Soy milk, which is an extract of soya beans, is dairy-free and can be used as a substitution for cow’s milk. There has been a surge of soy milk products in the last ten years, with supermarkets now stocking soy milk in a range of varieties and flavours, and most cafes now offer soy milk options. There are many proven health benefits associated with soy milk, and here are some reasons why it is good for you:
Soy Milk Helps to Lower Cholesterol
Not only is soy milk cholesterol free, but it helps to lower blood cholesterol. The New Zealand Vegetarian Society reports that there have been over 25 clinical studies which have demonstrated that by adding soy protein to your diet, you can significantly lower the cholesterol level in your blood.
Soy Milk is Rich in Isoflavones
Isoflavones are naturally found in soy products and they have many health benefits. As well as being rich in antioxidants, they reportedly aid in preventing heart disease and menopause symptoms, and also help to reduce the risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and osteoporosis.
Soy Milk is a Good Source of Protein
Soy milk is very high in protein, and this is because almost half of the soy bean is made up of protein. Soy is the only complete plant based protein source, and it is equal to the quality of the protein in meat, milk, and eggs.
Other Benefits of Soy Milk
Fortified soy milk (this includes most supermarket varieties) is also high in vitamin B12, which is essential for those who don’t eat dairy products and eggs. Soy milk is also low in carbohydrates and has a lower proportion of saturated fat compared to cows milk. It contains monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (known as the “good fats”), which include omega-6 and plant omega-3. Soy milk is also a good source of lecithin, iron, and essential minerals.
How to Introduce Soy Milk into Your Diet
Introducing soy milk into your everyday diet is easy, as you can substitute it for anything you would normally use cow’s milk in. These days there are many choices when it comes to buying soy milk, as it comes in many different varieties, including high-fibre, organic, light, added calcium – there are even varieties that are enriched with folate. Here are some ways in which you can incorporate soy milk into your everyday diet:
- Pour it over cereal.
- Use it in everyday cooking.
- Add it to baked goods.
- Serve it in tea and coffee.
- Use it to make smoothies and shakes.