Are you stressed or confused about the controversy surrounding soy, one of the highest produced and consumed crop in the world? Do you have doubts about its edibility and safety? Here are some of the common questions about soy and their answers based on facts and a number of studies.
Is Soy healthy and safe
Soybeans are a source of high quality plant proteins, minerals and good fats including omega 3. Whole and minimally processed soy foods like soy milk, curd and tofu provide meaningful health benefits while fermented products like tempeh and miso are also associated with improved overall health. Since excess protein in any form creates risks, it is advisable to limit the intake of soy to 2 or 3 servings a day, and to exercise caution in consuming soy isolate products such as soy protein powders that are highly concentrated and processed.
Does Soy contain estrogen Soy contains isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogen that is also present in other plants such as whole grains and flax seeds. Phytoestrogens are plant estrogens that are capable of binding to cell receptors but do not have an undesirable estrogenic effect. Rather it has been found that they help in keeping the body estrogen levels in control.
Does Soy promote cancer
Studies increasingly show that the phytoestrogens in soy can be effective in protecting against fibroids, breast and ovarian cancer in women. In addition soy products have been shown to have no adverse effects on men and may infact help to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Experts now believe that soy isoflavones have antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties that are also beneficial in reducing heart disease and osteoporosis.
Does Soy cause allergies
Like peanuts or tree nuts, soy proteins can also cause an allergic reaction in some people such as hives or itching which shows up early in life and may subside with age. Studies show that fermenting soy dramatically reduces its potential for allergy as proteins are broken down and heating soy products also helps to denature the protein that reduces the risk of allergy.
Is Soy genetically modified
Almost 80 percent of the global soybean crop is genetically modified (GM) and 85 percent of all of the GM soy ends up feeding animals for meat and dairy. Currently, all of Indian soybean is GM free and we are the only country in the world where GM free soy can be sourced without the risk of contamination. However, it may not be pesticide free and thus organically grown soy is the better option to avoid any harmful chemical residues.
The keywords then to remember with soy consumption are: non genetically modified, preferably organic, minimally processed and not more than 3 servings a day. And you are on your way to reap its health benefits!
For further information visit www.pcrm.org, www.nuritionfacts.org