Soya chunks, also known as textured vegetable protein, is a soy flour product. Soya chunks are protein-rich foods that are often considered a very good substitute for meat. Since vegetarians do not consume meat, they need to get their daily intake of proteins from plants and soya chunks are a good, healthy choice of proteins.
While meat contains fat, soya chunks are fatless and prove to be healthier than meat. Soya chunks come in various forms including regular chunks, mini chunks, and granules.
Let’s examine the nutritional value of soya chunks and know the importance of adding them to the daily diet.
Nutrition Facts About Soya Chunks
Soya chunks have high protein content. Proteins are considered the building blocks of the human body. Proteins are made up of chains of amino acids. Your body needs protein to repair cells and make new ones. It is also important for the growth and development in children and young adults.
One cup of soya chunks (approximately 100 grams) contains close to 50 grams of protein. The recommended daily intake of proteins for adult men between 19 and 70 years is 64 grams and for women of the same age group, it is 46 grams. Men above 70 years require 81 grams and women of the same age require 57 grams of protein per day.1 Soy proteins may also have a beneficial effect on kidney functions.2
Soya chunks are good sources of carbohydrates and carbs are important because they provide energy to the body. Meat and meat products do not contain carbohydrates and, therefore, soya chunks are an excellent choice for some energy boost.
One cup of soya chunks, approximately 100 grams, contains about 28 grams of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates should constitute about 45–65 percent of the total calorie intake. Carbohydrate content required for men and women per day depends on their daily calorie intake. On an average, most women require 1600–2200 calories per day while men require 2200–2800 calories.
Calories are units of energy. When we eat and drink we obtain energy and this is measured in terms of calories. Calories come from proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Soya chunks have negligible fat; therefore, the calories that soya chunks provide come from proteins and carbohydrates.
One cup of soya chunks, about 100 grams, contains 330 kilocalories. An average man requires 2,500 kcal (10,500 kJ) a day to maintain a healthy body weight whereas an average woman requires about 2,000 kcal (8,400 kJ) a day. These values may differ depending on various factors like age, size, and the levels of physical activity.
Soya chunks are rich in minerals like iron and calcium.
- Iron: One cup of soya chunks which is 100 grams contains about 20 milligrams (mg) of iron. Iron is found in the red blood cells called hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is essential for transferring oxygen in the blood to the different parts of the body. The daily recommended intake of iron for adult men (19–50 years) is 8 mg whereas for adult women (19–50 years), it is 18 mg.3
- Calcium: One cup of soya chunks (approximately 100 grams) contains over 500 milligrams of calcium. Calcium is found in abundance in the body, especially the teeth and bones. Calcium is important for the nervous system, muscles, heart, and bones. The daily recommended intake of calcium for both adult men and women (19–50 years) is 1000 mg.4
Soya chunks are hard when you purchase them from the stores. They need to be soaked and boiled in water to make them soft. Soya chunks don’t really have a flavor, but they absorb the flavors of spices, sauces, and other flavorings you add. You can include them in your soups, curries, salads, and other dishes.
|↑1||Protein. National Health and Medical Research Council.|
|↑2||Zhang, J., J. Liu, J. Su, and F. Tian. “The effects of soy protein on chronic kidney disease: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” European journal of clinical nutrition 68, no. 9 (2014): 987-993.|
|↑3||Iron. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑4||Calcium. National Institutes of Health.|