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Soybean: Poor man’s meat, antidote

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Soybean is the most nutritious crop in the world containing 40% protein and 20% oil, both of which are vital in human and animal diet.

Soybean contains at least 100% more proteins than any other common crop and yields 5-10 times more protein per unit area than other crops. The protein in soybean is also balanced.

It contains all the essential amino acids which the body cannot manufacture. Because of its nutritional superiority, soybean flour is often blended with cereal flours such as maize to boost their nutritional value.

The amount of proteins found in soybean is similar to animal proteins, which makes it the only substitute to animal and fish protein. Due to the crop’s high nutritional content, soybean based foods are highly recommended by nutritional specialists to children, mothers and HIV patients.

Health benefits

With the available technology for processing soybeans at industrial and household level, soybean has become one of the most promising food crops available to improve the diets of millions of people in the world.

Soybean protein consumption has been observed to provide protection against heart disease by lowering serum cholesterol by 33%.

Studies have also shown that regular soy food consumption can reduce the risk of rectal cancer by 80%, mammary tumor by 40% and breast cancer by 50%. For this reason, consumption of 25grammes of soy protein a day was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1999 as a means to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Soybean oil is 85% unsaturated, comprising linolenic acid (omega 3 fatty acid) and oleic acid which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. It also also contains isoflavones which increase artery and heart health.

Countries whose diets are based on soybean such as China, Japan and Korea are known to have long life expectancy and experience minimum cases of cancers.

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