Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida


Super Soybeans for Superwomen



Soybeans as part of a healthy diet have generated a lot of controversies in past decade. Let’s explore the goodness and safety of soy.

Soybeans contain all three of the macro-nutrients required for good nutrition: complete protein, carbohydrate and fat. They are rich source of calcium, folic acid, enzyme-supporting molybdenum, bone-healthy manganese and a good source of energy-producing iron, phosphorus, and vitamin B2; heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and potassium; and anti-oxidant supportive copper.

Soybeans are a rare combination of complete protein and fiber. The amino acid profile of soy protein is nearly equivalent in quality to meat, milk and egg protein and its digestibility is comparable with that of egg protein. A cup of cooked soybeans provides about 29 grams of protein. These beans are low in saturated fat and cholesterol-free.

Soybeans’ are unique because they are rich sources of isoflavones, which are endocrine active substances but different from the hormone estrogen. One serving of a traditional soy food such as 3-4 ounces of tofu or 1 cup of soymilk typically provides about 25 mg of isoflavones. Epidemiological and clinical data suggest that soyfoods can make important contributions to the health of women, particularly post-menopausal women.

Soyfoods potentially reduce coronary heart disease through multiple mechanisms and may be especially beneficial when consumed by young postmenopausal women. Clinical research indicates that isoflavones alleviate hot flashes. Many women view soy foods as natural alternatives to conventional hormone therapy.

Clinical evidence shows that neither soy foods nor isoflavones adversely affect breast tissue. Recent epidemiologic evidence indicates that soy consumption improves the prognosis of breast cancer patients. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer patients can consume up to three servings of soyfoods daily.

Choose whole soy foods such as tofu (soybean curd), edmame (fresh green soybeans), tempeh (made from cooked and slightly fermented soybeans and formed into a patty), miso (fermented thick paste from soy used for sauces and soups), natto (made using a specialized fermentation process by adding beneficial bacteria), soymilk made from whole soybeans. Avoid processed soy such as burgers and protein bars made from soy protein. Genetically modified (GM) soybeans have reached 90 percent market penetration in the United States, so nutritionally sound choice would be organic/non GMO soy products.

If you have never tried soybeans, introduce in your diet in small amounts at first, since it is a common food allergen. To heat soybeans, you can either cook them on the stovetop or use a pressure cooker. Do not add any salty or acidic seasonings until after the beans have been cooked. Unleash your creativity in kitchen canvas by incorporating edmame in bean bhel, kachori, curry, samosa, paratha stuffing, etc.

Recipe of the month: Edmame Burgers

Mix half edmame and rest of ingredients in chopper, chop and then add whole edmame and pulse just one more time. Roll into 3-inch patties and pan fry them, makes 5 to 6 burgers. Enjoy as is or in a wrap or bun. Use green chutney/pesto sauce to enhance the flavor of the patty.

To our health!

Bhavi Nirav is a Registered Dietitian/M.S., R.D., L.D., certified yoga practitioner, and can be reached at swarayog@gmail.com

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