The Vegan Alternative | Soya Milk
Find out why drinking soya milk could be healthier and more cost-effective in the long run!
Soy or soya, from soybeans, is a popular plant-based protein drink that is commonly used as a lactose substitute for people who would want to avoid dairy products.
The plant itself originated in China and has been a sustainable component of Asian traditional food. Soybeans come in different colors but the most popular are black, green and yellow. The black soybeans are usually cooked directly as a dish while the green beans (also known as the edamame) is commonly served as an appetizer. Meanwhile, the yellow beans are the ones used to make soya milk and tofu. Soya milk is produced by pressing ground, cooked soybean into a strained container.
Vitamins & Minerals in Soya Milk
One interesting fact regarding soybeans is that it contains all of the nine essential amino acids (histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine). These amino acids assemble into new proteins that play a vital role in strengthening the immune system and producing sufficient energy for our daily activities. Soymilk also has high calcium and iron contents that promote strong bones and helps oxygen transport in red blood cells. It is also rich in Riboflavin and Vitamin B12 that keep our nerves healthy.
Soya Milk vs. Cow Milk
A cup (8 oz.) of soya and cow milk both provide 300mg of calcium, but each of its serving contains 80 and 104 calories respectively. The plant milk also has three times less saturated fat, zero cholesterol, and 22% less sodium count. In contrast, cow’s milk has an additional 25% Vitamin D and more phosphorus compared to the soya.
It is therefore recommended that people with high cholesterol opt for soya milk, as it better reduces the chances of heart disease with its zero cholesterol. However, we should keep in mind that soy is a common allergen for both adults and children and could pose risk for patients with thyroid conditions.
Here are more benefits that this plant-based drink could offer for our health and well-being:
1. Promotes healthy bones
Bone density reduction and osteoporosis become more common in adults — especially women with older age. This happens due to the fact that after menopause, women produce less estrogen that protects against bone loss. Because soya contains the chemical isoflavones (which is similar to the structure of estrogen), it allows women to fight osteoporosis by mimicking the said hormone's function.
2. Keeps heart in good shape
Too much cholesterol in the blood builds up walls in the arteries of the heart. This then hinders it to pump blood efficiently. Because soya milk contains no cholesterol, it is a heart-friendly alternative for those who still want to be able to drink milk.
3. Controls weight and fights obesity
Since soya milk is an excellent source of protein, it can help with the suppression of one's appetite. There are also studies that soya milk decreases the formation of fatty acids and as well as manages how it is deposited in fat cells.
4. Improves the quality of sleep
Magnesium deficiency is often linked with insomnia and restless leg syndrome. Therefore, a cup of soya milk could be helpful as it contains 60.8 mg of magnesium — it stabilizes mood, reduces stress, and improves the sleep process.
5. Helps prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Soya beans have been found to improve the synthesis of insulin receptors, thereby lessens insulin resistance. Note that insulin resistance happens when muscles, body fat and liver fail to transfer the glucose from our bloodstream into the cells thus triggering type 2 Diabetes.
Preparing Homemade Soya Milk
If you would like to prepare your own soya milk at home, it's also quite easy. Simply rinse the soybeans and soak them overnight. This will make the soybeans softer, thus allowing them to grind easier.
Drain the water from the soybeans and remove the thin skin that covers them. Place the beans in the blender and add four cups of water. Run the blender until the beans are completely blended. Using a cheesecloth, strain the soymilk from the blender into a container. Squeeze the cheesecloth until no more liquid drips from it. Simmer the soy milk in low fire, add salt or flavoring if desired. Serve and enjoy!