Soybeans or soybeans (scientific name is Glycine max ) is a species belongs to the legume family , originating from East Asia.

They have been an important ingredient in Asian meals for thousands of years. Today, they are grown in Asia, North America and South America.

In Asia, soybeans are usually eaten whole, but in Western countries, processed soy products are widely used.

Many types of soy products are sold, including soybean meal, soy protein, tofu, soy milk, soy sauce and soybean oil.

Soy contains a lot of antioxidants and phytonutrient is very beneficial for health, while also raising concerns about harmful effects.

The picture below shows the variety of soy products. Yellow beans are ripe soybeans, green shelled, unripe soy beans, also called edamame beans.

Ingredients Nutrition and Health Benefits of Soybeans

Nutritional ingredients

In addition to water, the main nutritional ingredient in soy is protein, but they also contain lots of carbohydrates and carbs.

The table below contains information about the basic nutrients found in soybeans.

Calories 173
Country 63%
The protein 16.6 g
Carb 9.9 g
Street 3 g
Fiber 6 g
Fat 9 g
Saturation 1.3 g
Unsaturated single 1.98 g
Do not produce cholesterol 5.06 g
Omega-3 0.6 g
Omega-6 4.47 g
Trans fat ~

Protein in soybeans

Ingredients Nutrition and Health Benefits of Soybeans
Soybeans contain protein that makes them ideal for vegetarians.

Soy is one of the sources the protein From the best plants.

Protein content in soybeans ranges from 36 to 56% of dry weight .

One cup of cooked soybeans (172 g) contains about 29 grams of protein .

The nutritional value of soy protein is very high, although its quality is not as high as that of animal products .

The main protein in soy is glycinin and conglycinin, which accounts for about 80% of the total protein in soybeans . These proteins can cause allergies in some people .

Consumption of soy protein significantly reduces cholesterol .

Soybeans also contain active proteins such as lectin (a non-immune protein) and lunasin can help fight cancer .

Crux: Soy is a rich source of protein derived from plants, making them ideal for vegetarians.

Fat in soybeans

Ingredients Nutrition and Health Benefits of Soybeans
Soybean oil

Soybeans are very high in fat.

In fact, soybeans are listed as oilseeds and are often used to make soy oil.

Soy fat content is about 18% dry weight, mainly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids with a small amount of soluble fat .

The most abundant fat in soy is accounting for about 50% of total fat in soybeans.

Crux : As a source of fat, soybeans are used to produce soybean oil.

Carbohydrates (carb)

Because contains less carb , whole shelled soybeans contain very low blood sugar indexes , this is a measure of increased blood sugar levels after a meal.

A low GI makes soy particularly suitable for people with diabetes.


Soybeans contain a large amount of soluble and insoluble fiber.

The main insoluble fiber is alpha-galactoside (a digestive enzyme) such as stachyose and raffinose. These fibers can cause flatulence or diarrhea in sensitive people .

Alpha-galactoside belongs to the family of fiber called (short-chain carbohydrate fermentation forms), may worsen symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) .

Although there are still side effects in susceptible people, soluble fiber in soybeans is often thought to be healthy.

They are fermented with gut bacteria, leading to the formation of short-chain acids, which can improve intestinal health, cut the risk of bowel cancer .

Crux : Soybeans contain less carbs but are quite rich in fiber. Fiber is good for gut health but can cause digestive problems in some people.

Vitamins and minerals

Soy is an abundant source of vitamins and minerals.

Ingredients Nutrition and Health Benefits of Soybeans
Soy is a good source of vitamins and minerals
  • Molybden: Soy beans are rich in molybdenum, an essential substance for the body, found mainly in nuts, grains and beans .
  • Vitamin K1: The form of vitamin K is found in beans known as phylloquinone, which causes blood vessel blockage .
  • Folate : a B vitamin, also known as vitamin B9 or folic acid. It has many functions in the body and is thought to be very important during pregnancy .
  • Copper : Copper-containing diets are less common in Westerners. Lack of copper may have many adverse health effects .
  • Manganese : a trace element found in most foods and drinks. Manganese in soy is difficult to absorb because they have high levels of phytic acid .
  • Phosphorus : Soy is a rich source of phosphorus, an essential mineral found in Western diets.
  • Thiamin: Also known as vitamin B1. It plays an important role in the body's functions.

Crux : Soy is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K1, folate, copper, manganese, phosphorus and thiamin.

Other organic compounds

Soy is rich in active organic compounds.

Ingredients Nutrition and Health Benefits of Soybeans
  • Isoflavone : A family of antioxidant polyphenols with many health benefits, commonly known as plant estrogen .
  • Phytic acid : Found in all plant seeds, phytic acid (phytate) reduces the ability to absorb minerals such as zinc and iron. The amount of phytic acid can be reduced during the cooking, germination or fermentation of pea .
  • Saponin: one of the main groups of organic compounds in soybeans . Soy saponins are believed to reduce cholesterol in animals .

Crux : Soy is rich in active organic compounds, including soybean germ, saponin, and phytic acid.

Isoflavon (Soy germ essence)

Of all the natural nutrients in soybean shell, soy germ extract is worth mentioning.

Soybeans contain content higher than other foods .

Isoflavon is a unique natural nutrient, similar to the female hormone estrogen. In fact, they belong to a family of substances called phytoestrogens.

The main isoflavon in soy is antioxidant genistein (50%), daidzein (40%) and glycitein (10%) .

Some people have a special gut bacteria that can convert daidzein into equol, a substance in soy that is thought to be very beneficial for health.

Those who are called equol producers will gain more health benefits when eating soybeans than others .

The proportion of people who produce equol in Asia and those who are vegetarian is higher than Westerners .

Crux : Isoflavones are one of the main organic compounds in soy that are beneficial for health.

Health benefits of soy

Like most other pure foods, soy has many health benefits.

Preventing breast cancer and prostate cancer

Ingredients Nutrition and Health Benefits of Soybeans
Edamame beans

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in modern society.

Eating soy products increases breast tissue cells in women , in theory it also increases the risk of breast cancer.

However, most observational studies show that consumption of soy products may reduce the risk of breast cancer .

Research has also shown that it can fight prostate cancer in men .

Soy compounds may have the potential to help prevent cancer, including isoflavon, lectin and lunasin .

Early consumption of isoflavones may help prevent breast cancer later .

Remember that all human studies on this topic are called . They point out that there is a link between soy consumption and cancer prevention, but does not prove the result.

Crux : Soybeans contain many organic compounds that may help prevent breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Reduce menopausal symptoms

Menopause is a period in a woman's life when menstruation stops.

It often has unpleasant symptoms such as sweating, hot flashes and mood swings, which are caused by decreased estrogen levels.

Interestingly, Asian women, especially Japanese women, have fewer menopausal symptoms than Western women.

Daily eating habits, such as high consumption of soy foods in Asia can explain this difference.

Research indicates that isoflavones belong to the phytoestrogen family found in soybeans that can reduce menopausal symptoms .

Soy products do not affect all women in this way. Soybeans seem to only affect those known to produce equol, who have a gut bacterium that can convert soybean germ extract to equol.

Equol is obtained when consumption of soybeans is believed to have many health benefits.

Each day eat 135 mg of isoflavon per week, equivalent to 68 g of soy per day, reduce menopausal symptoms in people called equol producers .

Usually, hormone therapy is used as a treatment for menopausal symptoms. Today, dietary supplements supplement the soy germ essence that are widely used as an alternative to hormone therapy .

Crux: Eating soy may help prevent menopausal symptoms.

Bone health

Osteoporosis is a pathology characterized by decreased bone density and increased risk of fractures, especially in older women.

Consumption of soy products may reduce the risk of osteoporosis in premenopausal women .

These benefits of soybeans are due to nutrients in soybean germs .

Crux: Soybeans may reduce the risk of osteoporosis in women after menopause.

Harms and concerns of people

Although soybeans have many health benefits, many people still need to limit their consumption of soy products or avoid eating all these products.

Ingredients Nutrition and Health Benefits of Soybeans
Like all foods, soy is not perfect

Reduces thyroid function

There are some concerns that consuming high levels of soy products may reduce functionality in some people and leads to hyperthyroidism (hypothyroidism) .

The thyroid gland is a large gland that helps control growth and control the energy rate that the body needs.

Research shows that soy germ extract found in soybeans can reduce the formation of thyroid hormones in both humans and animals .

A study of 37 adults in Japan showed symptoms associated with decreased thyroid function after eating 30 grams of soy a day for 3 months.

Symptoms include irritability, drowsiness, constipation, hypertrophy of the thyroid gland, all these symptoms are no longer after the study ends .

In another study, supplementing isoflavon (16 mg) daily for 2 months inhibited 10% prostate function in adults with mild hypothyroidism.

The amount of isoflavon consumed is quite small, or equivalent to 8 grams of soy per day .

However, most adult health studies do not find any link between soy consumption and changes in thyroid function .

A meta-analysis of 14 studies did not indicate the harmful effects of soy intake impairing thyroid function in adults, while infants with thyroid hormone deficiency (impaired disease) congenital armor) can be considered dangerous .

In summary, regular consumption of soy products or supplementation with soy germs can lead to hyperthyroidism in some sensitive people, especially those with poor thyroid function.

Crux : Soy products reduce thyroid function in susceptible people.

Flatulence and diarrhea

Like most beans, soybeans contain soluble fiber, mainly short digestive enzymes, raffinose and stachyose, which can cause flatulence and diarrhea in sensitive people .

Although thought to be unhealthy, these side effects of soy consumption can cause discomfort.

Of the fiber family called short-chain carbohydrate fermentation FODMAPs, raffinose and stachyose enzymes can exacerbate the symptoms of (IBS) , a common digestive disorder.

People with this syndrome should avoid or limit soy consumption.

Crux : Consuming soy in large quantities can cause flatulence or diarrhea in some people.

Allergy to soy

Food allergy is a common disease, caused by a harmful immune reaction in some ingredients in food.

Soy allergies are caused by soy protein and conglycinin, found in most soy products .

Although soy is one of 8 allergenic foods, allergy to soy is less likely to occur in both children and adults .

Crux : Some people are allergic to soy and need to avoid soy foods.

In brief

Soy is rich in protein and is also a good source of both carb and fat.

They are rich in vitamins, minerals and organic compounds that have health benefits like soy germ essences.

For this reason, soy may reduce the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer and reduce the symptoms of menopause.

On the negative side, soy can cause digestive problems and reduce thyroid function in susceptible people.