This annual plant is native to the east parts of Asia. Soy beans, also called Soya beans, have been used for over 5,000 years already mainly in China. Nowadays the main producers can be found world wide: they consist of the United States, Brazil, Argentina, China and India.
Soy beans made their way in to Europe around the 1700s and in 1765 was grown for the first time in the U.S. It took until the 1920s before soy became a food; before that it was mainly grown for hay, crop rotation and industrial purposes. Thanks to Henry Ford, the production, promotion and research on soy beans took off around 1930, due to the use of soy oil in car manufacturing and painting. This helped both the food and industrial use of the bean.
The plant growth can vary from 7.8" up to 6.5 feet and the beans come in many different colors. Because the beans are extremely high in protein, it is a good substitute for meat and many vegetarians, vegans and people who can not afford meat, provide their body with this so needed nutrient.
Studies have shown that adding soy to a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may help reduce your risk of heart disease. According to The American Heart Association, 25 grams of soy protein per day is needed to show significant cholesterol-lowering effects.
One-half cup (128g) of raw soybeans has 188 calories and provides an excellent source of protein, fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, vitamin C, thiamin, and folate, as well as a good source of riboflavin, and niacin. In addition, studies show soy isoflavones such as genistein may help prevent and treat prostate cancer and may reduce breast cancer risk.
Soy is versatile as it comes in many different liquid and solid forms, including such foods as soymilk, soy yogurt, soy cheese, tofu and tempeh, which serve as popular meat substitutes in vegetarian diets. ~Source: Dole Food Facts.
To my surprise I came across some dangers which soy beans present, especially when they are cooked in the usual way. It so turns out that soy beans are rich in enzyme inhibitors. These enzymes block the works of trypsin and other enzymes which are needed for protein digestion. Not all enzymes in the soy bean are deactivated during the regular cooking process and it can cause severe gastric distress, reduced protein digestion and chronic deficiencies in amino acid intake.
Another concern is that the soy bean contains haemagglutinin, which is a substance that can cause red blood cells to clump. Most of the times, soy is used after fermentation and these dangers are no longer present, because the inhibitors are no longer active. Vegetarians who consume lots of tofu and bean curd however, are at a severe risk of developing a mineral deficiency.
Even though many recommend soy, it so turns out that there are some dangers to it and before taking any supplements and/or substitutes, it is best to do a good research before jumping in to action.
Times occur, when we feel pressed to take actions based on what is done to us, even when we know there is nothing for us to do. We have to leave it in God's capable hands and trust Him to resolve the matter and to keep us safe from all the fiery darts.
Psalm 57:1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by.