soy. Zinc is involved in immunological responses, the generation of genetic material, taste perception, wound healing, and the development of the fetus, among other things. Zinc interacts with sex hormones as well as thyroid hormones. It is involved in the synthesis (manufacturing), storage, and release of insulin in the pancreas.
Calcium is found in soybeans, particularly tofu prepared from calcium sulfate, and fortified soy drinks. The mineral calcium is by far the most prevalent in the human body. It is mostly kept in the bones, which it is an essential component of. It aids in the creation of both the teeth and the gums, as well as the preservation of their health. Calcium is also necessary for blood coagulation, blood pressure regulation, and muscle contraction, including heart contraction.
The benefits of soy for health
Soy is a healthy ally with a wonderful nutritional profile that needs to be included in a diverse and balanced diet. Numerous studies have emphasized its anti-cancer characteristics as well as its beneficial benefits on cardiovascular health, owing to its high-quality fat content.
** Phytoestrogen content
Soy includes phytoestrogens including genistein, daidzein, and glycitein, which are estrogen-like compounds produced by the human body. Phytoestrogens and estrogen would compete in the body. As a result, they would be able to replace some of the estrogen. Because estrogen promotes the multiplication of some cancer cells, phytoestrogens suppress their growth, resulting in smaller breast tumors. As a result, when women have greater quantities of phytoestrogens in their blood, their risk of breast cancer is reduced. Only premenopausal women have had this effect.
Furthermore, the majority of studies demonstrating a preventive benefit of soy on breast cancer have been conducted among Asian women, who consume five times more phytoestrogens and fermented soybeans than North Americans (tempeh , miso, natto). As a result, we must be cautious of the findings of these investigations.
Finally, phytoestrogens have been researched in relation to the rise in hot flashes associated with menopause, which is a symptom of lower estrogen levels. According to a meta-analysis of multiple scientific research, ingesting 30 to 80 mg of isoflavones (a form of phytoestrogen) per day reduces the frequency of hot flashes in postmenopausal women by 21%.
** Cardiovascular health
The American Heart Association promotes the intake of soy products, which include nutritional properties that may be advantageous to cardiovascular health. However, no large-scale research has demonstrated that consuming a lot of soy protein lowers blood cholesterol levels. The beneficial benefits on heart health are attributable in part to the fact that eating soy reduces our intake of animal-based foods, such as red meat, which are high in saturated and trans fats and are damaging to the body. the human heart
** Soy and sex hormones
The effect of soy and isoflavone diet on testosterone and other sex hormones in males was studied in a meta-analysis of many clinical investigations. Soy intake has no effect on sex hormone levels, according to the findings. Studies on the effects of soy diet on bone mineralization, osteoporosis risk, and prostate cancer risk are still inconclusive, thus no recommendations can be made.
How to choose the right soybean and properly store it ?
Green soy beans, often known as edamame (meaning “bean on branches”), are now available in supermarkets' frozen foods section. Only highly refined oil is commercially accessible since soybean kernels are not suited for cold pressing.
For the best possible conservation,
Dried grains can be stored in a cool, dry area for up to a year. The flour should be kept in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent it from getting rancid. After blanching for five minutes in boiling water and cooling in ice water, fresh soybeans freeze in their pods. Before freezing the pods, make sure they are completely dry. Milk, tofu, natto, and tempeh will stay in the refrigerator for a week or two.
Finally, soy sauce, miso, and fermented black beans can be kept in a cold, dry spot for a year or longer.
How to prepare soybeans ?
In the kitchen, soy comes in a variety of forms that may be included into common recipes: grains, soy-based beverages, fermented soy, soy sauce, tofu, and so on. It pairs well with dishes with a lot of flavor and spices because of its neutral flavor. Soy-based beverages, whether flavored or not, are becoming increasingly popular, allowing for the creation of tasty and healthy sweets.
There are yellow and black grain variants available on the market. The latter are tastier and have more applications; but, if you want to manufacture your own milk, you should use yellow soybeans. After soaking for one hour, the grains require around three hours to cook in water. They can be prepared in a pressure cooker to save time. They'll be served with rice and veggies that have been sautéed.
** Kinako is made by soaking the grains in water for six hours and then roasting them on a baking pan till golden brown. They're eaten raw, with a pinch of salt;
** Soy beans, like mung beans, may be germinated and utilized in a variety of Asian recipes.
** The finely ground grain produces flour with 12 percent to 65 percent protein content, depending on the processing method, and oil content ranging from 0.5 percent to 24 percent depending on whether it is whole, semi-defatted, or degreased. It's used to make sauces, cakes, muffins, and cookies, among other things. Many processed goods are fortified with soy flour because of its high protein content.
** Edamame is a green grain that the Japanese consume as a snack. They cook them in boiling water with their pods for a few minutes. The grain is then extracted by bringing the pod to the lips and squeezing it.
** After cooking, the soy beans are simply pressed to obtain a milky liquid that may be used in any recipe that calls for cow's milk: pastries, shakes, sauces, flans, soufflés, puddings, and so on.
Plant-based beverages supplemented with vitamin A, D, B12, thiamine, zinc, calcium, and unsweetened soy drinks have the nutritional profile that most closely resembles plain cow's milk. This is because they contain almost the same amount of protein and vitamins and minerals as cow's milk. These beverages have no trans fat, cholesterol, or sugar since they are prepared from plant components (soy beans), rather than milk from dairy cows (6-7 grams per cup).
The skin (yuba) that develops on the surface of heated milk is scavenged by the Japanese. They eat it alone or create rice or veggie rolls with it. You may collect a great number of skins by utilizing a big, shallow pan. After each sample, just reheat the milk and set it aside to cool for five to seven minutes. Take the skin and hang it to drain it with a stick put under the surface.
When the milk is drained, it becomes tofu, a type of vegetable cheese that has no flavor on its own but may absorb the flavor of other meals or sauces. Soups, salads, and stir-fries all include it. It may be deep fried or grilled on the grill.
-For stir-fries and grills, choose firm tofu, medium firm for soups, and smooth for cream or pudding dishes. Spicy tofu is also available, which is colored with natural colors and flavored with red wine or rice wine, among other things.
-Cut tofu into cubes (eight per tofu loaf) and boil for a few minutes in a few inches of water or broth, then serve with soy sauce and the following condiments: roasted nori seaweed split into bits, toasted sesame seeds, finely chopped green onion, grated ginger, and bonito flakes. When the tofu floats to the top of the water, it's excellent;
-It may be used as place of mayonnaise when mixed with oil and vinegar. You may also prepare a sauce with tahini, a little honey, soy sauce, and rice vinegar to serve with vegetables (asparagus or broccoli, for example) by blending it with tahini, a little honey, soy sauce, and rice vinegar.
It will create a great dip to serve with fresh veggies if blended with soy sauce, tahini, lemon juice, shallot, and sweet pepper.
-In the summer, dip it in ice water to keep it cold. It's a complete meal when served with soy sauce or miso, a piece of grated ginger root, freshly crushed garlic, nori strips, sesame salt, and shredded or chopped veggies.
-Replace the avocado for tofu in the guacamole;
-For about three minutes, grill tofu pieces that are 2 cm thick. On the surface of the slices, spread a mixture of cooked spinach, tahini, and white miso that has been blended and returned to the oven for two minutes. Serve with tiny slices of lemon peel as a garnish.
-Tofu with scrambled eggs: crush the tofu and fry it with the eggs in a pan while whisking constantly. Season with a little soy sauce and a carrot julienne, snow peas, and shiitake slices soaked in boiling water for two minutes.
** Fermented soy products
-Miso is made by mashing soya beans and fermenting them for months with or without grains. Miso is a mainstay of Japanese cuisine. It's mostly used to flavor vegetable or tofu meals, either by diluting it in a seaweed-based broth or as a sauce.
-Soy sauce (shoyu or tamari): fermented with or without grains, then brined, soy creates a one-of-a-kind sauce that no Asian dish is complete without. After marinating ginger, chives, horseradish, or wasabi, lemon, lime, or finely shredded vegetables like daikon or white turnip, it is added to prepared meals or used as a condiment. Toss it into vinaigrettes or use it to coat fish in a yogurt sauce.
-Natto: this dish is made by inoculating cooked grains with a particular bacterium, which produces a taste similar to blue cheese and a texture similar to mozzarella after a day or two. It goes well with rice, miso soup, tofu, and omelets. It's used as a dip or as a tempura component.
-Tempeh is made from cooked soy beans that have been seeded with a different type of bacteria and fermented for 24 hours. It is then formed into pancakes, meatballs, and other dishes. Tempeh is frequently prepared in the West as ground beef patties or sausage. It goes well with soups, sauces, and chiles. It's steamed, grilled, sautéed, or marinated; it's cooked in a pan or steamed, grilled, sautéed, or marinated.
-Fermented black beans are soy beans that have been fermented to give them a distinct color and then kept in salt. It can be black soybeans, although it isn't always the hue of fermented soybeans. It is used to season meals as a condiment. Most cooks advocate soaking them in water for half an hour before using them to desalt them, although some believe that washing them removes many of their virtues. Only a few grains are needed at a time in cooking, and they are sliced. It's really good with fish.
-Fermented tofu is a fragrant product that, like all fermented items, is used in little amounts to spice up a boring dish.
Contraindications and allergies to soy
Soy is typically healthy and beneficial to one's health. However, in some circumstances, it is not advised, particularly because of its effect on hormonal activity. Other research on the effects of soy in women with endometriosis or hormonal disorders, among other things, are still continuing. Soy should be used in moderation and as part of a varied diet until we understand more.