What Is Soy Milk?
All The Dangers & Health Benefits Of Soy Milk
Many people who can’t drink cow’s milk have switched to soy milk, but what is soy milk and is it really good for you?
While the number of vegans is very hard to pin down, some estimates claim as high as 3% of people worldwide which could be over 200 million people. Add to that, people with lactose and dairy intolerance and there are a lot of people who can’t or won’t consume cow’s milk.
As soy milk’s portion of the market increase, the alleged superfood claims are becoming far more prevalent and possibly more exaggerated than ever.
Many people claim there are some important health benefits associated with drinking soy milk, so we thought it would be a great idea to do the research and find out exactly what makes soy milk quite so popular.
How Is Soy Milk Made?
What Is In It?
It is actually an emulsification of protein, oil, and water which can look quite a bit like dairy based milk.
Soy milk is a plant based drink which is produced by soaking dry soybeans in water and grinding them. The mix is filtered to ensure a smooth consistency.
The filtering process is important to remove potentially gritty particles which would make for an unpleasant drinking experience.
The fat and protein from the soybeans give it a creaminess and depth of flavor that makes it a comparable substitute for cow’s milk.
The most natural soy milk will likely have just water, soybeans, and some mineral salts, though due to mass production, some (a growing number) on the market are adding sugar and additives.
So What’s The Bottom Line Here?
Good soy milk is just soybeans and water, but there are some cheap products out there with a lot more ingredients.
Why Is Soy Milk So Essential To So Many People?
What Is So Special About Soy?
Soy milk is known to be one of the healthiest drink that people can consume on a daily basis because of its richness in a number of essential nutrients that have the ability to impact your overall health positively.
In addition, it is a very good substitute for dairy milk, especially if you are on a vegan diet because it will help provide you with enough plant-based high quality proteins which is a frequent problem for vegans as many of the protein sources they consume lack some essential amino acids which could pose a potential health problem.
For many people soy milk and soy products allow them to access vital nutrients in their diet that would otherwise be lacking which is great for people who are lactose intolerant or refuse to drink dairy milk for personal reasons.
Some soy milk has added calcium and vitamin d for calcium absorption, making it great for teeth and bones.
Soy beans are one of the only plant based sources of protein that contains all essential amino acids, meaning soy milk is excellent for the health of those who can’t eat meat or cow’s milk.
If you are allergic to dairy milk, have lactose intolerance, or you don’t like the taste of dairy milk, soy milk can be a good alternative for you.
What Does This All Mean?
Without products like soy milk, some people will lack essential amino acids which could affect their health
Why Is Soy Milk Healthy?
Why Soy Milk Is Considered One Of The Healthiest Drinks By Many
Some people go as far as to claim soy milk as being one of the healthiest drinks on the planet. It certainly does contain some necessary macronutrients and might be important for individuals on a plant based diet.
The reason for this is that soy milk is very rich in some very essential nutritional components. These include minerals, proteins, amino acids, vitamins, fats, and fatty acids.
Let’s look at some of the nutritious properties of soy milk:
Soy milk is also very rich in the following minerals:
It also contains the following minerals in small quantities
Soy milk is abundant in the following vitamins:
Vitamin D (some soy milk comes with more vitamin d as it is fortified)
It also contains the following nutrients in smaller quantities:
Vitamin B6 and B12
Fats and Fatty Acids
Soy milk is also a very rich source of Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats which have:
Omega 6 fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids
Because of the fact that soy milk is plant based, it is free of cholesterol and low in saturated fat. In addition, it does not contain any lactose.
What’s The Take Home Message Here?
Soy milk has many nutrients such as a broad array of vitamins and minerals.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Soy Milk?
Is Soy Milk Good For You?
As discussed in the above segment, soy milk is naturally rich in essential minerals, fatty acids, fiber, vitamins, as well as proteins.
These nutrients may provide the energy that your body requires in order to function at its optimum level.
The following are some of the most important health benefits of soy milk:
Osteoporosis comes as a result of aging as well as the low production of certain hormones in your body.
Soy milk contains phytoestrogen which is known to help accelerate the absorption of calcium in your body. This in return can help to prevent the loss of bone mass.
To help prevent osteoporosis effectively, you should ideally buy soy milk that is fortified with vitamin D and calcium.
Reducing The Risk Of Heart Disease
Consumption of soy milk is known to help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Essentially, consuming soy milk helps lower LDL cholesterol in your body, thus reducing your risk of coronary disease and the possibility of a heart attack.
The FDA recommends that people should incorporate 25grams of soy protein in their daily meals.
Promoting Weight Loss
Compared to dairy milk, soy milk has a lower sugar content. Soy milk contains only 7 grams of sugar per, while dairy milk contains 10 grams.
This means that one cup of soy milk contains 80 calories only, which is the same as the number of calories in a cup of skimmed milk.
In addition, since soy milk contains monounsaturated fatty acids and it has the ability to prevent the absorption of fat in your intestines, thus promoting weight loss.
It also contains soluble fiber which is known to keep you feeling full for a longer period of time.
Prevention Of Cancer
Consuming soy milk is theorized to help prevent the development of certain cancers, including colon cancer and prostate cancer.
In addition, post-menopausal women who consume large amounts of soy milk are known to have reduced levels of serum estrogen, thus reducing their risk of breast cancer.
Strengthening And Maintaining Healthy Blood Vessels
Soy milk is rich in Omega -3, Omega-6 fatty acids, as well phyto-antioxidants.
This makes it have the ability to effectively safeguard your blood vessels from hemorrhage and lesions.
These compounds are known bind to the lining of the blood vessels and also protect the cell linings against attack from free radical and cholesterol deposits.
In addition, the binding of these nutrients help to enhance the flexibility and fluidity of your blood vessels, making them become more resilient to changes in blood pressure levels.
Acting As An Antioxidant
Fighting Free Radicals
The isoflavones contained in soy milk are known to have some antioxidants properties, which are known to help decrease the risk of long-term illnesses.
In particular, tofu or “curdled soy milk” is associated with antioxidant and hepatoprotective properties that have the ability to reduce oxidative stress and damage.
Researchers are of the opinion that consuming soy milk may help prevent liver damage resulting from oxidative stress. (1)
Soy milk is also thought to help lower menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women due to its antioxidant properties.
Improving Your Blood Profile
This is thought to be the most important attribute of soy milk.
Its ability to improve your blood profile results from the fact that it is mostly unsaturated and has zero cholesterol.
The fatty acids contained in soy milk may have the ability to inhibit the transport of cholesterol into the bloodstream.
Scientific research findings have been used to show that regular consumption of soy milk can help reduce the concentration of LDL cholesterol as well as triglycerides in the blood meaning that soy milk and soy based products could assist with both diabetes and cholesterol management. (2)
In addition, it can raise the levels of HDL cholesterol. This combined effect help make soy milk very ideal for people who have high cholesterol or come from a family with a history of
coronary heart disease
What Does This All Mean?
There may be some really powerful benefits to consuming soy based products such as soy milk.
Is Soy Milk Bad For You In Any Cases?
The Dangers Of Soy
First and foremost, it is important to know that including soy milk as part of a diet plan is okay for most people. However, people who are allergic to soy or those that have recently suffered from breast cancer should refrain from consuming soy milk.
Soy milk contains some chemicals that are similar in structure to estrogen. Because of this, consuming high amounts of soy may compromise your health if you have recently suffered from breast cancer. (3)
This is because breast cancer tissue is sometimes sensitive to estrogen. For this reason, a lot of advice revolves around caution when it comes to soy products in this instance.
In addition, certain types of soy milk contain added sugar, meaning that they have a major nutritional disadvantage.
Essentially, added sugar increases your caloric intake while offering no nutritional value, as well as increasing the glycemic effect of the drink itself which decreases the potential fat burning effects of a once low glycemic food.
This in return increases your risk of cardiovascular disease. For this reason, always go for unsweetened soy milk because it does not contain any added sugar.
Because soy milk contains isoflavone phytoestrogens, it can have an effect on the balance of sex hormones in both men and women. It is also thought to reduce fertility in men, especially those who are obese and overweight. (4)
What Can We Determine From This?
Not everyone can have soy and for some, there might be a real danger.
What Is Soy Milk?
A Guide To The Benefits And Dangers – Conclusion
Soy milk is a good alternative to dairy milk and as long you are not allergic to it or have not suffered from breast cancer recently, you have no reason not to consume it and enjoy some of its benefits.
In addition, always ensure you buy unsweetened soy milk in order to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. You should also go for fortified soy milk because the vitamin d will help you absorb calcium, adding extra nutritional value to the drink.
We hope you found this article” What Is Soy Milk? A Guide To The Benefits And Dangers” to be both informative and interesting. Please feel free to comment below and tell us what your thoughts are on soy milk and similar products.