Soybeans are members of the pea (legume) family of vegetables and have been a staple of Asian cuisines for thousands of years.

Soy and soy foods are popular especially for people following vegetarian and vegan diets. This is due to their high-quality (‘complete’) protein content, and their ability to be processed into milk and meat substitutes.

Soybeans contain hormone-like substances called phytoestrogens that mimic the action of the hormone oestrogen and have been associated with beneficial health effects. Eating soybean-based foods may reduce the risk of various health problems, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, coronary heart disease (CHD), some cancers and improve bone health.

Evidence also suggests the consumption of soy and soy foods is beneficial for peri-menopausal and postmenopausal women and is linked to fewer and reduced severity of hot flushes.

More research is needed, but the evidence so far suggests that it is wise to include whole soy (or soy) foods in your daily diet. See your doctor or dietitian for further guidance.


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