(Last Updated On: January 19, 2023)

Soy is one of the most celebrated plants for its high protein nutrient content. It is the only plant-based food that contains all of the essential amino acids, making it an excellent source of complete protein. Also, it is said to be versatile since you can enjoy soy products in infinite ways.  

So, whether you enjoy tofu stir fry with rice or tempeh tacos on top of a salad, eating soy will ensure you get enough nutrients. And if you prefer a vegetarian or vegan diet, the plant is a great way to supplement your protein intake. That being said, here are different ways you can incorporate versatile soy products into your meals:  

  • Tofu: Loved by many, tofu is a popular product made from curdled and pressed soy milk. It has a mild, slightly nutty flavor, making it versatile in the kitchen. You can use Tofu as a meat substitute in dishes like stir fries and casseroles and it’s also ideal for baking and grilling since it holds its shape during cooking.  
  • Tempeh: Tempeh is prepared from cooked and fermented soybeans pressed into blocks or patties. It has an earthy flavor and chewy texture, making it great for adding to salads and sandwiches. Also, tempeh is a good alternative to traditional burger or ground beef crumbles.  
  • Soy Milk: Soy milk is made by soaking and grinding soybeans into a liquid. It’s fortified with vitamins and minerals, making it an excellent plant-based nutrition source. You can enjoy soy milk in smoothies, as a coffee creamer, or as a substitute for cow’s milk in baking.  
  • Edamame: These are immature soybeans that farmers have harvested before they harden. They have a mild flavor, so they pair well with fried rice or sushi rolls. Edamame beans are also popularly added to salads, stir-fries, soups, curries, and other dishes. 

Health Benefits of Protein from Soy 

  1. It May Improve Digestive Health 

Soy protein may help reduce the risk of certain gastrointestinal diseases and conditions. This is because Soy-based proteins are highly digestible and do not contain cholesterol or trans fats. They also help support a healthy balance of gut bacteria and might promote regularity in the intestines.  

A 2019 research, also shows that consuming plant-based proteins such as soy can reduce inflammation and help protect the digestive system from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other gastrointestinal issues. That is especially beneficial for those with food sensitivities or allergies. Soy contains prebiotics that feed the healthy bacteria in the gut, hence promoting overall digestive health. 

  1. It Might Promote Heart Health 

Another health benefit associated with Protein from soy is that it promotes heart health. In fact, studies have found that people who consume diets higher in soy protein can lower their low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, which can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, soy protein may increase good high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which helps reduce the risk of coronary artery illnesses. 

  1. It May Improve Bone Health 

According to a 2017 review, soy isoflavones decrease bone turnover rates, reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis. So, consuming adequate amounts of soy protein may help prevent age-related loss in bone mass for adults of all ages. Furthermore, soy protein contains high concentrations of essential amino acids like lysine necessary for collagen production, which helps build better bones.  

  1. Protein from Soy May Reduce the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes 

A diet containing soy protein may help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. The nutrients in this plant, including polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamins, might improve insulin sensitivity. That means cells become more receptive to your body’s insulin levels, which helps keep blood sugar levels from rising too high.  

Moreover, research has found that replacing animal-based proteins with plant-based proteins like those found in soy can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The isoflavone in soy decreases glucose tolerance and lowers the consumer’s body mass, which may also add to the protective effect against diabetes.  

  1. It May Boosts Brain Function 

Protein from soy might be beneficial for cognitive functions due to its high amount of essential amino acids that help create neurotransmitters. These chemicals in the nervous system send messages between neurons and play a part in learning, memory, and concentration. Therefore, eating soy protein helps maintain these neurotransmitters’ healthy levels, allowing the brain to perform more efficiently. Protein from soy also contains choline, an important nutrient that contributes to improved retention and learning ability.  

Additionally, studies have found that consuming adequate amounts of protein can increase focus and alertness by helping regulate glucose levels in the bloodstream. Nevertheless, it is important to note that consuming at least 15-20 grams of protein daily is recommended for optimal brain health. 

  1. Soy Protein May Reduce Cancer Risk 

Besides soy being an important source of dietary protein, its consumption may reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer. There are several mechanisms through which this could occur. For example, one study found that soy isoflavones can slow down or even stop the growth of cells responsible for certain types of cancer. 

Other research suggests that the effects on reducing cancer risk may be due to other factors in soy, such as saponins and phytosterols. While more research is needed to draw definitive conclusions about the link between soy and reduced risk of cancer, the current evidence is encouraging. That being said, including more soy in your diet may be beneficial for cancer prevention and is a good source of dietary protein. 


Soy is a versatile and healthy plant protein that you can use in various dishes. So, if you’re looking to get more protein in your diet without resorting to animal sources, look no further than this plant food! Not only is it an excellent source of nutrition, but you can enjoy it in countless ways. However, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider before adding soy to your diet, especially if you have certain medical conditions. 

Written by Kathy Cooley