Soybeans (Glycine max) are a type of legume native to eastern Asia. They have been an important part of Asian diet for thousands of years and are among the best sources of plant-based protein. One serving of tofu provides 373mg of calcium, more than a glass of milk.
Being low in carbs, whole soybeans have a low glycemic index (do not cause a spike in blood sugar levels). They also contain a fair amount of both soluble and insoluble fibers. Consumption of soy protein can cause a modest decrease in cholesterol levels.[1,2,3] Observational studies have found that consumption of soy products could reduce the risk of breast cancer.[4,5]
Soybeans For Relief From Menopausal Symptoms
Menopause is the phase in a woman's life when menstruation halts. Mood swings, hot flashes, and sweating are some of the unpleasant symptoms caused by a reduction in estrogen levels.
Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring plant nutrients that have a natural estrogen-like action within the body. According to a study published in the journal Menopause, nearly half the women who ate a diet rich in phytoestrogens such as soybeans had decreased menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness.
Studies suggest that isoflavones, a family of phytoestrogens in soybeans, could alleviate the menopausal symptoms.[6,7] While hormone replacement therapy is conventionally used for treating menopausal symptoms, isoflavone supplements prepared from soybeans are now widely used as an alternative treatment.
How To Incorporate Soy Into Your Diet
Drinking a glass of soy milk twice daily or eating half a cup of tofu every alternate day can provide relief from menopausal symptoms such as mood swings, headaches, anxiety and hot flashes.
Here are some soy recipes you can try.