The Vegetable With the Most Protein, is Bad?

By | November 23, 2015

I present to you SOYBEANS. Soybeans has many benefits, but is it overall beneficial? Or do its negative aspects outweigh the benefits? Lets first take a look at

Lynn Betts / Photo courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service., via Wikimedia Commons
Lynn Betts / Photo courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service., via Wikimedia Commons

The Goods

For those of you who do not know, yes soybeans are a great source of protein. Soybeans’ protein content according to the USDA is as follows:

  • boiled – 29 grams protein per cup (172g) = 17% protein 
  • raw – 68 grams protein per cup (186g) = 37% protein
  • roasted – 61 grams protein per cup (172g) = 35% protein
  • steamed (sprouted soybeans) – 8 grams of protein per cup (94g) = 9% protein

As you can see the protein content varies greatly depending on how and if the soybeans are cooked. This mostly has to do with the amount of water used in the process. As you can see the boiled soybeans have much less protein content than the roasted (not counting the steamed soybeans because they are sprouted). This is because protein from the soybeans has leached into the water during the process.

Besides the ProteinHealth_pictogram

Besides the protein soybeans have other benefits. In fact soybeans are the only vegetable to contain all eight essential amino acids.

They also are comprised of about 19% fat, mostly unsaturated. Of the fat 63% is polyunsaturated, 23% is monounsaturated, and 14% is saturated. The polyunsaturated fat provides omega-3 fatty acid which is rare in plant foods. Omega-3 fatty acid will reduce your chances of cancer and heart disease.

Fiber is also a great benefit of soybean consumption. One cup of raw soybeans (100g) will give you about 9g of fiber. As you may know fiber can help with digestion and nutrient absorption.

Other nutrients obtained from soybeans are niacin, vitamin B6, folic acid, calcium, iron, and magnesium. One cup of cooked (boiled) soybeans will provide you with approximately 2.7mg of niacin, 0.4mg of vitamin B6, 94ug of folic acid, 172mg of calcium, 8.84mg of iron, and 148mg of magnesium.

The Bads

The percentage of soybeans that are genetically modified is astronomically high. Its thought to be around 99%.  Also, contamination from the extensive use of pesticides is common. There are also many negatives that have to do with the nature of the soybean itself.

 Phytic Acid Content

Phytic acid has been the subject of an incredibly lot of studies and the conclusion is agreed upon; phytic acid blocks minerals from being absorbed into the body during digestion. Calcium, magnesium, and zinc in particular are affected by this. The overused grain and legume diets of third world countries are a common cause of mineral deficiencies.

Anti-Trypsin Activity

According to the American Nutrition Association soybeans are an anti-coagulant. This means that they can reduce the ability of blood to clot. It is thought that the reason is because of soybeans having anti-trypsin activity. Trypsine is an enzyme that assists in digesting protein and is active in the assimilation of vitamin B-12. This reduced activity of trypsine can decrease the synthesis of proteins and lead to vitamin B-12 deficiency.


Yes you see it in the name “estrogens”. Phytoestrogens are similar to the estrogen hormone on a chemical level. You may think of estrogen as the female hormone because of its importance in feminine qualities. It plays a big rule in pregnancy and childbirth. It helps to create gene expression, making females and males different.

Isoflavones, a class of phytoestrogens, activate estrogen receptors in the body.  These isoflavones are not nearly as strong as the body’s natural estrogen and only weakly activate the receptors. However, they do have an effect.

There are many stories of people that experienced severe negative effects from extensive soy product consumption, from emotional changes and physical changes. With eating too much soy you could find yourself crying more easily or even developing gynecomastia.

Final Thoughts

Be smart. You can eat soy but do so in moderation, as you should with everything. If you are looking for a protein powder go with whey or casein before you go with soy. Protein synthesis isn’t as high with soy protein as it is with the others.


Comments are welcome below :)


One thought on “The Vegetable With the Most Protein, is Bad?

  1. Luke

    Great stuff, I did not know this. I’ve been sticking with quinoa for protein. I will definitely be using this information and adding soybeans to my diet.


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