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.
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.
- Soy Foods: Soy Flour
- Food and Drug Administration: Federal Register 64 FR 57699 October 26, 1999 - Food Labeling: Health Claims; Soy Protein and Coronary Heart Disease; Final Rule
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Soy
- Women to Women: What is gluten — and why are we so sensitive to it?
- Women to Women: Nutritional and Health benefits of soy- what’s in a bean?
- Finer Health: Frequently Asked Questions about Gluten Sensitivity