According to Healthline - Among the types of plant-based milk, soy milk is one of the most popular. Apart from its delicious taste, there are many health benefits of soy milk that you can get.
To help you understand what soy milk is, its nutritional content and side effects, check out the following.
Nutritional content of soy milk
The content of soy milk may vary based on the brand.
Therefore, you should read the nutrition label on the soy milk product packaging before buying it.
According to Web MD and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), here are the nutritional contents in 100 grams of nutrient-packed soy milk.
Protein: 7 grams
Fat: 4 grams
Carbohydrates: 8 grams
Fiber: 1 gram
Sugar: 6 grams
Calcium: 25 milligrams
Iron: 0.64 milligrams
Magnesium: 25 milligrams
Phosphorus: 52 milligrams
Potassium: 118 milligrams
Zinc: 0.12 milligrams
Manganese: 0.22 milligrams
Copper: 0.13 milligrams
Sodium: 51 milligrams
Vitamin B1: 0.06 milligram
Vitamin B6: 0.08 milligram
Folate: 18 milligrams
Vitamin B2: 0.07 milligrams
Vitamin B3: 0.51 milligrams.
Benefits of soy milk
Soybeans contain prebiotic fiber and several phytochemicals (chemical compounds that plants have) that are very beneficial to humans, such as plant sterols and isoflavones.
These phytochemicals make the benefits of soy milk similar to the benefits of soy itself, as explained below.
1. Lower cholesterol
The first benefit of soy milk is that it has the potential to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) contained in the blood while increasing good cholesterol (HDL) levels.
This effect is believed to come from the fiber content contained in soybeans.
2. Improves female fertility
Did you know that soy milk is thought to improve female fertility?
The benefits of soy milk for women cannot be separated from the role of phytochemicals in counteracting the negative effects of BPA, a chemical substance in plastics that is thought to reduce female fertility.
Studies show that women who consume soy before undergoing an insemination procedure (the technique of inserting sperm into the uterus), are more likely to be successful than women who do not consume soy.
However, more research is needed on the fertility benefits of soy milk.
3. Reduces menopausal symptoms
When entering menopause, estrogen levels in a woman's body decrease, causing symptoms such as hot flashes and facial flushing.
The benefits of soy milk are related to the content of isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogen contained in plants and can increase estrogen levels in the female body, although it is weak.
According to one study, women who consumed soy for at least 12 weeks were less likely to experience hot flashes before menopause than women who did not.
Others admitted to still feeling hot, just not as bad as premenopausal women in general.
4. Prevents cancer
Based on research, the benefits of soy bean milk are considered to be able to prevent certain types of cancer because they contain antioxidants.
The results of the study broke the assumption that the phytoestrogen content in soybeans can actually stimulate the appearance of breast cancer.
In fact, these antioxidants are proven to be beneficial in reducing a woman's risk of developing breast cancer, especially during premenopause and menopause.
However, the benefits of drinking soy milk every day need to be studied further to prove the truth.
5. Maximizes red blood cell function
Soy milk contains iron, which can help you meet your daily needs.
Iron plays a role in maintaining the function of red blood cells to circulate oxygen throughout the body smoothly.
6. Nourishes the nervous system
The health benefits of soy milk are related to the content of B-complex vitamins, one of which is vitamin B12, which is good for the nervous system.
One glass of soy milk contains 3 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B12 or more than the daily requirement of 2.4 mcg.
7. Lose weight
Soy milk comes with a high fiber content. It's no wonder that this plant-based milk is thought to help you lose weight and keep your blood pressure stable.
Plus, if you follow a healthy diet regularly, the weight loss effect can be even more effective.
Besides being believed to be able to lower cholesterol levels, the benefits of soy milk are also considered good for heart health.
This is because soy milk can increase human plasma lipid levels and reduce the risk of heart disease in the future.
Moreover, soy milk is enriched with vitamins, minerals, and polyunsaturated fats that can improve heart health.
9. Nourishes skin
An unexpected use of soy milk is to nourish the skin.
According to one claim, soybeans are believed to reduce the effects of skin aging, either when consumed as milk or used in beauty products containing soybeans.
For example, soybean oil is a source of linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid, and contains antioxidant nutrients to help maintain healthy skin.
10. Nourishes hair
Soy bean oil can bind moisture to the hair and make it shiny.
In addition, soybean oil also contains vitamin E, which is believed to maintain a healthy scalp.
Vitamin E as an antioxidant is also considered to reduce inflammation, overcome stubborn dandruff, and relieve itching on the scalp.
However, it is not yet known whether drinking soy milk can provide similar results.
11. High in nutrients
Although made from plant-based sources, soy milk has nutritional content that should not be underestimated. In fact, soy milk contains no less protein than cow's milk.
In addition, soy milk is an abundant source of potassium while being low in calories and saturated fat.
12. Helps manage osteoporosis symptoms
According to a study, there are benefits of soy milk in overcoming the symptoms of osteoporosis in menopausal women. Keep in mind, the risk of osteoporosis in menopausal women is quite high.
The effectiveness of soy milk in overcoming the symptoms of early osteoporosis is considered effective because some soy milk products have been enriched with calcium.
13. Supports the recovery period after exercise
The next benefit of soy milk is that it supports the body's recovery period after exercise.
The body will lose fat and calories after exercise. Therefore, the body needs to undergo a recovery period.
Soy milk can be the right drink that can be consumed during this recovery period.
The reason is that soy milk is enriched with ribolavin, which can restore energy after exercise.
This plant-based milk is also a great choice for vegans and lactose intolerants.
14. Potential to boost mood
A lesser-known benefit of soy milk is that it improves mood.
Soy milk contains vitamin B6 and vitamin B complex, which are beneficial for mood.
In addition, soy milk is equipped with magnesium, which can help the body release the hormone serotonin to overcome depression.
15. Helps control obesity
Another claimed benefit of soy milk is that it helps control obesity. This benefit comes from the isoflavone content, which is believed to prevent metabolic obesity in men.
Not only that, this milk is thought to be able to reduce waist circumference in obese and overweight people.
Beware of soy milk side effects
Despite offering a myriad of benefits, here are the side effects of soy milk that you need to be aware of.
Obstructs iodine absorption so it is not recommended for consumption by hypothyroid patients.
Inhibits the production of male hormones (testosterone) so it should not be consumed in excess by men.
Potentially contains harmful pesticides and genetically modified organisms. However, these effects can be minimized by consuming organic soybeans.
How to make soy milk
Making your own soy milk at home is actually quite easy. The main ingredients in making soy milk are soybeans and water.
To make soy milk that does not smell lengu, you need to soak soybeans for 8 hours or overnight.
After that, make sure the skin of the beans is well peeled off. The beans that have been soaked and peeled off the skin are then washed and washed for 5 minutes.
After boiling, blend the soya beans with water until they become porridge. Then, strain the bean porridge to get the soybean juice.
Put vanilla, sugar, and salt in the soybean juice, then boil for 5 minutes while stirring. When it's done, remove from heat and the soy milk is ready to serve.
Can soy milk be consumed by pregnant women?
For pregnant women who follow a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, soy milk can be consumed to replace cow's milk.
The benefits of soy milk for pregnant women are also quite numerous because it contains protein, iron, calcium, zinc, fiber, omega-3 acids, and minerals that are useful for fetal health.
However, pregnant women should limit their consumption of soy milk because it contains phytic acid.
This acid can bind to heavy metal minerals, such as mercury and lead, and reduce the body's ability to bind important nutrients for the fetus, such as magnesium and iron.
In addition, according to a study, the vitamin D content in soy milk is considered lower when compared to cow's milk.
For a safe amount of soy milk for pregnant women, obstetricians recommend 1-2 glasses per day.
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