Soy sauce is a dark and strong-tasting liquid obtained from fermented soybeans. It is used mostly in the Asian cuisine, especially in China and Japan. This sauce gives any dish a particular oriental twist and colors it in dark tones. The debate whether soy sauce has health benefits or not or if it is in fact harmful for health is a long stretched one and a definite answer to this question is yet to be heard. However, it is most likely that soy sauce does offer several positive effects on human health.
Soy Sauce Nutrition Facts
Soy sauce is almost fat-free. One cup of this condiment contains only 0.1 grams of polyunsaturated fat, no saturated fats at all and a negligible amount of monounsaturated fats.
As for the carbohydrates, one cup of soy sauce contains 21.7 grams of them, of which 2 grams of dietary fiber and 4.3 grams of sugar. The same amount provides 23 percent of daily value of protein.
Soy sauce contains zero cholesterol, but it does not mean that it is absolutely healthy, because it contains as much as 8,499 milligrams of sodium per cup. This amount is in fact 254 percent more than what the body needs daily, which is not good.
Soy sauce is a good source of minerals, particularly potassium. It also contains phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and manganese.
As for the vitamins, soy sauce may not be rich in vitamins A, C and E, but it is a good source of vitamins of the B complex, especially vitamins B1, B3 and B3.
Even though it contains no vitamin C, soy sauce is 150 times more powerful antioxidant than this vitamin.
Soy Sauce Health Benefits
The body derives isoflavones from fermented soy, and isoflavones are known for reducing the risk of breast and colon cancer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular problems. Because they closely resemble female sex hormone estrogen, isoflavones regulate levels of this hormone in the body and help with menopause symptoms.
People who have high blood pressure are usually advised to avoid soy sauce because of its high sodium content. However, there are varieties today that have a much less sodium content and that are safe for use even by those who suffer from hypertension. And even for those who have a normal blood pressure it is best to use no salt at all in dishes that are made with soy sauce.
Soy sauce is probably the healthiest of all soy products, because it is made by fermentation of soy beans with either barley or wheat with yeast in salty water, and fermentation is one of the healthiest forms of food processing.