Soy milk is commonly found in supermarkets and convenience stores. Perhaps you’re thinking about what kind of benefits does soy milk bring to your health and if it’s really good for your body, right?
It is said that the soy bean nutrients found in soy milk bring wonderful benefits to your beauty, such as maintaining your skin’s health and supporting your diet. Soy milk also brings healthy benefits, such as improving your bowel movement and preventing lifestyle-related diseases.
We will introduce the benefits of drinking soy milk and the more effective ways on drinking it. For those who drink soy milk, as well as those who are planning to do it, please use the following as reference.
1. What are the benefits of soy milk?
Soybeans, which are the ingredient in making soy milk, are rich in nutrients such as isoflavone, soy protein, lecithin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, saponins, and oligosaccharides.
Here are the six main healthy benefits of drinking nutritious soy milk:
- Cures constipation
- Prevents obesity and supports diet
- Prevents lifestyle-related diseases
- Cures dementia and depression symptoms
- Prevents skin problems, has anti-aging effects, etc.
- Relieves menstrual cramps
(1) Can it cure constipation?
A 100 ml of soy milk contains around 0.2 g of dietary fiber.
Dietary fiber is said to increase bowel movement and make stool pass easily by softening it.
Soy milk improves our intestinal environment as oligosaccharides increase good bacteria in our intestines, therefore improving our bowel movement.
(2) Can it support dieting?
It is said that saponins found in soy milk prevent the accumulation of fat in our body by absorbing it from the food we eat.
The dietary fiber found in soy milk also gives our stomach a feeling of fullness as it absorbs water in our stomach, therefore suppressing our appetite.
(3) Can it prevent lifestyle-related diseases?
Soy milk contains lecithin, which is said to reduce bad cholesterol.
Lecithin also energizes our brain and promotes blood circulation by making blood smooth, so drinking soy milk is recommended for preventing lifestyle-related diseases such as atherosclerosis and cerebral infraction.
(4) Can it prevent dementia and relieve depression symptoms?
Soy milk contains lecithin and B vitamins which are said to effective in preventing dementia and relieving depression symptoms.
Lecithin energizes our brain. On the other hand, our brain uses B vitamins as energy in order to maintain its functions.
You can expect dementia to be prevented by energizing the brain.
In addition, lack of vitamin B1 leads to decrease of brain activity, therefore making us easily irritated and lose our concentration, as well as leading to depression.
Let’s aim to reduce our stress and relax our mind by properly taking B vitamins.
(5) Can it help prevent skin problems and does it have anti-skin aging effects?
Drinking soy milk brings you beauty benefits as it helps to prevent skin problems such as dryness, wrinkles and acne. It also has anti-aging effects.
Isoflavone and vitamin C are said to aid the production of collagen.
Collagen is a type of protein that makes up of the skin, and it said that increasing collagen makes your skin moist, supple and glossy.
Meanwhile, vitamin E is said to have antioxidant effects which prevent skin aging, therefore leading to prevention of skin problems such as dryness and wrinkles.
Furthermore, isoflavone suppresses the secretion of sebum, therefore reducing acne caused by excess sebum.
(6) Can it relieve menstrual cramps?
Menstrual cramps are traced back to the lack of a female hormone called “estrogen” among women, therefore worsening the symptoms.
Isoflavone is effective in relieving menstrual cramps as its function is similar to estrogen.
* However, excessive intake of isoflavone may worsen the symptoms of menstrual cramps,
so the right amount of soy milk to be taken will be introduced on the next chapter.
2. Amount of soy milk to be taken
Soy milk brings rich benefits to our health and beauty, but the recommended amount of isoflavone found in soy products such as soy milk to be taken is 70 to 75 mg a day.
The estimated amount of soy milk to be taken and the amount of isoflavone found in soy products are given below.
2-1. The estimated amount of soy milk to be taken
Let’s drink soy milk at least 100 to 200 ml a day.
On the other hand, 70 to 75 mg a day is the recommended amount of isoflavone to be taken from soy products and other foods.
* When taking supplements or a specific health food, the recommended amount of isoflavone is up to 30mg a day.
A 200ml of soy milk contains around 20 to 60 mg of isoflavone, though the amount of the component may vary depending on the manufacturer.
Aside from soy milk, tofu (soybean curd), natto (fermented soy beans) and miso (soybean paste)
also contain isoflavone, so for those who frequently eat soy products, read “2-3. The amount of isoflavone in soy milk and soy products.”
2-2. Effects caused by excessive intake of isoflavone in soy milk
Some people may be affected through continuous excessive intake of isoflavone.
Because isoflavone has similar functions as female hormones have, excessive intake of such component may cause hormonal imbalance leading to skin irritation and menstrual irregularities.
A worsened female hormonal balance may cause diseases only peculiar to females such as endometriosis.
This happens, however, when you drink too much soy milk such as drinking one liter to two liters a day.
The amount of isoflavone found in food will be discussed in the next chapter, so use it as reference for you to know how to correctly take the right amount of the said component.
2-3. The amount of isoflavone in soy milk and soy products
Let’s drink soy milk at least 100 to 200 ml a day.
The amount of isoflavone in soy milk varies by type and manufacturer.
Try to look for the amount on the package description.
Other soy products also contain isoflavone, so it would be better to adjust the amount of soy milk to be consumed by around 100ml when eating tofu or natto (fermented soy beans).
Soy milk and soy products are rich in isoflavone.
Be reminded that the best way to prevent excessive intake of isoflavone is not by taking supplements, but by eating foods.
3. What are the effective ways of drinking soy milk?
Introduced here are the correct timing and ways of drinking soy milk which are said to improve its effectiveness.
♦ Drinking in the morning
The recommended time when to drink soy milk in particular is morning. Morning is the appropriate time to promote bowel movement.
Drinking soy milk is said to be effective in curing constipation since it causes the intestines to function properly.
Moreover, soy milk also improves our mental concentration by rejuvenating our brain, so soy milk also serves as a one-day source of energy for our brain.
♦ Drinking on an empty stomach
It is said that nutrients are easier to be absorbed by our body when our stomach is empty.
Therefore, it is recommended to drink soy milk on an empty stomach, such as before taking meal, to improve absorption of nutrients by our body.
Since drinking soy milk before meals is said to regulate our blood sugar levels while taking a meal, it is recommended as an aid for persons who are on a diet, as well as those who bothered by lifestyle-related diseases.
♦Drinking it warm
Drinking it warm is said to further improve absorption of nutrients by our body.
Soy milk still retains its nutrients even if it’s heated or chilled, so it is recommended to drink it warm.
4. Types of soy milk and recommendations
Soy milk is divided into three types: unprocessed, processed and soy beverage. Each has different calorie content.
Lastly, the differences among the three types of soy milk are introduced below.
Plain soy milk: soy milk that is made from soybeans only and doesn’t contain additives.
Unprocessed soy milk is the concentrated type of soy milk, and has a familiar and unique smell and flavor of soybeans.
200 ml: approx. 100 kcal
Processed soy milk: soy milk whose flavor is adjusted by adding sugar, salt and others to it.
Compared to unprocessed soy milk, processed soy milk is made relatively easier to drink yet retains its soybean smell.
200 ml: approx. 110 kcal
Soy beverage: soy milk that is made easier to drink by adding flavor to it such as black tea and coffee.
It has a weak soy milk essence and has a fairly easy-to-drink flavor.
200 ml: 120 to 130 kcal
Unprocessed soy milk has the richest isoflavone, saponin and lecithin content among the three, followed by processed soy milk and then soy beverage, which has the least nutrition content.
Unprocessed soy milk has low calories and is richer in components.
Unprocessed soy milk can do better things such as aiding people on their diet, but it is unpalatable for some of them and they may find continuously drinking it everyday difficult.
Soy milk can be purchased at a relatively cheap price, so let’s make a comparison to know which type of soy milk truly suits your taste.
Soy milk doesn’t only bring expected wonderful benefits to your beauty, such as maintaining your skin’s health and supporting your diet, but it also brings you healthy benefits such as improving your bowel movement and prevention of lifestyle-related diseases.
However, excessive consumption of soy milk leads to adverse effects on your beauty and health, so let’s drink it in moderation to enjoy its benefits!
This article is translation of Japanese article, and the information listed is as of February 10, 2016 (Japan Standard Time).
Please take note that this article is based on individual opinions or their impressions, and opinions may vary.