Health benefits of soy as an edible plant that treats and vegetables comes from East Asia. Plant height ranging from twenty centimeters to two meters. Pods, stems and leaves are covered with fine brown or gray moss. The leaves are trifoliate containing three or four leaves, which reach a length of 6-15 cm, a width – from 2 to 7 centimeters. Soybean leaves fall off before the seeds are ripe. Small, self-pollinating flowers of soybeans, are located at the base of the leaves. Their color can be white, pink or purple.
The fruit of the soybean pod represents fleece, which is positioned in a group of three to five pods. The length of each pod is of three to eight centimeters’s usually contains two to four, more rarely, seeds. Soybean seeds have different size and color of their shell can be very diverse – black, brown, blue, yellow, green and mottled.
The shell of mature soybeans is hard vodoustouchiva and protects the inside of the grain from damage. If break the shell, soy bean will germinate. In the shell of the grains has a very small opening which allows the absorption of water necessary for germination of the plant. It was found that grains which contain an increased amount of protein, which include soy beans may be dried and then water absorption to recover completely. For food and for medicinal purposes, using the fruits of the soy plant, ie soybeans.
Available wide variety of soy products – soy flour, soy milk, baked or boiled soy beans, soy cheese (tofu), meat substitutes made from soy, including sausages, minced meat cutlets and others. Since soy protein is extracted, which is embedded in a different protein shakes to reinforce the body and to increase muscle mass. Since soybean extract and soy lecithin, which is added to a number of food products available or independently, under the form of capsules or pellets, to enhance concentration and brain function.
For medical purposes, soy is applied mainly in the form of capsules, as the grains are extracted valuable isoflavones, which have estrogenic activity (phytoestrogens). Dried soybeans containing 36% protein, 19% fat, 35% carbohydrate (of which 17% are food fibers), 5% vitamins, minerals and other substances. For soy protein is characterized by that it contains all the essential amino acids for man, which makes it an equivalent substitute for the animal protein, and in addition the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol is lower in the soybeans, in comparison with the meat.
Of fat contained in soybeans, a considerable part falls on polyunsaturated fats. About 55% of the fat fall of linoleic acid, and 8% – of the alpha-linoleic acid. Among the fatty content of the grains stand out more phospholipids, mainly lecithin, phytosterols and tocopherols (vitamin E). Soybeans are a good source of B vitamins, compared to cereals, although poor vitamin B12 and vitamin C. Soy is rich in vitamin E, which is an excellent natural antioxidant. Soybeans are relatively rich in potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and iron.
Soybeans are the richest source of isoflavones (up to 3 mg / g. Dry matter) in nature. In soy contains three main types of isoflavones – daidzein, genistein, glycitein, the first two hold up to 90% of the total isoflavones. Isoflavones are structurally similar to oestradiol mammalian and can bind to the estrogen receptor in the body.
That is why they are called phytoestrogens. Soy products can be dosed differently, depending on the health status of patients. At elevated cholesterol are recommended from 20 to 40 grams per day of soy protein; such as prevention of osteoporosis – 40 grams of soy protein a day; in postmenopausal women recommended intake of 20-60 grams of soy protein per day or 50-120 mg. extract of soy isoflavones.
The content of isoflavones in the various soya products considerably vary. In one gram soy flour contained 2.6 mg. isoflavones; per gram of fermented soybeans – 1.3 mg .; per gram of cooked soybeans – 0.6 mg. isoflavones. Soya is used for centuries as a food source and is recognized as safe. However, it is possible occurrence of allergies in susceptible people to allergies, which can range from mild discomfort to anaphylactic shock.
Furthermore, allergic reactions, the intake of soy may result in gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea, feeling of bloating and flatulence. Intake of soy preparations is not recommended for people who suffer from an estrogen-sensitive malignancy, due to the presence of phytoestrogens. Taken as food, in moderation, soy can be included in the menu of pregnant and lactating women. As a food additive with an extract of soy isoflavones, however, it is better to avoid these groups because their effect is not well studied.