Without a doubt, soy is one of the most controversial foods in the natural health world. Depending on who you ask, you may be told it is a great vegetarian superfood or a hormone-disrupting no-no! Below I’ve summarised some answers to some of the questions I commonly get asked. This is a huge topic of debate, and if you’re concerned or curious, I suggest you delve further into research as the answers below are just the beginning…
What are some of the risks of a diet high in soy?
There are mixed messages out there about it both helping and hindering hormone health. Why is this?
Soy can have an effect on our balance of hormones. Soybeans contain plant compounds, often referred to as ‘phytoestrogens’, which can mimic the effects of the female hormone, estrogen and block normal estrogen production and disrupt hormone function. This can potentially lead to or aggravate conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, and breast cancer. On the flip side, soy products are sometimes recommended for women going through menopause as these same phtyoestrogens can help replace some of the estrogens that women lose as they enter this stage of life and reduce symptoms such as hot flushes.
What about some of the good things about soy?
What about the likes of tofu or soy sauce, they’re often seen as health foods but are they much better?
Fermented soy products such as tofu, tempeh, miso and soy sauce have had those anti-nutrients that we discussed earlier, destroyed in the process of fermentation. They’re also good sources of Vitamin K2 and D, which are often hard to find in food sources. When soy is fermented, it can be a good source of health-promoting natural probiotics. While fermenting soy degrades some of the phytic acid; it should be noted that it doesn’t get rid of the isoflavones
So should I eat/drink soy products?
I would say avoid them if you have metabolism/weight concerns or known hormonal issues, as more and more research is suggesting that consumption of soy has a detrimental effect on such conditions.
If you are partial to eating soy products and want to continue to do so, moderation is the key here. Seek to diversify your diet where possible…for example, if you are allergic or intolerant to dairy milk, try alternating with rice and almond milk as replacements and only drink soy occasionally…I’m not going to lie, soy definitely tastes better in hot drinks like coffee and tea! If a health practitioner suggests you go dairy free, don’t replace all dairy with soy alternatives, e.g.,. milk, yoghurts, ice-creams, cheeses. At the end of the day, as with most things in your diet; balance, moderation and variety are the keys to good health.
#glutenfree #vegan #dairyfree I have a thing about texture with food. I like to keep my mouth guessing. Do I chew, crunch or slurp? The eggpl..
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