Soy milk: benefits and how to make yours at home

With the constant search for foods with high nutritional value , capable of overcoming dietary restrictions, supermarkets have become increasingly full of alternative beverages, such as rice milk, almond milk and the famous soy milk.

But have you ever wondered if this is, in fact, a good choice in terms of health? What are the benefits of soy milk? In what terms is it better than animal milk? Find the answer to these and other questions in this article.

What are the health benefits of soy milk?

There is no consensus among scientists as to whether soy milk is better or worse than cow’s milk . In nutritional terms, thanks to the enrichment process, both are very similar and are good for your health. So if you don’t have any dietary restrictions, it’s worth switching between the two types for a balanced diet.

According to nutritionist Eliane dos Santos, “soy is considered a functional food , as it has the bioactive compound isoflavone, which belongs to the family of phytoestrogens.”

Isoflavones are substances of plant origin, abundantly present in soy and its derivatives and that have a great similarity with estrogen, the main female hormone.

They are of great importance to preserve the various functions of the body, such as:

control blood pressure

Isoflavones release nitric oxide, one of the main molecules produced by the body and which act to dilate blood vessels. Also for this reason, it is increasingly common in medications to control blood pressure , improve sports performance, control diabetes and even sexual impotence. ( 1 )

Lower Cholesterol Rates

This effect is made possible through the union of soy proteins with isoflavones. In addition to the high content of good fats, such as omega-6, which lowers bad cholesterol and helps preserve heart health .

prevent cancer

The action of saponins and phenolic acids reduce the chances of developing cancers, as they inhibit the multiplication of cancer cells and sphingolipids, which destroy abnormal cells. ( 2 )

Favor kidney function

Loss of kidney function is a problem that can occur due to pre-existing conditions such as lupus, medication use, liver failure, severe infection and the lifestyle itself. There is evidence that the consumption of soy proteins preserves the proper functioning of the kidneys , being considered a good substitute for animal protein. ( 2 )

Relieves Menopause Symptoms

The consumption of soy milk alleviates the hot flashes that are very common in menopause. ( 2 ) This is due to the high levels of isoflavones, a substance that simulates estrogen. And that, because of that, it manages to regulate mood, prepare the body for pregnancy, in addition to regulating the menstrual cycle and protecting the cardiovascular system.

increases fertility

Daily consumption of soy can increase fertility and therefore help women who are trying to get pregnant . A survey identified this influence mainly in increasing the quality of ovulation. ( 3 )

In another study, women undergoing IVF who consumed 1,500 mg of soy phytoestrogen per day had higher rates of pregnancy implantation than those who did not take it. ( 4 )

What is soy milk?

Soy milk is a drink often associated as an alternative to cow’s milk . It has a creamy texture and pleasant taste, with an interesting nutritional profile.

However, it is important to emphasize that the term “soy milk” is inappropriate. According to Eliane dos Santos, “the correct one is soy extract, as the concept of milk derives from every product milked by mammals. The soy extract is the product obtained after the hydration of the soy beans, which can then be macerated, releasing the extract to be consumed”.

Nutritional value

Soy is a legume recognized for its high nutritional value, being rich in magnesium, iron , phosphorus, zinc , copper, isoflavones and vitamins. On the other hand, it only has 29% of the calcium present in cow’s milk.

100 gram servingAmount per serving
Energetic value39 Kcal
Protein2,4 g
Cholesterol –
Carbohydrate4,3 g
Fiber0,4 g
Calcium17 mg
Match53 mg
Ferro0,4 mg
Sodium 57
Potassium121 mg
C vitamin
Magnesium15 mg

* Daily reference values ​​based on a 2000kcal or 8400kj diet. Your daily values ​​can be higher or lower depending on your energy needs. Data taken from TACO, revised and expanded edition. ( 5 )

Does soy milk have lactose?

Lactose is a controversial compound that has gained considerable prominence in recent years. The substance, which is nothing more than milk sugar, is not digested by a portion of the population, causing the so-called lactose intolerance . Symptoms include a number of gastrointestinal discomforts such as diarrhea , gas, and abdominal bloating.

This is one of the factors that contribute to the popularity of soy milk, since the drink is lactose-free and, therefore, can be consumed by intolerant people with ease.

Soy extract is bad. Myth or truth? Are there contraindications?

As with other foods, to obtain all the benefits without harming the body, it is necessary to ingest the drink with balance, avoiding exaggerations.

According to the nutritionist, “ excessive soy milk consumption can cause kidney stones; inhibit trypsin enzyme action; reduce iron and zinc absorption; cause thyroid dysfunction; among other problems”.

It has no restrictions on its consumption, however individuals allergic to soy and its derivatives should avoid using it. This drink should also only be offered to babies with the pediatrician’s permission.

Is soy milk healthy?

As it is an industrialized food, the consumption of soy milk should be moderate. A glass of the drink a day is enough to acquire all its benefits.

Regarding the carton milk found in supermarkets, the nutritionist is emphatic. “From a sanitary hygienic point of view, the box that is storing the soy extract will be able to defend it from the attacks of microorganisms, increasing the shelf life of the product in question. However, with regard to nutritional aspects, there are small losses during the processing of the extract, not reducing the viability of consumption”.

There is a way to get around this problem and get a soy milk suitable for consumption without any additives: preparing it at home.

How to make soy milk at home?

Making this preparation at home is an alternative for those who want to know exactly what they are consuming and do not like processed foods. In the following video, follow the step by step:

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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