Everything about soy
Soy is a cultivated plant from the legume family. It's seeds are a really important ingredient used to manufacture fodder as well as valuable food for people. Grocery products made of soy are mainly used as a meat substitute, particularly in a vegetarian diet.
Soy seeds are characterised by a high nutritional value. Compared to other plants, they contain a higher amount of protein (30-50%), composed of: glycinin-globulin which forms 80-90% overall protein contents, phaseolin and legumin. They contain an aminoacid content suitable for people. Apart from that, they contain alot of fat (14-24%) and B-group vitamins.
The history of soy comes from Asia, where in China it was cultivated for more than 4 thousand years. Currently it's most commonly cultivated in the USA, where as much as 45% comes from. It's other producers are mainly: Brazil (25%), Argentina (20%), India (10%), China (7%). The main producers in Europe are Ukraine and Russia, where cultivations equal about 3,5 millions of hectares. In Poland it's rarely cultivated, since it needs alot of heat and regular and moderate rainfall.
It belongs to the world's most important oleaginous plants. Soy bean oil is commonly used for frying, salads, baking cakes and producing margarine.
Soy, thanks to it's properties, can:
- lower the levels of blood cholesterol
- have an anti-cancer effect
- alleviate the effects of menopause
- protect from atherosclerosis and heart disease
- lower risk of osteoporosis
Soy is a source of "low-fat" protein and can deliver two times as much of it compared to other plants and cereals. Compared to cow milk it has 10 times more protein, and compared to meat it has 15 times more. Because of that, soy should be in the diet of every vegan and vegetarian.