Why do Japanese people live longer than the rest of us? One reason might be soybean products like tofu and miso. Scientists from Japan's National Institute of Health and Nutrition did a study into the health benefits of soybean products. They said people who regularly ate tofu and miso were 10 per cent less likely to die from diseases than people who ate no soybean products. Eating soybean-based food cut the risk of death from heart attacks, stroke and other cardiovascular problems. Eating fermented soy products lowered the risk of death.
Soybeans are superfoods. They are rich in protein, fibre, minerals and unsaturated fats. Soy fibre helps to lower cholesterol and reduce weight. Soy is an important part of the cuisine of Asia, especially Japan. People in Asia have eaten soy since ancient times. The most common types of soy products are tofu (soybean curd), natto (fermented soybeans), miso (a fermented soybean paste added to soups) and soy sauce. Miso is high in salt. Researchers said salt in miso does not put people at risk of high blood pressure. Soybean products are becoming popular around the world.