There has been a lot of conflicting information circulating about the exact health implications of foods made from soy products like tofu, soymilk, and vegetarian meat options. One school of thought is that soy is super healthy for women; it helps balance hormones and decreases the likelihood of things like breast cancer. The other school of thought is the opposite extreme. That soy is detrimental to women’s health.
So, what’s the current truth?
Soy foods are good and bad. Just like every other food! Soy is high in protein, fiber, calcium, potassium, B vitamins and eating soy can lower heart disease risk and relieve hot flashes.
However, don’t eat too much and don’t eat processed soy. Soy is most healthful when eaten in its most natural forms and limited to one serving a day. Meaning your vegetarian diet of veggie sausage for breakfast and Boca Burger for lunch can actually be harmful to your health. Soy contains phytoestrogens and too much estrogen can cause some breast cancers to grow. If you have a history of breast cancer in your family, steer clear of soy products. Even the natural stuff. Soy may also interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland, which controls how efficiently you burn energy.
Here’s the trick to everything in life: talk to your doctor first and then experiment to see if using soy supplements is right for you. How do you know if it’s not right? If you start eating soy and getting hormonal symptoms like random menstrual cramps or an increase in mood swings, soy may not be right for you. If you are ok, here are the safest ways to enjoy soy product, once a day:
- Miso paste
- Soy milk
Weigh in. How does soy make you feel? Has it helped or hurt you in any way?
[Source: Yahoo! Shine]