A leading nutrition expert has urged Nigerians to explore soybeans as a good food source, to alleviate malnutrition and achieve good health. Professor Ibiyemi Olayiwola, Professor of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), who made this assertion recently, described soybeans as an excellent source of protein, with the added advantage of being affordable.
She noted that the benefits of soybeans are often understated in this country. Speaking on the benefits of consuming soybeans, she said: “Soybeans are not only a remarkable source of protein, but they are also a rich source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. Adequate proteins are a necessity for infants, children and adolescents as these life stages require high-quality protein, such as from soybeans, to have rapid growths in height and weight.”
She added that in the light of the importance of protein for healthy living, there is a need for adequate consumption of soybeans at different stages of life. The Professor of Food Science explained that proteins are made up of amino acids which are indispensable elements in the diet. She explained that proteins are essential for growth, repairs, replacement of worn-out cells and tissues.
According to Professor Olayiwola, “Soybeans are a complete protein source, which possess the ability to prevent non-communicable diseases such as protein deficiency, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and hypertension, which are growing health burdens in Nigeria. Soybeans have a low glycemic index and low trans-fat oil, which are highly beneficial to the human circulatory system.”