Can you eat soybeans?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat soybeans?” and discuss what happens when you eat raw soybeans?

Can you eat soybeans?

Yes, you can eat soybeans. There are several methods to prepare and eat soybeans. Soybean-based foods may be classified as either unfermented or fermented. There are a variety of soy-based foods that aren’t fermented, such as tofu, edamame, natto, and sprouts. 

It’s not uncommon for soybeans to be calcium and iron-rich food sources, such as tofu, tempeh, and calcium-fortified soy beverages.

Phytoestrogens found in soybeans

A naturally occurring compound in plants, soybeans contains hormone-like phytoestrogens (‘Phyto means plant). These molecules mimic the activity of the female hormone oestrogen under the correct circumstances, but they are far weaker around 1,000 times less.

Isoflavones are an example of a phytoestrogen, one of several varieties. Antioxidant isoflavones may imitate the actions of oestrogen, but their complete physiological consequences aren’t known yet because of the lack of research on them.

Isoflavones are most often found in foods from soy. As with other nutrients, there are several variables to consider when choosing soy products.

Eat Raw Soybeans to Find Out What Happens.

Soybeans aren’t one of the many plant foods that may be eaten uncooked without fear of harm. Raw soybeans include a number of constituents that have the potential to create short-term digestive troubles as well as long-term health concerns. Some of the health risks associated with consuming raw soybeans may be mitigated via cooking or fermenting. 

Effects of Lectin

Lectins, glycoproteins found in soybeans, attach to cells’ carbohydrates. Cell damage or death may occur in the gastrointestinal system as a result of this. lectins may attach to the intestinal walls, causing damage to the cells and reducing the absorption of nutrients. 

They can also cause short-term negative effects in the digestive system, such as nausea and diarrhea. Lectins, in contrast to other proteins, are not degraded in the gut by enzymes, therefore they are useless to the body. Lectins have the potential to disrupt the natural bacterial and immune system balance in the gut.

A substance found in soybeans called saponins

Toxins in soybeans, such as saponins, may be harmful whether either raw or cooked since cooking does not degrade them as lectins do. When fermented, enzymes are utilized that may degrade saponins. 

When consumed in high quantities, saponins, like lectin, may harm the intestinal cells. Raw soybeans are bitter because of the presence of saponins in the bean. Soybean saponins may be leached off by cooking processes, resulting in a sweeter bean.

Inhibitors of Protease

In raw soybeans, you’ll find proteins known as protease inhibitors, which prevent certain enzymes from working. If you consume raw soybeans, you may be blocking the pancreatic enzyme elastin, which breaks down meat proteins for digestion. 

According to the textbook “Food Safety and Toxicity,” cooking soybeans for 15 to 30 minutes at 212 degrees F increases their nutritional value since protease inhibitors are heat-sensitive.

Effects That Might Happen

Raw soybeans contain lectins and saponins that may produce nausea, gas, stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and vomiting in susceptible individuals. When consumed in sufficient quantities, this substance may cause weight loss, growth failure, and even death. 

If you consume a lot of raw soybeans, you run the risk of causing long-term harm to your organs and tissues. This may induce hemolytic anemia and jaundice because raw soybean lectins promote red blood cell agglutination or clumping. 

According to the American Nutrition Association, raw soybeans contain lectins and saponins, both of which may interfere with thyroid function. Soy flour and soy nuts are excellent sources of isoflavones.


Soybean is a very adaptable plant that may be used in a wide range of culinary applications. It may be found in a wide range of foods that have been cooked or processed. We’ll look at some common household uses for edible soybeans in this section.

Tofu has more protein than lean meat, soybeans are the better choice. When it comes to protein, a pound of soybeans has the same amount as a serving of boneless, skinless chicken, or a dozen eggs. 

Because it includes all nine necessary amino acids, soy protein is the only complete plant protein. But the amino acids methionine and cystine are deficient, but they may be replaced by eating whole grains (wheat, rye, and brown rice), seafood, or casein (milk protein).

Soybeans are low in fat and calories, making them a healthy option. There are just around 100 calories in one serving (one-half cup), which is much less than the caloric content of one serving of meat. Soybeans are a great addition to a diabetic’s diet since they are low in carbs and high in protein (1 to 3 percent; the carbohydrates they do contain are complex sugars).

To learn more about the benefits of edamame click here


In this article, we answered the question “Can you eat soybeans?” and we discussed what happens when you eat raw soybeans?


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.