Health Benefits of Soy Milk
Soy milk, which is made from soaking, grinding and boiling soy beans with water, is a very nutritious drink. Soy is naturally high in essential fatty acids, proteins, fiber, vitamins and minerals. These nutrients provide energy and keep your body functioning at its optimum level. Below are the six most important health benefits you can acquire from drinking soy milk.
1. Improve Lipid Profile
The most important attribute of soy milk is its ability to improve your blood lipid profile. Unlike dairy milk, which is high in saturated fat and cholesterol, soy milk fat is mostly unsaturated with zero cholesterol. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in soy can inhibit the transport of cholesterol into your blood stream. Studies have shown that regular intake of soy can significantly lower you blood concentrations of triglyceride and low density lipoproteins (LDL) and raise the level of high density lipoproteins (HDL). This combined effect makes soy milk an ideal drink if you have high cholesterol or have a family history of coronary heart diseases.
2. Strengthen Blood Vessel Integrity
The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as the powerful phyto-antioxidants in soy can effectively protect your blood vessels from lesions and hemorrhage. These compounds bind to the blood vessel lining and defend your lining cells from free radical attacks and cholesterol deposits. The binding of these nutrients also improve the fluidity and flexibility of your blood vessels so that they are much more resilient to blood pressure changes.
3. Promote Weight Loss
Soy milk is naturally lower in sugar content than regular milk. Cow’s milk has about 12 grams of sugar per cup as opposed to only 7 grams in soy milk. This is why a cup of whole soy milk has only 80 calories, which is the equivalent of skim milk. In addition, the monounsaturated fatty acid in soy milk can inhibit your intestinal absorption of fat, which is another great advantage for weight loss. Drinking soy milk also gives you an extra dose of fiber, keeping your feeling fuller for longer time.
4. Prevent Prostate Cancer
Soy milk is a rich source of phytoestrogen, a unique plant hormone that can inhibit the production of testosterone in men. Reduced testosterone levels can significantly cut the risk of prostate cancer. Studies have shown that men who eat a soy-rich diet are less likely to develop prostate hypertrophy or prostate cancer.
5. Prevent Postmenopausal Syndromes
During menopause, a woman’s natural production of estrogen drops to a minimum. The sudden reduction of estrogen creates a number of health problems for postmenopausal women. Postmenopausal women have higher risks of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. They are also more vulnerable to depression, mood swings, insomnia and other psychological disorders. The phytoestrogen in soy is an effective estrogen replacement. Regular intake of soy is a great way to prevent and alleviate these postmenopausal syndromes.
6. Prevent Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is another age and hormone related disease. The phytoestrogen in soy can help accelerate calcium absorption by your body and prevent the loss of bone mass. For the maximum benefit, make sure to buy the soy milk that is fortified with extra calcium and vitamin D.