Soy is a leguminous plant domesticated by the Chinese about five thousand years ago. It has been an important crop in Manchuria, Korea and Japan, since ancient times, but the cultivation of this plant has spread worldwide due to its remarkable nutritional properties. 1 . In Brazil, the grain arrived with the first Japanese immigrants in 1908, but was officially introduced in Rio Grande do Sul state, in 1914. However, soybean expansion in Brazil happened in the 70s, with the growing interest of the oil and international market demand. The plant, herbaceous and annual, has slender branches covered with tiny hairs and reaches about 40 cm tall. Leaves composed of three leaflets, are a lot like the bean and pea. Produces small flowers whitish in color, lilac or violet. The fruits are pods with four to six seeds in a rounded shape. Leguminous of higher nutritional standard, it surpasses wheat and meat protein substances and greases, it is also one of the most remineralizing food, and rich in vitamins. 2 . Further investigations have been highlighting its high content of isoflavones, with the possible beneficial effect of soy.
References: 1 - Henry CM. Nutraceuticals: Food or Trend?. Chem. Engeneer. News 21, 42-47. 1999. 2 - Introdução à fitoterapia: utilizando adequadamente as plantas medicinais. Colombo: Herbarium Lab. Bot. Ltda, 2008. 3 - Nahás EAP et al.Efeitos da Isoflavona Sobre os Sintomas Climatéricos e o Perfil Lipídico na Mulher em Menopausa . RBGO 25 (5): 337-343, 2003. 4 - Alonso J. Tratado de Fitomedicina, Bases Clínicas y Farmacologicas. Isis Ed. Buenos Aires. 1998.