Lactose Intolerance is a problem amongst many adults and children alike. This makes them intolerant towards all kinds of dairy products, especially milk. For them, soy milk is the best substitute. But many people drink soy milk for the added health benefits. Soy milk is made by soaking, grinding and boiling soy beans with water. It is a wholesome drink and is naturally rich in essential fatty acids, fiber, vitamins, proteins and minerals. These nutrients supply energy and keep your body functioning at its best possible level.
Preparation Of Soy Milk:
Soy milk can be prepared from the whole soybeans or full-fat soy flour. You need to soak the dry beans in water for a minimum of 3 hours. Then wet grind the beans with enough water to give the preferred final product. The ratio of the water to beans on a weight basis should be kept at about 10:1. Then boil the purée to improve its nutritional value. This improves the flavor and sterilizes the product too.
Soy milk normally has a longer shelf life than dairy milk. Even some types of packaged soy milk can be stored at room temperature for months. Though, most varieties of soy milk are loaded with sugar, it still has many nutritional benefits.
Health Benefits Of Soy Milk:
1. No Lactose:
The primary benefit of soy milk is the absence of lactose. Many adults as well as children cannot digest lactose, which causes indigestion, diarrhea and other stomach ailments. Many face allergy problems as well. So, for such people, soy milk is the best alternative.
2. Good For Immune System:
The protein content in soy milk is very high. Those who avoid dairy milk can get all their protein requirements from the soy milk. It contains all the nine essential amino acids required by our body. These amino acids are converted into new proteins, which help boost the immune system. These amino acids also aid enzyme release, which provides energy.
3. Improves Lipid Profile:
The fat present in soy milk is unsaturated and has zero cholesterol content. The fatty acids present in soy milk prevent the filtration of cholesterol into the blood. It also helps lower the bad cholesterol and improve the good cholesterol level in the body.
4. Aids Weight Loss:
Soy milk is naturally very low in sugar. The monosaturated fatty acids present in it prevents the intestines from absorbing the fats. Soy milk is also rich in fiber content, which makes one feel fuller for a longer time. All these advantages aid weight loss.
5. Does Not Contain Hormones:
To get increased milk production, cows are often injected with artificial hormones. These hormones are present in the dairy milk we consume and interfere with the working of our body and all its systems. Soy milk is free from these hormones and is relatively harmless for our body.
6. Good For The Bones:
The soy milk contains phytoestrogen, which help the body to absorb in calcium absorption. It increases bone mass density. It also helps reduce the bone mass loss due to age factor or hormone factors. It is good for the bones and prevents osteoporosis.
7. Rich In Iron:
The iron content in soy milk helps the red blood vessels function properly. It also helps to ensure that all the tissues throughout the body get their required amount of oxygen.
8. Rich In Vitamin B12, Riboflavin And Isoflavones:
Vitamin B-12 helps the body cells in producing DNA. It also aids in the functioning of the red blood cells and keeps the nerves healthy too. The riboflavin in soy milk helps our cells to produce energy. It also protects our DNA from damage. Isoflavones are the anti-oxidants that protect our cells and DNA from oxidation. It also helps in reduction of cholesterol and fights many other ailments.
9. Helps Maintain Blood Pressure Levels:
Soy milk has very low sodium content. It is beneficial for those with high blood pressure as they need to maintain a low sodium intake.
10. Prevents Post-menopausal Syndromes:
During menopause, the natural production of estrogen in a woman’s body drops to a minimum which creates a number of health problems. Heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression, mood swings, insomnia and other psychological disorders are some of the things women deal with during menopause. The phytoestrogen in soy is an effective estrogen replacement. Regular consumption of soy prevents and lessens these postmenopausal syndromes.
11. Prevents Prostrate Cancer:
The phytoestrogen in soy milk can inhibit the production of testosterone in men. Reduction in the testosterone levels can considerably reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
In spite of all the health benefits, soy milk may at times have some disadvantages or side effects too. The added sugar content in them is one of the major nutritional disadvantages. Added sugars boost our calories without causative nutritional value, and they also increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It is always better to opt for unsweetened soy milk to minimize the consumption of the added sugar.
Soy milk is one of the most nutritious health drinks you can find. Loaded with so many nutrients and vitamins, it benefits the body in a miraculous way. Lactose intolerant or not—soy milk should find a place in all healthy diets!
Are you lactose intolerant? What substitute drink do you use? Share with us in the comments section below.