Ankeny, Iowa, July 25, 2017— Most Americans know that blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attacks and stroke, but few are aware that soy protein may have blood pressure-lowering effects that can be added to the list of health benefits of eating soyfoods.
For two decades, health agencies around the world have acknowledged that soy protein directly lowers blood cholesterol levels and can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Now, recently published research suggests that soy protein also lowers blood pressure. A new statistical analysis of 12 clinical trials involving more than 1,500 postmenopausal women found that soy protein significantly lowered systolic blood pressure by slightly more than 3 points (mmHg) and diastolic blood pressure by about 1 point.
Researchers also found that women in the study who ate at lest 25 grams of soy protein per day experienced a decrease of nearly 5 points in their systolic blood pressure and nearly 2 points in their diastolic blood pressure. Soy protein is available in a variety of soyfoods. For example, one-half cup of water-packed tofu provides 12.5 grams of protein; 1 cup of soymilk offers approximately 7 grams of protein. Reducing blood pressure by the amounts found in the research analysis could potentially reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease and stroke by as much as 10 percent. The cholesterol-lowering effects of soy protein provide additional protection.
The Soyfoods Council offers crave-worthy recipe ideas for incorporating soyfoods into your diet. Versatile ingredients such as tofu, soymilk, edamame and tempeh can enhance your favorite recipes or offer snacking opportunities that add soy protein. Jade Hummus, for instance, is made in a food processor or blender. It combines cooked shelled edamame (blanched and frozen fresh soybeans), tahini (sesame seed paste), extra virgin olive oil, fresh parsley, garlic, lemon juice and seasonings such as cumin, paprika and ground coriander seeds. Serve this soy hummus with pita bread. For a simple but soy-rich Spiced Fruit Dip, blend together soft tofu, brown sugar and ground cinnamon.
For more health-related information about soyfoods, cooking tips and soy recipe ideas, visit The Soyfoods Council website: www.thesoyfoodscouncil.com.
About the Soyfoods Council: The Soyfoods Council is a non-profit organization, created and funded by Iowa soybean farmers, providing a complete resource to increase awareness of soyfoods, educate and inform media, healthcare professionals, consumers and the retail and foodservice market about the many benefits of soyfoods. Iowa is the country’s number one grower of soybeans and is the Soyfoods Capital of the world.
About the Role of Soyfoods in a Healthful Diet: Soyfoods have played an important role in Asian cuisines for centuries. In recent years they have become popular in Western countries because of their nutrition and health properties. Soyfoods are excellent sources of high-quality protein and provide a healthy mix of polyunsaturated fat. In addition, independent of their nutrient content, there is very intriguing evidence indicating soyfoods reduce risk of several chronic diseases including coronary heart disease, osteoporosis and certain forms of cancer. All individuals are well advised to eat a couple of servings of soyfoods every day.