Soya Chunk – The Super Food!

India is one of the largest producers of Soya Beans. Soya nuggets or Soya Chunks or “Bari” is commonly known as the vegetarian meat. It is prepared from defatted Soya flour by the process of extrusion cooking. During the process, the protein in the flour undergoes structural changes and forms a fibre like network. The texturized product on soaking in water, absorbs the same and develops a meat like and chewy characteristics and therefore nuggets are called as vegetarian meat. Vegetarians don’t consume meat and meat derivatives, which leaves them seeking for alternatives to meet their nutritional needs. These soya chunks work well as their meat substitutes. Soya chunks come in the form of regular big chunks, mini chunks and granules, and can be used in many ways.

Soybeans have a fortune of benefits, including their property to help in healthy weight gain, defend against colon cancer, protect heart health, improve the metabolism and reduce the effects of menopause. Soy improves digestion, increases blood circulation, promotes bone health, decreases the risk of diabetes, and generally tones up the body.

Health Benefits

  • Proteins:
    Soybeans are complete proteins, they have all the essential amino acids present in it. Amino acids are the building blocks that generate protein. Protein is a macronutrient that the body needs in large amounts for muscle growth, cell repair, immune function and various metabolic functions. 100gm serving of soya chunks contains over 55gm of protein. Which is more than the same serving size of eggs and meat. For the record, the recommended daily intake amount of protein is averaged to 56gm for men and 46gm for women.
  • Carbs:
    Regular meat is almost carbohydrate free, but soya chunks on the other hand, contain a high amounts of carbs. This is because they are derived from soy beans, which are high in carbohydrates to begin with. Carbohydrates are a primary source of energy for the body. A 100gm serving of soya chunks contains approximately 30gm of carbohydrates. Comparatively, the recommended intake of carbs for the average person is approximately 130gm. Athletes who train rigorously for an extended period of time can consume 250gm of carbs.
  • Calories:
    Soya chunks have only a small amount of fat in it, these calories come from the carbohydrates and protein. A 100gm serving has about 340 Kcal. Which is about 17% of the total intake based on a 2000 Kcal diet.
  • Iron:
    Oxygen is transported in the body by the help of Iron, an electrolyte mineral. Iron deficiency in the body can lead to weak immune system, physical weakness, fatigue etc. Soya chunks are found to have high value of iron. A 100gm serving contains approx. 10mg of Iron. An average adult needs 8mg per day. However, women aged 19 to 50 need 18mg per day.
  • Calcium:
    Calcium is the mineral that helps strengthen bones and teeth and supports in muscle contractions. Soya chunks contains over 300 mg of calcium per 100gm serving. The daily recommendation of calcium for an average adult is 1000 mg. However, women aged over 50, and men over 70 should get 1200 mg per day.

With so many health benefits loaded in Soya Chunks, one should surely add the ingredient in meals 2 to 3 times a week.

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