What are soybeans?
Soybeans are formed from the germination of soybean seeds, legumes widely used around the world whose scientific name is Glycine max. Currently soy is one of the most common crops around the world mostly because it is suitable in animal feed. Soybeans are small plants that are born from seeds that germinate in moist and bright places, and can be eaten both raw and cooked.
What are the nutritional properties?
100 grams of soybeans provide about 49 Calories, broken down as follows:
- 51% protein
- 26% lipids
- 23% carbohydrates
In particular, in 100 grams of soybeans there are:
- 86.3 g of water
- 6.2 g of protein
- 1.4 g of lipids
- 3 g of available carbohydrates
- 3 g of soluble sugars
- 30 mg of sodium
- 218 mg of potassium
- 1 mg of iron
- 48 mg of calcium
- 67 mg of phosphorus
- 0.23 mg of vitamin B1 or thiamine
- 0.2 mg of vitamin B2 or riboflavin
- 0.8 mg of vitamin B3 or niacin (or vitamin PP)
- 24 micrograms of vitamin A retinol eq.
- 13 mg of vitamin C
When should you NOT eat soybeans?
In case of allergy or suspected allergy to soya it is best not to consume the buds of this legume. The soybeans are among the substances that most frequently involve allergic reactions in food.
Seasonality of soybeans
Soybeans through quick germination times are available on the market throughout the year.
Possible benefits and drawbacks of soybeans
Soybeans, thanks to their nutritional properties are very useful to our body for several reasons: due to the lecithin contained in them, they prevent the fatty deposits in the arteries and keep them clean, thus lowering cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Soy proteins help the body assimilate vitamin D, strengthening the bones. The high fiber makes them a valuable ally to regularize bowel activity. The high fiber also increases the feeling of satiety: combined with the low calorie intake these shoots represent an ideal food for those who want to lose weight. The consumption of soybeans (and soy in general) is recommended for women in menopause because they are rich in isoflavones (antioxidant substances similar to estrogen, the female hormone of which the woman is deficient in this particular phase of her life). Recent research links it to anti-cancer properties as well. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, helping the body to stay young and healthy.
It is better to abstain from the consumption of raw soybeans because they contain phytates, substances (which disappear after cooking) that when taken in large quantities can lead to reduced absorption of some important nutrients for the body such as iron, calcium and magnesium. It is also good to moderate consumption of this food because a high-dose of isoflavones may be harmful and could interfere with the functioning of the thyroid.