Health

Studies show more reasons to have soya bean products

Are soya products healthy? New studies say yes.

SOYA SEEMS TO HELP WITH CANCER

The main controversy with soya products seems to be that its estrogen-mimicking isoflavones may cause cancer, in particular breast cancer.

However, in countries where soya bean is widely consumed such as China and Japan, women tend to be less prone to cancer than their Western counterparts.

An article published in the journal Cancer last year also revealed that in a nine-year study of women with breast cancer, those who consumed the most isoflavones from soya-based products were less likely to die from cancer.

IT REDUCES MUSCLE LOSS

As we age, sarcopenia (muscle loss) sets in and is made worse by a slower-paced sedentary lifestyle.

In a study done on mice, scientists at Japan's Tokyo Institute of Technology have discovered that an isoflavone from soya products could help preserve muscle mass.

SOYA MILK IS THE BEST PLANT-BASED ALTERNATIVE TO COW'S MILK

Although lifestyle gurus are touting nut- and rice-based milks as healthier alternatives to dairy, a study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology this year found that soya milk is actually most nutritionally similar to cow's milk in terms of protein, carbohydrate and fat content.

Some may complain about soya milk's "beany" taste, which makes it tricky to pair with coffee or tea, but this is easily remedied if you are making the soya milk yourself.

Soak the beans for at least eight hours and change the water once or twice, removing the shells, and boil the soya mixture sufficiently to get rid of the raw bean taste.

SOYA MAY MAKE YOUR BONES STRONGER

In a lab test on rats, researchers from the University of Missouri found that soya milk seemed to strengthen bones, a good thing to keep in mind since women tend to lose bone density after hitting menopause.

IT HELPS WITH HEART HEALTH

According to a study published online on the Journal of the American Heart Association, just swapping one or two servings of animal protein for plant-based protein (such as soya) could lower your cholesterol levels, clear artery-clogging build-up and bring down the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

You can easily make these swaps by adding tofu, tempeh, edamame and soya yogurt to your diet. - YUEN YI YING

MEDICAL & HEALTH