Soy is an increasingly frequent guest on our tables. It also becomes a regular component of the diet of many people. Browsing the offers of numerous companies with dietary supplements and nutrients, you can often find products called soy protein. Are plant proteins as beneficial as those we provide ourselves with meat foods? I invite you to read the article.
Soy – properties
Soy is a common crop plant belonging to the family of fabaceae. The greatest popularity of all 16 species has been gained by vegetable soybeans, which is grown in the areas of both Americas and Asia. This plant belongs to very \ fastidious \ species due to the high requirements for soil fertility and sun exposure.
Soybeans contain vitamins from the group B and elements valuable for our body such as phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron. Systematic consumption of products of this origin can reduce the concentration of bad cholesterol (LDL) by almost 20%. This is argued with a large amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Soy is also one of the best sources of vegetable protein. Therefore, it is one of the main foundations of diets for athletes who are vegetarians.
Soy also contains a significant number of phytoestrogens. These compounds favor the synthesis of estrogenic hormones, which are an effective element of prevention and alleviation of menopausal symptoms. One of the most important compounds of this group is genisten, whose action has the character of inhibiting the growth of cancer cells.
Soy protein – general information
The common view that soy protein is defective is incorrect. Soy protein is considered the best form of vegetable protein, as evidenced by its rich aminogram. Noteworthy is the high content of arginine – an exogenous amino acid responsible for such effects as a muscle pump or the stimulation of post-training regeneration. If you want to learn more about the arginine itself, I refer to my earlier text.
It is also worth to look at the nutritional value of the protein itself. Here’s what we can find in 100g of this preparation
– 81 g of protein,
– 7 g of carbohydrates (including up to 6g of fiber),
– 3.4 g fat (1.6 g polyunsaturated fatty acids),
– 178 mg of calcium,
– 81 mg of potassium,
– 39 mg of magnesium.
The widespread belief that soy products hurt men is not entirely right. First of all, it should be noted that this type of vegetable protein supplement is an effective way to lower excessive cholesterol. It is conditioned primarily by the high content of unsaturated fatty acids, i.e. omega-3 and omega-6 compounds. What’s more, research confirms that genistein contained in soy may help to stop the spread of cancer cells in people struggling with prostate cancer.
Experiments carried out on a group of ten men whose average age was 20 years confirm this view. The research material was divided into three groups and each of them took a different supplement
– placebo in the form of maltodextrin.
The analysis lasted two weeks. Each morning, participants used 20 g of a specific preparation. In order to be credible, they were advised to perform 6 sets of resistance squats, each of them containing 10 repetitions per series. 80% of the maximum load was used during exercise. The results showed that the group in which soy protein was used had a significant reduction in blood testosterone levels.
The 2005 study aimed to compare the biological value of soy protein and casein. The result was that the plant derived protein contributes less to protein synthesis in the body. Just three years later (2008), scientists at the Harvard University found that a cubic millimeter of semen from men who eat soy products has up to 32% less sperm than in people who use a low-sodium diet.
Equally credible is the sample from 2010, when scientists showed that the already mentioned genistein can significantly reduce or even inhibit the activity of enzymes involved in the testosterone production process.
On the other hand, Dr. Jack E. Lewi appears, according to which soy products should appear in the menu of every man. The scientist emphasizes that soy should be treated like any other supplement – with moderation and prudence. Applying it in rational amounts should not lead to any problems in the male body.
Soy protein should be, like most supplements, consumed depending on the daily requirement for this supplement. It is assumed that the maximum daily dose of soy based preparations should amount to 50 g. The justifications should be sought in the thioglycosides present in it that impair thyroid function. Long-term consumption may result in thyroid gland.
Specialists add that the daily consumption of soybeans from 20 to 30 g not only leads to improvement in general well-being, but also reduces the risk of developing some diseases. The problems mentioned by osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and cancers of female genital organs.
Looking through the composition of numerous slimming preparations, you can often find soy protein. The reason for its presence may be a high content of fiber, whose proreductive properties are widely known and very often used.
Another reason for using soy is the low glycemic index. A low level of IG means no over-stimulation of the pancreas to produce insulin. The high level of this hormone favors first of all weight gain. Another argument for \ are the polyunsaturated fatty acids that regulate the lipid metabolism of our system, which was often mentioned in the context of reducing excessive kilograms.
Soy protein or whey protein?
Soy proteins are among the most popular proteins of vegetable origin. The whey I once described is the most common protein supplement of animal origin. So what to choose and who should use it?
When analyzing such parameters as biological value, growth performance and participation in the synthesis of body proteins, whey protein wins. Despite the higher content of the already mentioned arginine, the soy protein in comparison to whey, unfortunately, is ranked lower. When we compare both preparations for the price, the vegetable protein falls out better, which can be explained by its lower value in the context of benefits for our muscular system.
Soy protein should be used primarily by women. A large number of phytoestrogens and lower calorific value will certainly speak for the use of this preparation in the female diet. What’s more, a lower price can also be tempted by people who are not fully convinced of excessive spending on supplementation. Of course, you can not forget about vegetarians and vegans – in their case, soy protein is an ideal solution to supplementing the shortcomings resulting from the avoidance of food of animal origin.