Soybeans belong to the legume family and are native to East Asia. They have been an important protein source in the Orient for over five thousand years. Soybeans have only been introduced to the Western world since the 20th century. Soybeans grow on a variety of soils and a wide range of climates, As soybeans mature in the pod, they ripen into hard, dry beans. Although most soybeans are yellow, there are also rare varieties which are black, brown or green coloured. A given area of land planted with soybeans can produce much more protein than land planted with other crops, or if the land were used to raise cattle.
It is a very good source of protein, B vitamins and minerals. Tofu – also known as bean curd is made from soya milk by coagulating the soya proteins with calcium or magnesium salts. The whey is discarded and the curds are processed. It is an excellent source of iron and calcium and a very good source of protein.
Soybeans are very rich in nutritive components. Besides the very high protein content, soybeans contains a lot of fibre and are rich in calcium, magnesium. The soy protein has a high biological value and contains all the essential amino acids. Soybeans are rich in unsaturated fatty acids and low in saturated fatty acids, which need to be avoided.
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