Soy – a protein made from the soybean plant - has gained a lot of attention in the food and health industry as a nutritiously edible bean with numerous uses. It is rich in omega-3 fats, B-vitamins, zinc, iron, polyunsaturated fat, fiber, phytochemicals and antioxidants. Most popular within the vegetarian community, soy protein is a replacement for animal protein - one cup contains 23 grams of protein (about half the daily requirement). Soy is found in popular foods including tofu, edamame, tempeh and soy milk.
Soy contains isoflavones, which are changed in the body to phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are similar to the hormone estrogen. Women often use soy as a hormone replacement therapy to relieve menopause-related symptoms. It has also been linked to the prevention and control heart disease and cancer.