The History of Soybeans

Soybeans originated in Southeast Asia and were first domesticated by Chinese farmers around 1100 BC. By the first century AD, soybeans were grown in Japan and many other countries. Soybean seed from China was planted by a colonist in the British colony of Georgia in 1765. Benjamin Franklin sent some soybean seeds to a friend to plant in his garden in 1770. Soy sauce had been popular in Europe and the British colonies in America before soybean seeds arrived. It wasn’t until 1851 that soybean seeds were distributed to farmers in Illinois and the corn belt states. This seed was a gift from a crew member rescued from a Japanese fishing boat in the Pacific Ocean in 1850. In 1879 a few brave farmers began to plant soybeans as forage for their livestock. The plants flourished in the hot, humid summer weather characteristic of northeastern North Carolina. By the turn of the century, the US Department of Agriculture was conducting tests on soybeans and encouraging farmers to plant them as a healthy Food.






NutrientAmountDV(%)Nutrient DensityWorld’s Healthiest Foods Rating
Molybdenum129.00 mcg172.010.4Excellent
Tryptophan0.39 g121.97.4Excellent
Manganese1.42 mg71.04.3Very Good
Protein28.62 g57.23.5Very Good
Iron8.84 g49.13.0Good
omega-3 fats1.03 g42.92.6Good
Phosphorus421.40 mg42.12.5Good
Fiber10.32 g41.32.5Good
Vitamin K33.02 mcg41.32.5Good
Magnesium147.92 mg37.02.2Good
Copper0.70 mg35.02.1Good
Vitamin B20.49 mg28.81.7Good
Potassium885.80 mg25.31.5Good

Soyabean in India

India has also entered this soybean development race, although the experience of India as an active participant in this race is not even of two decades.Even so, soybean is not a new crop to India. It was grown in India long before it was introduced to the USA in the early 1800s. Black soybean has been grown for ages in low Himalayan hills as well as in the foothills and some scattered pockets of central India. Soybean was primarily used as a pulse by the local population, and the green and dried vegetative parts were used as forage for cattle. Strangely enough, however, the crop had never become popular on the Indian subcontinent or in other tropical countries until recently. While the importance of soybean as a commercial crop with immense potential for food and feed has been well recognized by developed countries, developing countries (including India) have delayed the development of this crop.

World’s Healthiest Foods RatingRule
ExcellentDV>=75% OR Density>=7.6 AND DV>=10%
Very GoodDV>=50% OR Density>=3.4 AND DV>=5%
GoodDV>=25% OR Density>=1.5 AND DV>=2.5%<

Nutriotional Use of Soyabean

Scientific studies on soybean nutrition did not begin until the 1880s, important discoveries had been made long before that time by people in East Asia closely attuned to the needs of their bodies. By understanding other traditional application of the cereal-legume model, we can perceive how soyfoods might easily be introduced into traditional societies without disrupting the basic dietary patterns. Latin Americans combined corn tortillas with frijoles in the north and rice or corn with black beans (feijoas) in the south. Middle Easterners combined pita bread and bulgur wheat with chick-peas (garbanzos) to make falafels with hummus sauce. Indians combined rice or chapatis (unleavened flat breads) with dal (split, dehulled pulses), often served with yogurt, or fermented together as with idli (steamed sourdough rice-and-dal bread) or dosa/dosai (sourdough rice-and-dal pancakes).

Medicinal Use of Soyabean

In addition to all of their nutrient richness described above, soybeans also offer many unique nutrients less familiar to most people. In some cases, the health benefits of these nutrients are only beginning to be understood by researchers. Below is a list of some key nutrients currently under investigation in soybeans.

 Flavonoids and Isoflavonoids

 Phenolic Acids


 Proteins and Peptides