Soybeans are great legumes known for their good protein supplies. Although they may have many potential benefits, including reduced cancer risk and improved bone health, health experts are concerned that they may worsen thyroid problems in predisposed individuals.

In most Asian countries, soybeans form the majority of their main dishes in the form of edamame, tofu, or tempeh. However, soybeans are not only found in Asia but have spread to the rest of the world, including Central and South America, which consumes whole soybeans and soy products like soy sauce, flour, milk, and others. This leguminous food is rich in vitamins, minerals, and several phytochemicals, hence its strong antioxidant properties. These owe them the many health potentials, including strengthened bone health and reduced cancer risk. Still, health experts claim that consuming too much soybean may interfere with thyroid function, besides soy allergy. Peer into this article to learn everything about soybeans.

Soybeans: the nutritional profile

In gauging how helpful a fruit, vegetable, foods, or any other dietary element is to health, nutritionists and health experts dig deep into the nutritional profile of the food or whatever thing it is, and the same is for soybeans. These legumes have garnered wide claims and for every good reason. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and several phytochemicals, most of which the body needs to function. In fact, for every 100g (3.5ounces) of fully cooked soybeans you take, you will be supplying the body with the following nutrients in the shown proportions;

  • 63%
  • 173
  • 9 grams (Saturated, Monounsaturated, Polyunsaturated, Omega-3, and Omega- 6weighing 1.3 g, 1.98 g, 5.06 g, 0.6 g, and 4.47 g, respectively)
  • 16.6 grams
  • 9.9 grams
  • 3 grams
  • 6 grams


Proteins are macronutrients and undoubtedly among the top dietary requirements, especially because they repair cells and muscles and promote bone health. Soybeans are among the best plant protein sources, although the protein quality does not match animal protein. Generally, proteins make up 35%-55% of the total soybean dry weight, with a 172g serving of cooked soybeans having 29g proteins. The main protein forms in soybeans are conglycinin and glycinin, making about four-fifths of the total protein content. Most people who are allergic to soybeans and their products react to these two proteins.


Soybeans are rich in fats, which is why it is categorized as an oilseed. It mainly comprises unsaturated fats, specifically mono- and poly-unsaturated fats, with lipoic acid being the main one and comprising half the total fat content. Because of the fats in soybeans, they are used in making soy oil.


A typical healthy balanced diet includes fibers because they reduce constipation, promote gut health, slow down bowel movement hence food intake, and aid in weight loss. Soybeans have soluble and insoluble fibers, with the former being abundant in the form of alpha-galactosides. Although many people react to this kind of soluble fiber, they are generally healthy and reduce colon cancer risk and promote gut health.

Vitamins and minerals

Besides fats, fiber, and proteins, soybeans are also rich in various vitamins and minerals, although some are present only in trace amounts. Vitamin B1, B6, & K1, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, and copper are packed in soybeans. The vitamin B complex is useful for many body functions, including energy production, while vitamin K helps with blood clotting. Phosphorus helps keep teeth and bones strong, while copper boosts many physiological activities.

Other plant compounds

Soybeans are also rich in various phytochemicals, including saponins, isoflavones, and phytic acid. Isoflavones are rich in antioxidants, which are important in fighting inflammation and free radicals. If left untamed, free radicals may accumulate and result in oxidative stress, one of the primary causes of many chronic illnesses, including cancer and cognitive decline. Saponins are specifically cherished for reducing animal cholesterol levels.

Soybeans: health benefits

After exploring the nutritional profile, this section helps understand the top benefits linked to soybeans, including;

a.      Soybeans may reduce cancer risk

Cancer is among the world’s top killers, and every society wishes it to end. Although some studies have claimed that taking soybeans increases breast cancer risk by increasing breast tissues, most studies say otherwise. Several others claim that soybeans may prevent prostate cancer progression, properties only possible due to the isoflavones and antioxidants in soybeans.

b.      They may reduce menopause symptoms

Research has shown that most Asian women, especially Japanese ladies, are rarely affected by menopause symptoms than their Western fellows. One explanation for this is the Asian dishes, which because of soybeans, are rich in isoflavone, a phytoestrogen. This antioxidant can imitate the functions of estrogen, whose decrease leads to negative menopause symptoms, including hot flashes, mood swings, and sweating at night.

c.       They may boost bone health

Another key health benefit of soybeans is bone strengthening, a possible phenomenon due to isoflavone content. Osteoporosis is the arthritis of the bones, which mainly affects menopausal women, leading to fractures and reduced bone density. This can be reduced by taking more soybeans and boosting one’s isoflavone levels.

Health concerns about soybean consumption

Despite the rich nutritional profile and the critical top health potentials discussed above, many concerns arise about consuming this leguminous food, including;

a.      Thyroid suppression

Some studies claim that consuming too many soybeans may lead to thyroid suppression. This may happen in people with an underactive thyroid gland, resulting in hypothyroidism due to the high isoflavone levels. Consuming lots of phytoestrogen supplements may have similar effects.

b.      Soy allergy

Some people are allergic to soybeans and react negatively upon taking them. This is because of glycinin and conglycinin, the two primary proteins in soybeans. However, such allergic reactions are rare.

c.       Diarrhea and flatulence

Some people are hypersensitive to soybeans and experience diarrhea and flatulence after taking the legumes. Soybeans are rich in FODMAPS, a type of carb that initiates stomach discomfort. The conditions may worsen when a person has irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), so such individuals need to avoid soybeans and their products.


Soybeans are legumes native to Asia, although they can be found in South and Central America and other parts of the world. They are rich in vitamins B and K and various minerals like copper and manganese. Although they may reduce the risk of getting cancer and promote bone health, some health experts fear that they may lead to soy allergy, diarrhea, and flatulence, and interfere with thyroid function, leading to hypothyroidism.

Tatyana Dyachenko

For the past years, Tatyana has worked as a sex blogger and a relationship advisor. She has been featured in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue. Vice, Tatler, Vanity Fair, and many others. Since 2016, Tatyana has focused on sexology, attended various training courses, participated in international conferences and congresses. “I wish people would address sexual issues in a timely manner! Forget shyness, prejudice and feel free to see a sex doctor for help or advice!” Tanya enjoys pursuing her flare for creativity through modelling, graffiti art, astronomy, and technology.