Soy is the most widely grown and utilized legume in the world, being used for with over 13,000 years of cultivation and being included in over 5,000 research studies.
Culinary traditions involving soy have existed for dozens of generations across Asia, but have less popularity even today in Western countries like the United States.
- Even though soy protein is a plant protein and typically lower in certain amino acids (protein building blocks) than animal proteins like those found in chicken eggs or cow’s milk, once adjustments have been made for digestibility and other metabolic factors, soybeans turn out to receive a protein quality rating that is equal to the ratings for egg or cow’s milk.
- Soy has been shown to be beneficial in lowering cancer and cardiovascular risks.
- Some of the unique proteins in soy that have been associated with obesity prevention and treatment.
- There are also a wide range of unique proteins, peptides, and phytonutrients contained in soy. including flavonoids and isoflavonoids, phenolic acids, phytoalexins, phytosterols, unique proteins and peptides and saponins.
- Soybeans are perhaps best known for their fantastic blend of protein and fiber, but still contain a host of micronutrients.
- They are also considered an excellent source of molybdenum and copper; and a good source of manganese, phosphorus, protein, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, vitamin B2, magnesium, vitamin K and potassium.
Best Ways to Use
- Blend together soft tofu, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice to make a tofu aoli dip.
- Eat edamame raw or lightly cooked as a side dish or snack.
- Stir-Fry firm tofu with your favorite vegetables and seasonings.
- Experiment with tempeh as a replacement for meats.
- Blend soft tofu with your favorite fruits (and honey or other natural sweeteners to taste) in a blender or food processor and serve for breakfast or dessert.
- Add cubes of tofu to miso soup.
- Use tofu in place of meat or poultry in any recipes.