Why soybeans are dietary superstars

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A versatile crop that’s beneficial for humans and animals alike, soybeans manage to be everywhere yet fly under the radar. That’s particularly true in the United States, which produces nearly one-third of the world’s soybeans. Even so, they aren’t an everyday food for most Americans, but there’s reason to think they should be: Soy is a complete protein, one of very few foods that provides all nine of the essential ammino acids the body needs.

Soybeans are the central component of tempeh, tofu, soy milk and miso, and they’re rich in vitamins E and B, calcium, iron, fiber, zinc and unsaturated fatty acids, says Dr. Adetunji Toriola, MD, PhD, MPH, a Washington University researcher at Siteman Cancer Center.