Soya chunks have been contradicting food for some time now. While it is rich in omega 3, it is also packed with damaging oestrogen. Soya chunks are a good source of protein for vegetarians; the amount of protein in soya chunks is similar to the amount of protein in a chicken’s breast.
Furthermore, plenty of questions have been raised regarding soya chunks in recent times, whether or not they should be consumed? In this blog, you will find everything you need to know about soya chunks! Soya chunks can be easily added to your existing diet; keep reading to learn more.
What Are Soya Chunks?
Soya chunks are created using soy flour from which the oil has been extracted (defatted). Soya chunks are a product made after extracting soybean oil from soy flour. When dried, they have a rough consistency.
Once warm water or gravy is added to this mixture, their texture quickly changes to soft and spongy. Soya chunks can be prepared in multiple ways, similar to non-veg curries. Fun fact: Soya chunks are also known as vegetarian meat.
Soya Chunks Nutritional Value
The nutritional value of soya chunks depends on many factors such as the brand, preparation method, etc. A familiar soya chunks brand in India has the following nutrient value:
A 100-gram packet of soya chunks has:-
- Protein: 52g grams. Soya chunks are rich in protein. They contain more protein than the amount of protein in chicken and eggs. Hence, they compensate for the daily recommended protein intake for women and men
- Fibre: 13 grams
- Calories: 345 kcal. One hundred grams of soya chunks has a significant number of calories; therefore, they must be eaten in proportion
- Carbohydrates: 33 grams
- Fats: 0.50 grams. Soya chunks have much lesser fat content as compared to chicken and eggs
- Calcium: 350 milligrams. The calcium content in soya chunks is significant as it contributes to about 35% of the daily recommended value
- Iron: 20 milligrams. Soya chunks have a nominal value of iron and other vitamins such as vitamin A and vitamin C
Benefits of Soya Chunk
1. Substitute For Meat
100 grams of soya chunk have around 50 grams of protein. In fact, they comparatively provide more protein than the same quantity of chicken or lamb meat. That's why they are considered a good meat substitute, especially for vegetarians suffering from protein deficiency.
2. Improves Heart Health
High protein, fibre, omega3 fatty acid and low saturated fat content in soya chunk promotes heart health. It also decreases bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol in the body.
3. Helps With Weight Loss
Soya chunks keep you full for a long time, and hence you don't feel the urge to eat frequently. Also, it contains a plant-based protein that has body fat and weight-reducing properties. Your body spends more energy digesting soya chunks than carbohydrates. This, in turn, facilitates fat burn and weight loss.
4. Eases Menopause Symptoms
Night sweats, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, mood swings, sleep trouble, etc., are some common symptoms women experience while going through menopause. Soya chunks contain a phytoestrogen known as isoflavones which helps in reducing menopausal symptoms.
5. Maintains Hormonal Balance In Women
Eating soya chunks daily could benefit women having irregular menstrual cycles due to its phytoestrogen content. It particularly benefits those who are suffering from PCOS or post-menopausal symptoms.
6. Improves Digestive System
Regular consumption of soya chunks increases the amount of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in the intestines. Both these microorganisms assist with digestion.
7. Reduces Risk Of Inflammatory Diseases
Soya chunk has anti-inflammatory properties. Hence their consumption protects you from diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and some types of cancer.
8. Maintains Blood Sugar Level
Isoflavones in soya chunks help in reducing blood sugar levels. Thus diabetic people should include them in their regular diet. They also reduce the risk of heart diseases by controlling blood sugar levels.
Also Read: Is Jaggery Good For Diabetes?
Soya Chunks Good For Weight Loss
According to a research paper on the role of dietary soy protein in obesity published in the International Journal of Medical Sciences, soya chunks are good for weight loss because of the following properties:
- Prevent deposition of excess fat around organs.
- Decrease bad cholesterol levels in the body.
- The fibre content slows down its passage through the alimentary canal. This further increases the time required for the digestion process and keeps you satiated for a longer period.
Benefits Of Soya Chunks For Females
Soya chunks have isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogen; it is similar to estrogen and helps relieve menopausal and post-menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. It also helps in regulating the menstrual cycle in women suffering from PCOS.
Soya Chunks Benefits For Hair
Here's how soya chunk consumption benefits hairs:
- Strong And Healthy Hair: Soya chunks have protein in abundance, which is the building block of hair.
- Enhances Hair Texture: Protein content in soya chunks repairs damaged hairs, improves texture and provides much-needed strength. That's why most hair care products contain soy protein.
- Promotes Hair Growth: Soy chunk has many minerals and nutrients like folic acid, vitamin B, potassium, iron and zinc required for healthy hair growth. Its high fat and low sodium content also aid in hair growth.
How To Eat Soya Chunks?
There are several ways to eat soya chunks. Here's a delicious and healthy recipe you could prepare with soya chunks:
- Boil two and a half cups of water and soak one cup of soya chunk in it.
- Rinse off the water after soya chunks get soft.
- Make a paste of two tomatoes.
- Fry a pinch of asafoetida and half a tablespoon of cumin seeds in one tablespoon of heated oil in a pan.
- Now add two diced onions, two finely sliced green chillies and one sprig of curry leaf in the pan and mix well till the onion turns golden.
- Saute two tablespoons of garlic paste into the whole mixture till the raw smell is diluted.
- Mix tomato paste
- Let the entire mixture fry till masala and oil start separating.
- Add a quarter tablespoon of coriander powder, garam masala powder, coriander powder and salt as per taste.
- Add soya chunks after approximately three minutes.
- Fry till the masala and soya chunks get mixed.
Can We Eat Soya Chunks Daily?
Yes, soya chunks can be eaten daily. Approximately 25-30 grams of soya chunks in a day is a good amount. Eating home-cooked recipes of soya chunks and eating soya chunks in moderation is the key! 25-30 grams will not skyrocket your oestrogen and uric acid levels.
Soybean vs Soya Chunks
You might be wondering what is soya chunk and how is it different from soybean? Soybeans, also known as soya beans or soja beans, are legumes found commonly in East India. After the extraction of soybeans, defatted soya flour is left behind as residue. It is used to make soya chunks.
So essentially, soya chunks are a product of soybeans. Thus both have similar health benefits.
Can We Eat Soya Chunk Daily?
Although soya chunk nutritional value is high, its excessive consumption can lead to high uric acid and estrogen levels in your body. This leads to weight gain, acne, bloating, mood swings, liver damage, water retention and joint pain.
Hence health experts recommend that you should eat only 25-30 grams per day to avoid such complications and get maximum soya chunk benefits.
Summing Up on Benefits of Soya Chunks
In a nutshell, soya chunks are incredibly beneficial in more ways than one, such as in improving your heart health, working on weight loss, easing menopause symptoms, maintaining hormonal balance in women, and much more! Lastly, soya chunks are safe to eat in moderation and easy to add to your existing diet. So, have you tried soya chunks yet?
What Are the Disadvantages of Soya Chunks?
The cons of having soya chunks include that they are highly processed foods and are usually not found in their pure form. Moreover, adding oil and salt slightly reduces its nutritional value, which may not be suitable for the heart if consumed in excess.
Therefore, have small amounts of soya chunks from time to time. Other soy alternatives include tofu and tempeh, which you can try instead of soya chunks.
Does Soya Chunks Decrease Testosterone?
YES, studies state that regular consumption of soy-based products such as soya chunks, tofu may cause a drop in testosterone levels. However, there isn’t much evidence or human research on this.
They say that soy foods are rich in phytoestrogens; these are plant-based components that replicate the effects of estrogen in your body by changing hormone levels and possibly decreasing testosterone levels.
Does Soya Chunks Increase Estrogen in Males?
Extensive clinical research states that soy foods do not change estrogen levels in men.