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Company : Hindustan Unilever Limited 
Thursday, March 3, 2011 12:43PM IST (7:13AM GMT)
Soya's Inside Story - Nutritional Benefits of the ‘Wonder Food'
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Ms. Meera Srinivasan, Nutritionist, Hindustan Unilever Limited Research Centre.

Soya is packed with health goodies that give it the proud title of the "wonder food". From controlling cholesterol to preventing osteoporosis and heart-related disorders, this humble bean has been man's best friend for over 3000 years. Grown across the world as a legume, soya is now turning gourmet, finding its way into cake toppings, juices and dim sums. We look at some of the lesser-known facts of this special bean:

• Soya contains 13 wonder nutrients and minerals.

• A native of Asia, it was first grown in the farms of China around 3000 years ago. The Europeans discovered the miracle plant only 1000 years ago during their expeditions.

• The soya plant matures within four months and can grow up to a metre in height. Many years ago it grew as a vine but farmers tamed it to grow vertically.

• The plant sprouts tiny white and purple flowers which then give way to the pod that contains these nutritional beans.

• Almost all parts of the plant are edible. The shoots and leaves can be eaten; beans turned into milk, paste, and oil or mixed with juice.

• Soya can be processed into tofu, miso, yogurt, milk and cream.

• The "complete protein" contains 45 per cent high quality plant proteins, which are comparable to egg proteins, so far known as among the richest sources of the nutrient.

• It is free of lactose and cholesterol making it an ideal food for even the lactose-intolerant.

• Studies show that 25 gm of soya protein everyday can considerably lower the risk of cholesterol.

• Soya is known to have the highest content of useful isoflavones than any other food. Genistein, daidzein and glycitein are the isoflavones found in the bean. Of these, it is genistein is believed to have the most potential to prevent or treat certain cancers.

For further information on Soya please log on to www.kissansoya.com

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