You thought soy milk was the only soybean product, didn't you?

What you might not have known is there are great
benefits from soybeans, and NUMEROUS ways to use it!

The soybean or soyabean is an annual legume plant species native to Eastern Asia. The soybean plant produces pods with 2-4 beans or seeds in them. These beans are what produce the well known soy milk and other various products which we will review here in this article. Though it originated in Asia the soybean plant today is mainly grown in Northern and Southern America. In fact, America, Brazil and Argentina accounted for 80% of the soybean production in 2005.

Over the years the research about the health benefits of soy has greatly increased. During this time many researchers and also government agencies have continually applauded the use of soy in a normal diet. In 1993 researchers Potter and Erdman did a test where they added 20-25 grams of soy protein and fiber to a normal diet. After the test they reported1, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a 12% drop in cholesterol levels. Consequently this test provoked the research of soy and even the FDA approved and applauded the use of soy. In 1999 the FDA issued a health claim that food producers that make foods with soy protein could put on their labels. This claim stated that "Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 25 grams of soy protein a day may reduce the risk of [coronary] heart disease."2 Not only do soybeans prove to improve cholesterol levels but there are many other benefits:

  • Contains high levels of protein
  • The only vegetable source containing ALL essential amino acids
  • Rich in calcium improving bone structure
  • Also rich in iron, zinc, b-vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids and fiber.

All these health benefits are wonderful, and I am sure you are asking yourself, "Ok, but how can I take advantage of all these benefits in the easiest way possible?" We have an answer! Soy products include many varieties like:

  • The ever popular Soy Milk
  • Tofu
  • and other Asian dishes including Edamame and Miso

The best part of this story is that you don't have to go running around your town, scouring all the organic food stores looking for these products. Soy milk, tofu and most of also many of these other dishes are made for soy meal and soy flour. With a home grain mill you can easily mill your own soy flour or soy meal straight from soybeans. You can save money and time as you purchase the whole soybeans from any bulk product store and mill them to make your own soy products. Check out our recipes for Quick and Easy Soy Milk and Tofu made from home ground soy flour.

Sources:
  1http://www.ajcn.org
  2http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~lrd/tpsoypr2.html