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What Are the Benefits of Soy Flour?

by
author image Norma Chew
Norma Chew is a retired registered nurse who has been a freelance writer since 1978. Chew's articles have appeared in the "Journal of the Association of Operating Room Nurses" (AORN), "Point of View Magazine" and "Today's OR Nurse." Chew has a master's degree in health care administration from Nova Southeastern University.

Soy flour is derived from roasted soybeans finely grounded into a powder. It is a rich source of proteins, as well as iron, B vitamins and calcium, and it adds a pleasant texture and flavor to a variety of products, according to SoyFoods.com. Soy flour is available in a full-fat form with all its natural oils, or in a "defatted" form, from which all the oils are removed during processing. "Defatted" soy flour provides a slightly higher percentage of protein and calcium. Both forms of soy flour have health benefits.

Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease

Soy flour may reduce the risk of heart disease. In 1999, the FDA authorized the link between soy protein and reduced risk of coronary heart disease to be used on food labels. The FDA concluded that including soy protein in a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol levels.

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Reduces Menopausal Symptoms

Menopausal women may benefit from including soy flour in their diet. Soy flour may reduce hot flashes, night sweats, irritability and mood swings experienced with menopause. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, clinical studies show that post-menopausal women who eat high amounts of dietary soy protein, or approximately 20 to 60 g per day, had fewer and less intense hot flashes and night sweats than those with a lower soy intake. The results have been mixed in some studies. However, using soy products with at least 15 mg of genistein, an isoflavone in soy, per day gives the most positive results.

Gluten Free

Soy flour is gluten free; this makes it an excellent substitute for individuals who are sensitive to gluten. According to nurse practitioner Marcelle Pick, gluten is the substance that gives elasticity to dough and makes pasta and bread chewy. Sensitivity to gluten may cause symptoms that include mouth sores, nausea and vomiting, indigestion, bloating, diarrhea and chronic fatigue. Soy flour should not cause these discomforts in individuals sensitive to gluten.

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References

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