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Soy: Boulder’s Mighty Bean

In the heart of Boulder, where health and wellness are as much a part of the city as the Flatirons, soy has taken its rightful place as a nutritional powerhouse. This humble bean, often enjoyed as edamame, is not only a complete protein but also a rich source of vitamins and minerals essential for our well-being.

“Edamame is one of my favorite staple super-foods,” Boulder super-athlete Brenna Bray, PhD says, “it’s nutritious and delicious!”

Edamame: The Complete Protein

Edamame (AKA soybeans) punches above its weight, much like Boulder itself. They’re packed with protein, providing all the essential amino acids our bodies need.

One cup of cooked edamame contains:

  • 224 calories.
  • 15 grams of carbohydrates.
  • 10 grams of fiber.
  • 18 grams of protein.

The nutrition value alone makes edamame a great staple for those who value their health (and wallets)!

zsoy, agriculture, plant  soy, agriculture, plant

Vitamins and Minerals Galore

Soybeans provide more than just protein; they’re a treasure trove of nutrients. Edamame is loaded with vitamins and minerals, including:

  • B Vitamins folate, thiamine, and riboflavin.
  • Vitamin K1.
  • Copper.
  • Magnesium.
  • Phosphorus.
  • Iron.
  • Potassium.
  • Calcium.

These nutrients contribute to bone health, blood clotting, and energy production, making edamame a smart addition to any meal.

soybean, edamame, ingredient  soybean, edamame, ingredient

Boulder super-athlete Krzysztof Danielewicz loads shelled edamame onto homemade sushi after a day of outdoor climbing.

Phytoestrogens: Friends, Not Foes

Soy contains phytoestrogens, plant-based compounds that mimic estrogen in the body. However, they’re much weaker than the estrogen our bodies produce. The fiber in whole soy foods like edamame acts as a natural regulator, ensuring that these compounds don’t overwhelm our system.

In fact, phytoestrogens can have positive effects on:

  • Brain health.
  • Neuroplasticity.
  • Development.
  • Muscle health.
  • Elasticity.
  • Flexibility.
  • Agility.
  • Recovery.

These benefits make soy particularly beneficial for athletes, females, adolescents, and aging individuals (so… everyone, right?).

Busting Myths

Let’s set the record straight: eating soy won’t cause hormonal imbalances or “make you grow boobs.” The myth arises from a misunderstanding of soy’s phytoestrogens. Remember, the fiber in whole soy foods helps maintain the right balance, so you get all the benefits without the concerns.

Whole Soy for Whole Health

In Boulder, we love our whole foods, and soy is no exception. Shelled edamame is a versatile ingredient that can be enjoyed on its own or added to soups, salads, and grain bowls. Toss them into your smoothies for an extra protein kick. Eating soy in its natural form ensures you’re getting all the goodness without any additives.

As we embrace the variety that nature offers, let’s not forget that soy is a valuable part of our dietary landscape. It’s a testament to the fact that sometimes, the simplest foods can be the most beneficial for our health.

Dr. Brenna Bray, a local health and wellness coach, stress researcher, associate professor, and avid ultra-marathon mountain runner, holds PhDs in Biomedical Science, Neuroscience, and Complementary and Integrative Health. Her journey through an eating disorder fuels her dedication to coaching, merging personal experiences with scientific expertise. Through her practice, Bray empowers clients to access and harness their innate healing abilities and achieve remarkable health and wellness transformations. Committed to community engagement and holistic well-being, Dr. Bray shapes a brighter, healthier future for all. Learn more about Dr. Bray at www.brennabray.com.

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