May Lower Blood Pressure
Soybeans may lower blood pressure because they contain isoflavones, which are nutrients also found in peanuts, green tea, and other plant-based foods, and studies indicate isoflavones might be effective in lowering blood pressure. In the most comprehensive study, five thousand Americans were followed for twenty years. At the end of the twenty-year survey, the data showed individuals who ate the most isoflavones had the best blood pressure. The systolic blood pressure for these individuals was around 5.5 points lower on average than those who ate few isoflavones. Adding soybeans to diet increases the amount of isoflavones consumed.
One cup of soy milk includes around twenty-two milligrams. Meanwhile, just one hundred grams of soybeans can have up to 130 milligrams. The theory is isoflavones increase the body's production of the enzymes responsible for creating nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels. When the blood vessels are relaxed, they widen, causing blood flow to happen more easily. This leads to an overall drop in blood pressure.