Foods containing soy protein may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Unlike other vegetable proteins, soy protein contains all eight amino acids, making it a “complete” protein. Soy protein may also help prevent bone loss and the risk of bone fractures.
The FDA recommends that you consume 25 grams of soy protein into your daily diet. This may sound difficult, but you may be surprised at how easily this can be done. If you are new to soy, you may want to start adding soy to your diet gradually.
The following foods contain soy and are easy to incorporate into your diet:
Edamame – Fresh green soybeans that come in pods or already shelled. Remember that the pods are not edible, so they must be shelled as you would fresh peas.
Soymilk – Soymilk is a substitute for dairy products, which is especially important if you are lactose intolerant. Soymilk comes ready-to-drink or in a dry powder form, and is available in many flavors. Flavorings and fruit juices can also be added for additional flavor.
Tofu – Tofu, also known as soybean curd, absorbs the ingredients of other ingredients that it is cooked with. It comes in various forms:
**Soft – Good for recipes that use blended tofu, such as smoothies, creamy soups, and salad dressings.
**Firm – Comes packed in water, and is dense and solid. It is higher in protein, fat, and calcium than other forms of tofu. Firm tofu can be sliced or cubed, and then used for stir-fry and soups. You can also marinate it and grill it with some fresh vegetables.
Corinne is a degreed nutritionist and award-winning writer. Visit her web site at www.thefoodcop.com.