The soya bean comes in many colours but the one most commonly available is pale yellow and has a short brown line running down one side. It is a small round or oval bean.
Carbohydrates – 21g
Protein – 43g
Oil – 19g
Carotene – 426 micrograms
Folic acid – 100 micrograms
Thiamine – 0.7mg
Riboflavin – 0.4mg
Niacin – 3mg
Calcium – 250mg
Iron – 11mg
It also contains choline, lecithin and cephalin for healthy nerves.
Obesity and Diabetes – Its low carbohydrate content makes soya ideally suited to be mixed into cereals and pulses, to prevent and treat obesity and diabetes.
Cardiovascular Disease – Soya protein and oil have the direct effect of lowering LDL, total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Plant estrogens present in the soya bean protect against coronary artery disease. Vitamin E present in soya is an antioxidant that helps lower cholesterol levels and prevents heart disease.
Cancer – Phytochemicals present in soya bean are said to protect against breast, endometrial and perhaps also prostrate cancer. Genistein plays a role in suppressing the growth of tumors cells.
Osteoporosis – The soya bean’s significant calcium content protects against osteoporosis.
Immune system – The vitamin E in the soya bean is an antioxidant and strengthens the immune system.
Menopausal Symptoms – Plant estrogens present in the soya bean relieve menopausal symptoms.
Lactose Intolerance – Babies and young children who are lactose intolerant may be fed soya milk instead of ordinary milk.
Gluten Sensitivity – Soya does not contain gluten and may be substituted for wheat, for those who are sensitive to gluten
The soya bean with its low carbohydrate content, complete protein and oil that contains MUFA and PUFA1 in the right proportions is an invaluable component of the diet for those who suffer from obesity, diabetes or cardiovascular disease. When it is mixed into cereals and pulses, the carbohydrate content is reduced, so that we can continue to eat all our traditional Indian foods and still lose weight, regularize high blood glucose levels and improve our lipid profiles.