Soy is a complete protein, and soyfoods are rich in vitamins and minerals including folate, potassium and, in some cases, fiber. In the past 15 years, soyfoods have attracted the attention of research scientists around the world for health properties beyond basic nutrition as well.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially recognized the cholesterol-lowering effects of soy protein in 1999 with a health claim stating that 25 grams of soy protein per day may reduce the risk of heart disease. Most soyfoods are also low in saturated and trans fats, one reason why the American Heart Association has recognized soyfoods' role in an overall heart-healthy diet.
Recent research suggests that soy may also lower risk of prostate, colon and breast cancers as well as osteoporosis and other bone health problems, and alleviate hot flashes associated with menopause.