Zonahobi – In recent years, plant-based dairy products have become more popular than cow’s milk. One of the most popular plant-based milks is soy milk. This milk is an alternative protein source for those allergic to cow’s milk or lactose intolerant. Soybeans are rich in essential fatty acids, which are important for body health. What are the benefits of soy milk really? Let’s take a look at the article below!
Various nutrients in soy milk
As the name suggests, soy milk is made from soybeans. So, the nutrients in this milk are more or less the same as soybeans. However, many manufacturers add additional vitamins and minerals such as calcium and vitamin D and omega 3.
Naturally, soy milk contains fatty acids and flavonoids that act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory. Flavonoids also have compounds that protect the heart (cardioprotective).
According to US Department of Agriculture data, in 100 grams (g) of soy milk:
90.36 g of water
2.6 grams of protein
1.47 g total fat
4.92 g carbohydrates
3.65 g total sugar
123 milligrams (mg) of calcium
43 mg of phosphorus
122mg of potassium
9 micrograms (mcg) of folate, or vitamin B9
In addition, soy milk also contains fiber, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B3, iron, zinc, copper, selenium. Soy milk contains as much protein as cow’s milk, but lower in calories.
Various health benefits of soy milk
Drinking soy milk is associated with lower cholesterol levels, obesity and even cancer risk. In addition, a study showed that women who drank soy milk every day had a 56% lower risk of osteoporosis than those who did not drink soy milk.
It seems that soy milk may also help relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. Soy is also thought to help preserve cognitive function in women under 65.
The other benefits of soy milk are inseparable from its nutritional content. So what are the health benefits of soy milk? Come on, see the explanation below.
1. Protect heart health
The most mentioned benefits of soy milk are protecting heart health. Soy milk contains protein that the body needs as energy for growth. The amino acids and isoflavones found in soy milk function to lower cholesterol levels in the blood.
There are studies that conclude that soy milk lowers blood pressure better than cow’s milk in patients with mild to moderate hypertension. However, the effectiveness of soy milk on heart health has not been scientifically proven.
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2. Maintain bone health and prevent osteoporosis
Thanks to the added vitamin D, consuming soy milk can help maintain bone health. Another benefit of soy milk is to reduce the chances of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.
Osteoporosis is a risk experienced by women over the age of 50. Calcium deficiency can increase the chance of developing the disease.
3. Protects body cells from free radicals
Another benefit of soy milk is that it has antioxidants in the body. Antioxidants in soy milk damage the free radical chain and protect body cells from damage. Free radicals can damage body cells and cause obesity as well as chronic diseases such as heart disease and obesity.
Soy milk also protects the liver and reduces oxidative stress in the body. Indirectly, antioxidants can prevent the possibility of these diseases.
4. Prevent obesity and lower cholesterol
Obesity can occur in both men and women after menopause. Isoflavones in soy milk have hormonal effects that can inhibit adipogenesis, which can reduce the expansion of adipose tissue. This also affects the reduction of LDL cholesterol levels in the blood and may prevent heart disease.
5. Smooth digestion
Soy milk is known to contain many proteins, fats and carbohydrates that are good for the body. The benefits of soy milk are derived from the isoflavone antioxidants it contains. The isoflavones in soy milk are also good at increasing the absorption of food by the intestines so that digestion becomes smoother.
6. Prevent anemia
Vitamin B12 reduces the risk of anemia by helping to produce red blood cells. Other sources of vitamin B12 you can get are eggs and dairy products. However, if you are a vegetarian or have a cow’s milk allergy, consuming soy milk can help you meet your daily vitamin B12 needs.
7. Maintain body resistance
Soy milk also contains the mineral zinc, which is important for the immune system. Zinc is an important mineral for the body as it keeps the immune system strong, helps heal wounds and supports body growth.
8. Reduce blood fat
Soybeans are high in fatty acids, and some products are fortified with omega 3. These essential fatty acids can help lower blood fat levels (total cholesterol and triglycerides). Therefore, drinking soy milk may help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and heart attack.
9. Lowers the risk of cancer
Consumption of up to 10 mg of soy per day can reduce the risk of recurrence of breast cancer by up to 25%. It is thought that antioxidants in the form of genistein can inhibit the growth of cancer cells when consumed in adequate amounts.
Due to its diverse nutritional content, soy milk is also good for pregnant women to consume. The benefits of soy milk for pregnant women can be obtained if it is drunk regularly, but not excessively.
10. Reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
Soy milk is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which are “healthy” fats that the body cannot make. Omega 3 fatty acids are often associated with a reduced risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This is because soybeans are one of the best sources of non-animal Omega 3 fatty acids.
11. Reducing menopausal symptoms
During menopause, the body will gradually stop producing estrogen and will release an egg each month. This reduction in estrogen causes a variety of symptoms, such as a feeling of heat (hot flashes) and night sweats.
Soy milk contains isovlafon, which works like estrogen in the body (in a weaker version) so it can naturally reduce menopausal symptoms.
12. Aids in calcium absorption
Calcium in foods is absorbed by the body with the help of vitamin D. Soy milk not only contains calcium, but also 15% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin D.
People who don’t get enough vitamin D can develop osteomalacia (also known as rickets in children). This causes soft, thin and fragile bones to develop.
Vitamin D also plays other roles in the body, such as improving the function of muscles, nerves, and the immune system.
13. Improve skin health
One study states that soy may help reduce inflammation, increase collagen production, and protect against UV radiation.
Collagen plays an important role in healthy skin. Therefore, you can consume soy milk to reduce damage to the skin and maintain healthy skin to stay healthy.
14. Protect kidney health
The kidneys are responsible for filtering the blood and removing waste from your body. Without healthy kidneys, you are at risk for many health problems. While soy milk may not treat kidney problems instantly, it may help reduce the risk of disease and keep your kidneys healthy.
One study found that soy protein intake can reduce serum creatinine, phosphorus, and triglyceride levels in people with chronic kidney disease. Lowering these levels can help improve kidney function.
15. Prevents anemia
Since soy is a good source of non-animal iron, it can help you prevent iron deficiency (zinc) that causes anemia.
16. Lowers Bad Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol in the body consists of bad and good cholesterol. Bad cholesterol levels can be reduced by consuming soy milk.
Risks of consuming soy milk
Although soy milk has several important nutrients for the body, it also has its own risks and side effects. Consumption of 30 grams of soy per day for a month is thought to increase the risk of thyroid dysfunctions.
Isoflavone compounds in soybeans are thought to be associated with decreased sperm count. However, more research is needed to find the truth of this statement.
It has been mentioned above that soy milk can be used as an alternative to cow’s milk. But not everyone is suitable and can drink soy milk, especially babies with allergies. Therefore, it is necessary to consult a doctor before deciding to give soy milk to children.
Soybeans contain phytoestrogens naturally produced by plants. For some people, these chemicals can have a negative effect on the body. The body naturally produces the hormone estrogen, and phytoestrogens are almost the same as the hormone estrogen. Therefore, consuming too much soy milk can cause increased estrogen hormone levels in the body.
If consumed in reasonable quantities, you will get benefits for the body. In addition, this milk does not cause problems as long as it is consumed in sufficient quantities.
Soy consumption in any form should be balanced with a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and other protein products. Your body needs a variety of nutrients from a variety of foods.
Therefore, do not rely solely on soy milk to meet your daily nutritional needs. Eat a variety of foods from different groups to diversify your intake. Vitamins and supplements are also necessary to meet your daily nutritional needs.