Food products made from soy or soya have always been popular worldwide. It’s been consumed since the 1960s. One major reason for its popularity is the health benefits they provide to consumers, both young and old.
Soybean is the main ingredient in making soyfoods. In fact many kitchen ingredients contain this such as soy sauce, soy flour, soy nut butter, soy oil, protein concentrates and textured soy protein.
Among the most popular soy foods available in supermarkets are tofu also known as soybean curd, lecithin and soy nuts.
As for the liquid form, soy milk and soy yogurt are most widely used. And both are recommended for kids as well as adults. They’re great for breakfast.
Soy milk is made from ground soybeans and is considered a better substitute for cow’s milk owing to its rich protein content. The plain and unfortified form is actually a rich source of high quality protein and B vitamins. A powder form is also available and this has to be mixed with water before consumption.
With regards to the soy-based infant formulas, a soy protein isolate powder is generally used as a base rather than cow’s milk. Also added in the formula are carbohydrates and fats to achieve a liquid form that simulates breast milk.
Soy milk is the base used in making soy yogurt. Unlike milk which is in liquid form, though, this product has a thicker and creamy texture. As such, this makes it a preferred substitute for cream cheese or sour cream. Today, soy yogurt is available in varied flavors.
Benefits for Kids
Both soy milk and yogurt are great for kids particularly those who are lactose intolerant. They’re not only rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals but they also less fat and calories.
Another benefit of these soyfood products is they are sweeter than cow’s milk. This makes it easy for parents to encourage their kids to drink soymilk or soy yogurt.
Isoflavones or the phytoestrogens are also present in soy and they may help lower cholesterol. Unlike whole milk that contains saturated fat and cholesterol that can increase a person’s risk for heart disease, soy milk contains no cholesterol and contains monosaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids that reduce blood cholesterol level.
While there’s no conclusive evidence found, soy milk consumption has been hypothesized to lower the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer. Consumption during childhood is said to reduce the risk of these cancers later in life.
An important thing for parents to keep in mind is to let your kids drink soy milk and enjoy soy yogurt but only in moderate amounts every time.