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31 Oct
Posted By: Oxana Times Read: 1132

Family: Fabaceae.

Latin name: Glycine Max.

Other common names: soya bean, Dan Dou Chi.

Soybean (Glycine Max) is an annual herb in the Fabaceae family. It originates from southeastern Asia (including Korea, Japan, China). Soybean plant can reach up to 2 m in height. The leaves are pubescent, compound. They usually have 3 leaflets. The inconspicuous flowers are sessile, white or purple in color. They are usually solitary or grow in small clusters in the axils. The fruit is a broad, pubescent, flattened pod that is about 3-10 cm long.  As a rule, the pods grow in groups of 3 or 5 and contain about 2-4  beans (5-11 mm across).The beans may differ in size and hull color (can be white, yellow, green, brown, reddish or black).

Soybeans contain the following healthy components:

  • Vitamins A, B6, B12, C, E, K
  • Minerals (calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, zinc, sodium, potassium)
  • Protein
  • Isoflavones
  • Saponins
  • Dietary fiber

Useful Properties

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-cancer
  • Stomachic
  • Ophthalmic
  • Astringent
  • Laxative
  • Sudorific
  • Detoxicant

Glycine Max Health Benefits

  • Boosts immune system and metabolism
  • Prevents cancer and osteoporosis
  • Lowers cholesterol level
  • Improves heart and bone health
  • Stimulates digestion
  • Manages diabetes
  • Facilitates weight loss
  • Protects against birth defects
  • Is beneficial for women during pregnancy and menopausal period
  • Fights depression and insomnia


  • An excessive use of the products that contain soy may lead to constipation, nausea and bloating.
  • In rare cases men can develop a hormone imbalance if they consume large amounts of soybeans (because soybeans contain estrogen-mimicking compounds).
  • An overdose of soybeans can occasionally lead to a thyroid gland disorder such as goiter (as soy contains some anti-thyroid compounds).

Interesting Facts About Soybeans

  • Soybean is the only herb that is known to contain ‘complete protein’ ( a kind of protein which contains all the nine essential amino acids).
  • The biggest amount of soybeans is produced in such countries as the USA and Brazil.
  • Soybeans constitute an essential part of human diet, but it’s necessary to cook them before eating. The most popular products prepared from soybeans are tofu, miso soup, tempeh, soy milk, edamame, soy yogurt, soy crisps, soy flour, etc.
  • Soybeans can be utilized for the production of textiles, cleaning products, plastics, alcoholic drinks, ink, wood adhesives, candles.
  • When ground and roasted, soybeans are a good caffeine-free substitute for coffee.


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