In natural health, soybeans are believed to have a neutral nature and a sweet taste, and are associated with the Spleen, Stomach, and Lung meridians. They are believed to tonify the Spleen and Stomach, nourish the Blood, moisten the intestines, and resolve phlegm.
Here are some of the ways that soybeans are used in natural health:
- Tonifying the Spleen and Stomach: In natural health, the Spleen and Stomach are responsible for transforming and transporting food and fluids, and are associated with the Earth element. Soybeans are believed to tonify and strengthen these organs, promoting better digestion and absorption of nutrients.
- Nourishing the Blood: Soybeans are a good source of protein and iron, both of which are important for building and nourishing the Blood. In natural health, Blood deficiency can manifest as symptoms such as dizziness, pale complexion, and irregular menstruation.
- Moistening the intestines: Soybeans are also believed to have a moistening effect on the intestines, helping to alleviate constipation and dry stools.
- Resolving phlegm: Soybeans are believed to have a phlegm-resolving effect, making them useful for conditions such as coughs with phlegm, asthma, and bronchitis.
Soybeans are commonly used in natural health as a food and as an ingredient in herbal formulas. They can be boiled, roasted, or fried, and are often used in soups, stews, and stir-fries. It's important to note that natural health treatments should be used under the guidance of a licensed practitioner, as soybeans may not be appropriate for everyone and may interact with certain medications.
Soybean nutritional benefits
Soybeans are a nutrient-dense food and provide a range of health benefits. Here are some of the nutritional benefits of soybeans:
- High in protein: Soybeans are a rich source of plant-based protein, providing all nine essential amino acids that the body needs to build and repair tissue. A 100-gram serving of cooked soybeans provides about 17 grams of protein.
- Good source of fiber: Soybeans are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which can help promote digestive health, lower cholesterol levels, and regulate blood sugar levels.
- Low in saturated fat: Soybeans are low in saturated fat and contain no cholesterol, making them a heart-healthy food choice.
- Rich in vitamins and minerals: Soybeans are a good source of several important vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, folate, potassium, and magnesium. They also contain small amounts of calcium, iron, and zinc.
- Antioxidant-rich: Soybeans contain several antioxidants, including isoflavones, which can help protect against cell damage and inflammation in the body.
- May lower the risk of certain diseases: Some research suggests that consuming soybean products may help lower the risk of certain diseases, including heart disease, certain cancers, and osteoporosis.
Soybeans can be consumed in a variety of forms, including as whole beans, edamame, tofu, tempeh, and soy milk. When choosing soy products, it's important to look for minimally processed options without added sugars or other additives. Overall, soybeans can be a nutritious and beneficial addition to a healthy, balanced diet.
Who should take soybean
Soybeans can provide many health benefits and are a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Here are some groups of people who may benefit from consuming soybean products:
- Vegetarians and vegans: Soybeans are a good source of plant-based protein, making them a valuable addition to the diets of vegetarians and vegans who may not consume animal products.
- Postmenopausal women: Soybeans contain compounds called isoflavones, which are phytoestrogens that can mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. Some research suggests that consuming soybean products may help alleviate menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, and may also help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
- People with high cholesterol: Soybeans are a good source of soluble fiber, which can help lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels in the blood. Consuming soybean products as part of a balanced diet may help improve heart health.
- People with diabetes: Soybeans have a low glycemic index, meaning that they cause a slower rise in blood sugar levels compared to high-glycemic foods. Consuming soybean products may help manage blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
- People with a family history of certain cancers: Some research suggests that consuming soybean products may help reduce the risk of certain cancers, including breast and prostate cancer, particularly in people with a family history of these diseases.
It's important to note that soybeans should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, and that not all soy products are created equal. Some processed soy products may be high in added sugars and other additives, which can offset the potential health benefits. When choosing soy products, look for minimally processed options such as whole soybeans, edamame, tofu, and tempeh.
Who should not take soybean
While soybeans can provide many health benefits, there are some groups of people who may need to limit or avoid consuming soybean products:
- People with soy allergies: Some people may have an allergic reaction to soybeans, which can cause symptoms such as hives, itching, swelling, and difficulty breathing. People with soy allergies should avoid all soy-based products.
- People with thyroid issues: Soybeans contain compounds called goitrogens, which can interfere with thyroid function in some individuals. People with hypothyroidism or other thyroid issues should talk to their healthcare provider before consuming soybean products.
- People taking certain medications: Soybeans contain compounds called isoflavones, which can interact with certain medications, including some blood-thinning medications and hormone therapies. People taking these medications should talk to their healthcare provider before consuming soybean products.
- Infants: Soy-based infant formula may not be appropriate for all infants, particularly those who are premature or have certain medical conditions. Parents should talk to their healthcare provider before using soy-based formula.
- People with digestive issues: Soybeans are a good source of fiber, but for some people, the high fiber content can cause digestive discomfort such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea. People with digestive issues may need to limit their intake of soybean products.
It's always a good idea to talk to a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian before making any major changes to your diet, particularly if you have any health concerns or medical conditions.
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