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SOY AND SKIN HEALTH




Have you ever heard, "You are what you eat?" The phrase "you are what you eat" is more than a phase. It means what you eat impacts your health and the appearance of your skin. A diet rich in macronutrients and micronutrients, antioxidants, and hydration may help radiate glowing skin from the inside out. You probably were familiar with the benefits of overall health. But did you also know that soy contains skin properties and compounds that enable you to have rejuvenating skin?

Research shows that soy protein consumption improves skin wrinkles, pigmentation, and hydration. A study on postmenopausal women who consumed 30 grams of soy protein daily for six months found decreased wrinkle depth and pigmentation and increased skin hydration compared to those in the cow's milk protein group. 


In addition, the study suggests that isoflavones experienced the rejuvenating properties seen in the soy protein group. Soybeans contain a significant source of isoflavones found in common soy foods such as tofu and soy milk. In the study, just two servings of soy foods like soymilk or one cup of tofu radiate skin benefits.





SO, WHAT IS SOY?


Soy are commonly referred to as soybeans. Soybeans and beans, peas, and lentils are part of the legume family. Soy originated from Southeast Asia and was first domesticated by Chinese farmers. There are various soy products in most grocery stores throughout America today, from frozen edamame to multiple flavors of soy milk.


NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF SOY: 


There are many benefits of soy products in today's market, such as a great source of protein: Soybeans are an excellent, complete plant-based protein containing all nine essential amino acids obtained through food because the body cannot make them. Soy is the only plant protein comparable in quality to animal-based protein. One cup of soy milk provides 7 grams of protein. It is an excellent protein option as it offers a wide variety of soy products in the market, aiding in reducing cardiovascular disease and improving healthy aging.  


Moreover, soy products are also great in unsaturated fats. They are a great source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which may help reduce cholesterol levels and improve heart health. Alpha-linolenic Acid (ALA) is found in soybean oil and is the principal source of omega-3s, which aid in improving cardiovascular health and may reduce blood pressure.

 There is fiber, and one serving of soybeans provides approximately 8 grams of dietary fiber. As always, it is essential to consider how soy-derived products are processed, as that decreases their fiber content. Soy foods that utilize whole beans, such as edamame or soy nuts, are high in fiber. Fiber helps fuel the microbiome and support digestive health.  


Furthermore, soy is also rich in micronutrients, such as B vitamins and minerals like folate, potassium, iron, calcium, riboflavin, and potassium. Natto, a fermented soy product, may benefit bone health as it is high in Vitamin K. 


With that said the main benefit of soybeans is that they contain plant compounds like isoflavones, an antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation and promote optimal immune health. Isoflavones greatly benefit the skin's defense against oxidant damage, stimulate collagen synthesis, and increase skin hydration.

 

Lastly, fermented foods, such as natto, tempeh, and miso, function as probiotics and are easier to digest. The fermentation process generates bioactive compounds absent in unfermented foods that may apply health benefits to the microbiome, increasing the number of good bacteria in the gut.  


In summary, soy and soy products are rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, fats, and antioxidants, enhancing skin rejuvenating health. Soy is very rich in isoflavones, which offer many health benefits that aid in heart health and healthy aging. As we age, we tend to lose muscles, which impacts our quality of life. Eating adequate protein can help maintain muscle mass and strength. Protein is also used for growth and development and for structural purposes to form skin, bone, teeth, blood vessels, hair, and nails. Lastly, it provides a feeling of satisfaction after eating. Adding soy to your diet is simple nutrition made easy. For example, substituting beef stir-fry with tofu stir-fry increases the nutritional benefits. Another great option is using soy milk in your smoothie. Adding soy to your diet can be simple and nutritious but deliciously good.  

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