In the 60s, Young and Scrimshaw at MIT ascertained that soy is pretty darned good, probably the best plant protein. The most frequent sources of soy foods were not whole or minimally processed soy foods, but rather soy sauce, breakfast or diet drinks, tofu, diet bars, and soy protein isolate powder. Nonetheless, soy protein can serve as a good source of plant-based protein for people who don’t consume animal proteins, including vegetarians and vegans, allowing them to reap the important benefits of this nutrient (20). eCollection 2019.  |  In comparison to many other plant-based foods, soy protein is a full protein. 2014 Jul;100 Suppl 1:423S-30S. An incomplete protein contains fewer than all nine essential amino acids, however incomplete proteins can be combined in meals to make a complete protein (for example by combining rice and beans or peanut butter and toast). However, there are a variety of studies that show that soy has no or only a very mild effect on thyroid function in humans (32, 33, 34). Though results of observational studies are encouraging, human clinical trials on the potential cancer-protective effects of soy are inconclusive at this point. There are 22 types of amino acids used by the human body; nine of these cannot be synthesized by the body and must be obtained from dietary sources. Sacks FM, Lichtenstein A, Van Horn L, Harris W, Kris-Etherton P, Winston M; American Heart Association Nutrition Committee. Soy protein is a complete protein in that it meets all the essential amino acid requirements to support normal growth and development of infants and children. Phytoestrogens are chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants and have estrogen-like properties that bind to estrogen receptors in your body. In fact, soybeans are one of the few plant-based sources of complete protein. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. A food is considered a complete protein when it contains the nine essential amino acids that our body cannot produce on its own. Soy foods may provide potential health benefits like reducing cholesterol and possibly reducing cancer risk, but more research is needed. Many observational studies have seen a protective effect of a high-soy diet. Populations with diets high in soy protein and low in animal protein have lower risks of prostate and breast cancers than other populations. Am J Clin Nutr. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.071464. Another 12-week weight loss study found similar results with soy protein powder. Martínez-Riera R, Pérez-Mañá C, Papaseit E, Fonseca F, de la Torre R, Pizarro N, Torrens M, Farré M. Front Pharmacol. Soybeans are a source of complete protein, unique among plants. The mean amount of isoflavones in the “high” category was about 19 mg. daidzein and 27 mg. genistein daily—a modest amount compared with Asian populations. Soy protein is a protein isolate derived from soybeans. Similarly, a review study found that whey protein supports muscle protein synthesis better than soy protein in young people and older adults (8). Soybeans. Can you use soy for menopause symptoms? All rights reserved. Participants received soy-based or non-soy-based meal replacements. There are also a few plant-based sources of complete protein, including: Quinoa. Soy Isoflavone Extract Does Not Increase the Intoxicating Effects of Acute Alcohol Ingestion in Human Volunteers. However, soy is a somewhat controversial food. While some think of it as a nutritional powerhouse, others see it as an enemy to health. Soy protein is the most recognized complete and high-quality plant protein due to the amount of protein you get per serving. 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