Soybeans are used in a number of products and foods, and are sold in various forms. A 1/2 cup serving of boiled soybeans contains 150 calories, 14g of protein, 5g of fiber and 10g of fat, all but 1g of which is unsaturated fat. The protein in soybeans also contains all of the essential amino acids, making it a complete form of protein, unlike most other vegetable sources of protein. Soybeans are also rich in numerous vitamins and minerals.
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Around 80 percent of the world's population is deficient in iron, according to the World Health Organization. Iron is necessary for transporting oxygen to the cells of your body where it is needed, as well as for proper growth of cells. A 1/2 cup serving of boiled soybeans provides 25 percent of your recommended iron for the day. Because the iron in soybeans is nonheme iron, it isn't absorbed quite as well as iron from animal sources. You can increase absorption by eating soybeans along with a small amount of meat or poultry or with a food containing vitamin C, such as orange juice.
Your body uses phosphorus to produce DNA, repair cells and tissues and build strong bones and teeth. Your kidneys also need this mineral to help rid your body of waste, and balance your intake of certain other vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, iodine, zinc and vitamin D. A 1/2-cup serving of soybeans provides 20 percent of your recommended phosphorus for the day.
You body requires magnesium for proper heart, nerve, muscle and immune function. It is used in hundreds of biochemical reactions, as well as for regulating blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Magnesium helps keep your bones strong and turn the food you consume into energy. A 1/2-cup serving of boiled soybeans provides you with 20 percent of your recommended magnesium for the day. Getting sufficient magnesium through your diet may also lower your risk for high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Other Vitamins and Minerals
Soybeans also provide smaller amounts of other vitamins and minerals, with a 1/2-cup serving providing 15 percent of your recommended riboflavin for the day, 10 percent of your recommended vitamin B-6, calcium, folate and thiamine, 8 percent of your recommended zinc and 2 percent of your recommended niacin and vitamin C.