Soya - The Bahubali of Protein!

Mrs. Mehta was in a quandary when the doctor informed her that her 6 year old son’s skin rash and nasal congestion was due to his being allergic to eggs. While his symptoms improved after she stopped giving him eggs as part of his meal, her dilemma was how to ensure his intake of protein. It was then that the doctor suggested that she introduce soya in the diet.

Dr. SeemmaSaadhika, Functional Medicine specialist from Bengaluru recommends soya as an essential part of the diet for vegetarians as well as for non-vegetarians. She says, “Soya protein is the only complete protein of plant origin with all the essential amino acids. It rates higher than milk, wheat, egg and meat as a source of quality protein. Regular intake prevents protein deficiency especially in vegetarian diets.”

Soya can be easily introduced as part of the daily diet as it is available in easy to cook forms. Soya flour can be added to atta to make rotis more nutritious. Soya in the form of soya chunks is amenable to easy cooking and gives a tasty twist to different recipes. Soya chunks are dry but on  soaking in water, they become soft and spongy. Plain soya chunks do not have any flavor, but they absorb sauces, spices and flavorings well which makes stews, soups, curries, masala dishes, salads and stir-fries with soya delicious, flavorsome and healthy!

A 100 gm. serving of soya chunks contains over 50 grams of protein. This is more than the same serving size of meat and eggs. Soya chunks have higher protein than milk, wheat, eggs and meat. Soya chunks have 52% protein, whereas meat with 22%, egg with 14%, wheat with 12% and milk with 4% are far behind in protein content.

Soya chunks also contain 30% carbohydrates providing a source of source of fuel for the body. This is especially beneficial in growing children and athletes who need a higher amount of carbohydrates. 100 gms of soya chunks is only 336 calories, helping to manage weight while eating healthy.

Soya chunks are rich in iron with a 100 gm. serving containing around 20 mg. of iron which is more than enough to meet the recommended daily intake for iron. They are also rich in calcium containing around 350 mg of calcium per 100 gram serving.

Dr. SeemmaSaadhikasays, “Soya is truly the ‘Bahubali’ of protein and addresses the protein needs of the entire family! Soya has also been shown to lower cholesterol and promote overall heart health. Soya proteins have a heart protective effect. Isoflavones present in soya lower LDL or bad cholesterol and increase HDL or good cholesterol levels, helping to improve functioning of the blood vessels. Soya protein intake also helps in weight management and obesity control. A meal with soya keeps one feeling full after a meal improving satiety and helps manage sugar level in the blood and keeps it steady without abnormal fluctuations. Soya has been shown to improve insulin resistance in diabetics and help in controlling blood sugar levels.”

With all these advantages in addition to soya being the highest source of protein, soya chunks are now on Mrs. Mehta’s grocery shopping list and a part of every meal!She has realised that ‘healthy rehna simple hai’!