4 December 2018 at 16:52
Soyabean is a type of legume (plant that belongs to the pea family) that originates from China. Cultivation of soyabeans started 3500 years BC. Soyabean is mostly cultivated in temperate areas with hot summers. Increased demand for products made of soyabean accelerates deforestation of Amazon rainforests (deforested areas are converted into agricultural lands used for cultivation of soybean). People cultivate soybean as a source of food and oil that has application in numerous industries.
Soyabean produces hairy pods (fruit) with 2 to 4 seeds. Fruit grows gathered in clusters composed of 3 to 5 pods. Color of the hull (outer coat of seed) depends on the variety of soybean. It can be black, blue, green, yellow or mottled.
Soyabean is propagated via seed. It has short vegetative season. Soybean is usually harvested 80 to 120 days after planting.
Soybean is the only plant that contains "complete protein" (all essential amino acids that can be found in meat). Soybean is also rich source of vitamin K and vitamins of the B group, dietary fibers and minerals such as iron, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus.
Despite excellent nutritional profile of this plant, majority produced soybean serves as food for animals.
USES OF SOYABEANS
Soyabean is an important part of human diet, but it needs to be processed (cannot be consumed raw) before consumption. Best known products made of soybean are tofu, miso, tempeh, soy milk, soy meal and soy flour.
Vegetable oil extracted from soyabean has wide application in the food industry. It is integral part of mayonnaise, salad dressings, canned food, processed food, frozen desserts, candies and various types of cheese. This type of oil is also used for cooking.
Oil extracted from soybean can be used as biodiesel (eco-friendly type of fuel that does not pollute atmosphere as much as fossil fuels).
Soybean oil is used for the production of ink. 50% of daily newspapers in the USA use ink made of soy to print latest news.
Soyabeans are used in the manufacture of crayons, textiles and adhesives.
Soybean is used in the cosmetic industry for the production of various shampoos, soaps and skin care products.
Soybean is cultivated as an annual plant (a plant which completes its life cycle in one year).
SOME HEALTH BENEFITS OF SOYABEANS
Moisturizing the Skin: A well hydrated skin is a must, when it comes to keeping the skin healthy. Soyabean acts a moisturizer for combination skin and is also useful to get rid of dry, flaky skin. If you have oily skin, you can use this amazing bean to remove the excess oil from your skin.
Ageing: Soyabeans can also reduce the visible signs of ageing like skin discoloration, wrinkles, dark spots, fine lines, etc. As we age our body tends to lose estrogen, the vital hormone that maintains skin elasticity. The phytoestrogens in soyabean helps to produce more estrogen in the body to reduce wrinkles and fine lines.
Vitamin E: Soyabeans contain vitamin E that can help to renew dead skin cells and also form new skin cells. This can help you look young and radiant. Crush soyabeans with little water and apply it on the face. Leave it on for 20 to 25 minutes to moisturize your skin. Use this concotion three times a week for best results.
To Strengthen Nails: If you have brittle nails, soya can be the best thing for you. Include it in your regular diet for six months. This will help strengthen your nails and also add shine. Soyabeans are also known to moisturize your nails and treat nail fungus infection. Just dip your nails in soya sauce to get fungus free nails.
Makes Hair Shine: Soyabeans are also used for smooth, soft, and shiny hair. You can apply soyabean juice onto the hair regularly for three months to get the desired results.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Soya oil, like algae and oily fish, is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids. This protects the body from various cardiovascular diseases.
Prevents Hearing Loss: Soyabean is rich in iron and zinc. It helps in expanding capillaries, soften red blood cells, and stimulate blood supply to the ear. This can prevent hearing loss in elderly people.
Strengthens Blood Vessel Integrity: Soyabeans contain powerful phyto-antioxidants like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that can protect the blood vessels from lesions and hemorrhage. This nutrient is useful in binding blood vessel lining and helps to defend the lining cells for free radical attacks and deposit of cholesterol. The binding process boost the fluidity and flexibility of the blood vessels that helps to regulate the body’s blood pressure.
Promotes Weight Loss: Soya milk, obtained from soyabeans, is low in sugar content when compared to other milk. Whole soya milk contains only 80 calories like skim milk. The monounsaturated fatty acid in this milk can prevent the intestinal absorption of fat that aids in weight loss.
Prevents Prostate Cancer: Soya is a rich source of phytoestrogen. This is a unique plant hormone that prevents testosterone production in men. This reduced testosterone levels helps to lower the risk of prostate cancer.
Prevents Postmenopausal Syndromes: During menopause, the estrogen production in a woman’s body takes a nose dive. This sudden drop of estrogens can cause many health problems in postmenopausal women. They are at higher risks of disease related to the heart, diabetes, and obesity. This can also cause depression, mood swings, insomnia and various other psychological disorders. The phytoestrogen content in soyabeans are effective as an estrogens replacement. Consume soya regularly to prevent and cure postmenopausal syndromes.
Prevents Osteoporosis: Most women are prone to Osteoporosis. This disease is caused due to age and weakening bones. The phytoestrogen content in soyabean can boost calcium absorption by the body and prevent bone mass loss. To avail maximum benefit, consume soya milk fortified with vitamin D and extra calcium.
Baby Food: Soya is also a good substitute for milk in infant feeding formulas. This acts as a good alternative to cow’s milk.
Reduces High Cholesterol: Eat soyabean as a dietary protein to reduce the total cholesterol and “bad cholesterol” level in your body. Soyabeans are high in good fat or polyunsaturated fats that lower LDL or bad cholesterol levels.
Prevents Breast Cancer: Soyabeans can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Women who consume soyabeans regularly are less likely to develop breast cancer.