The Perfect Travel Companion: Unleashing The Power of Soy Protein for Health-conscious Globetrotters
Soybeans are probably the last item you’ll find on a traveler’s packing list. But that’s only because many tourists do not understand how these nutritious legumes might impact their trips.
From boosting your energy levels while hiking rough terrains to relieving common travel-related gastrointestinal complications like constipation, the benefits of soy for travelers are immense.
In this article, we look at the reasons for considering soybeans as your perfect travel companion.
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Non-medical Benefits of Adding Soy to Your Packing List
1. Soybeans Are Widely Available
Soy ranks among the most widely available bean varieties. That’s understandably due to the growing interest in these legumes.
The past few years have seen a tremendous surge in the demand for soybeans. In light of that rising demand, soy farmers worldwide have begun experimenting with sustainable soy production methods.
Soy protein of soybeans entails cultivating soy in a manner that meets both the present and future needs for the legumes. The term mainly denotes producing soybeans using agricultural solutions that preserve the environment.
According to experts, sustainable production methods might also help avert a possible shortage of soy in the future.
2. Soybeans Come In Multiple Formulations
When we think of soy, perhaps its whole soybeans that usually comes to mind. However, there are several soy-based products that you can add to your packing list.
Edamame are green or immature soybeans. They’re relatively softer and boast a higher concentration of folate, manganese, and vitamin K than mature soybeans.
Soy flour is basically flour made from grinding dried soybeans. The flour can have varying fiber concentrations depending on the preparation method.
True to its name, soymilk is milk prepared by soaking soybeans in water overnight. The softer beans are then ground with more water added during the grinding process to produce a milky substance.
Soymilk is a perfect fit for travelers with lactose intolerance. That’s because it’s lactose-free, unlike dairy milk.
Tofu is a soy-based product made by curdling soy milk and then pressing the curds into softer, whitish blocks. It’s also known simply as bean curd.
Tofu goes with a variety of recipes. Common ones include stir-fries, smoothies, sandwiches, and soups.
Tempeh is a soy product made by cooking and fermenting whole soybeans. The process results in a dense product with a chewy texture and earthy or nutty flavor.
Miso is similar to tempeh in that both are fermented soybeans. The difference is that miso comes in the form of paste and may include other grains in addition to soybeans.
Medical & Nutritional Benefits of Adding Soy to Your Packing List
1. Soybeans May Supercharge Your Energy
Does your trip involve physically-demanding activities like hiking or mountain climbing? If yes, then you’d do well to incorporate soy into your packing list.
Soybeans are high in carbohydrates and protein, both of which are required for energy metabolism.
When consumed, the body breaks down carbohydrates and protein into simple sugars, such as glucose. The simple sugars are then absorbed into the bloodstream, where they trigger a dramatic rise in sugar levels.
As sugar levels rise, the pancreas releases more insulin. Insulin moves the sugar from the blood to the cells, where it’s used as an energy source.
2. Soybeans May Speed Up Wound Healing
Traveling may be a thrilling experience. However, there are always risks of physical injury to beware of.
That’s especially true if your trip includes camping in the middle of nowhere or hiking in jungles overrun by venomous creatures and spiky tree branches.
Consuming soy protein each morning before hitting the trails may not prevent you from incurring physical injuries. But it can make a huge difference in speeding up wound healing.
Soy’s restorative benefits have much to do with its high protein content. Protein repairs skin by inducing the synthesis of damaged or destroyed tissues.
3. Soy May Improve Your Sleep
Traveling can cause several sleep problems. The most common one is jet lag, a temporary disruption in the circadian rhythm resulting from traveling fast through multiple time zones.
Soybeans are rich in naturally-occurring isoflavonoids called isoflavones. Isoflavones mainly act as phytoestrogens, mimicking the effects of the hormone estrogen. However, studies have shown that consuming foods high in isoflavones may also enhance serotonin signaling.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays an integral role in regulating our circadian rhythms. More of this chemical flowing through the body can help restore your sleep-wake cycles.
Serotonin is also associated with anxiolytic and antidepressant effects. So, consuming soy while globetrotting may help reduce travel anxieties. That includes the culture shock in interacting with people from different walks of life.
4. Soybeans May Relieve Gastrointestinal Distress
One of the best ways to create lasting memories while traveling is to immerse yourself in local cuisines.
However, overindulgence in unfamiliar delicacies can leave you nursing several gastrointestinal issues, such as constipation and diarrhea.
Fortunately, soybeans are high in dietary fiber. The beans are especially rich in insoluble fiber, which relieves digestive issues like constipation by bulking up stools.
Besides, multiple studies have shown that foods rich in dietary fiber, such as soy, may also aid weight loss and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
The benefits of soybeans for travelers are immense. Whether planning a day picnic or a month-long vacation, you’d do well to spare a thought for soy-based products.