Among condiments soy sauce is one of the most popular people opt for. Especially in many Asian countries. Over the years, people have enjoyed adding this condiment to different dishes. It comes with that taste and flavor that makes your dish smell and taste nice. That’s why so many people keep opting for soy sauce. Another common reason why so many people opt for soy sauce is because of the health benefits it offers. Well, many spices and other condiments offer amazing health benefits. And this is why people can’t get their hands off them. Soy sauce also belongs to this category. The truth though is that so many people are not aware of the health benefits. That’s why we’ll be looking at some of the benefits of soy sauce.
Soy sauce is that flavorful ingredient that people can’t help but use when making different cuisines. It’s made from wheat and soybeans. And this is one of the issues that some people have with it. Soy and wheat are two allergens. And that’s why so many people allergic reactions when they consume soy sauce. In the bid to still have that taste and flavor that comes with using soy sauce people go for alternatives. The good thing is that these alternatives also give you the taste you want but lack either or both soy and wheat. Which makes it a good choice for people that have allergic reactions.
What is Soy Sauce?
This is a salty condiment that’s in liquid form. It is produced from the fermentation of soybeans and wheat. This originated in China about 3000 years ago. And since then, so many people have been opting for this condiment.
Soy sauce is well-known for its high sodium content. At the same time, it’s rich in antioxidants, protein and isoflavones, and just a small amount of fiber. In a tablespoon of soy sauce, you would be able to get about 1006 milligrams of sodium, 2g of protein, 11 calories, and 1g of carbs. Depending on the type of soy sauce you opt for, the nutritional content would differ.
Over the years, the method used in making soybeans has changed. Years ago, it would take so many months before soy sauce was produced. But now, you would be able to get soy sauce within days.
How Is It Made?
Well, there’s the traditional method of making soy sauce. This takes so many months and also requires so many steps. The longevity of the time depends on the recipe used in making the soy sauce.
The first step is that the soybeans are cooked. The purpose of this is so that the soybeans would soften. After that, fungal and bacterial cultures are added. The purpose of this is to allow for the fermentation process to start. Thereafter, they would add roasted wheat or other grains. This depends on the flavor their trying to get.
The soybean culture that has been formed is then mixed with salt brine. And then it’s allowed to brew. It is left for some time. In this process, the microorganisms that are present in the mixture start to breakdown the sugar and protein present in the mixture. The breaking down of the proteins and sugars gives the color and flavor of soy sauce.
After the long fermentation process, the mixture is extracted. That’s why you get the black liquid that’s flavorful with a good aroma. The solid that is gotten from the extract is used as animal feed.
Just before they package the liquid that is gotten it’s pasteurized. The purpose of this is to remove any form of harmful microorganisms. Also, it’s filtered. This is to help remove any form of debris and particle in soy sauce.
The method stated above is the traditional method. Now, there’s a faster method that doesn’t take so much time. And it isn’t as expensive as the traditional method. In this method, the protein is hydrolyzed using an acid known as hydrochloric acid. It takes just some days to get the soy sauce. And its shelf-life is way longer.
Benefits of Soy Sauce
With the research carried out on soy sauce, different components have been found out. And these components are known to have certain benefits. Let’s take a look at the benefits that come with soy sauce.
- Reduces allergies: A study that was carried out showed that people that consumed soy sauce daily showed improvements in allergic symptoms. Polysaccharides that are present in soy are known to be anti-allergic. They help suppress the synthesis of histamine. And histamine is known to help mediate inflammation and allergic reactions. So a reduction in histamine means a reduction in allergic reactions.
- Improves digestion: Soy sauce is known to help increase the secretion of acids that aid digestion. At the same time, it reduces inflammatory changes and this helps improve digestion. Also, it helps reduce the strains of bacteria in the stomach and intestine. And this is known to help improve the digestion process.
- Contains antioxidants: Soy sauce is a great source of antioxidants. It contains certain strong antioxidants. And these antioxidants are known to have positive effects on the body. But the exact benefits are not known yet. But one assumed the benefit of antioxidants in improving heart health.
- Anti-hypertensive effect: Another effect of soy sauce is against hypertension. Soy sauce is known to contain nicotianamine. And this is a component that inhibits the action of the angiotensinogen-1 converting enzyme. And this enzyme is known for increasing vascular tone. Maybe that’s the reason why even with the high sodium content of soy sauce it doesn’t increase your blood pressure.
- Anti-cancer effects: Different experiments have been carried out on mice to check the effect of soy sauce. And it has been found out that soy sauce has tumor-inhibiting and anti-cancer effects. The thing though is that more research needs to be carried out on humans to confirm this benefit.
Many benefits come with using soy sauce. Now that you know the benefits, it would be a lot easier for you to maximize the benefits of soy sauce.