Every now and then there is a health topic that, if you put it into google, a whole host of points for and against it will pop up.
One of the most controversial topics that has been highlighted for many years is Soy. That substance that you can drink as a milk substitute if you can’t tolerate dairy or that source of protein you can eat if you are a vegetarian.
If you use Soy as a health food product and believe in it wholeheartedly the I would stop reading now. If you want to know the truth about soy by reading a short piece based on all the information out there then hold on tight and jump right in.
Everyone has heard of estrogen yes? That little hormone that we all have (women more than men obviously) it is key part of our overall health and wellness both physically and mentally. Certain foods can contain estrogen like products that are very similar in biochemical make up to human estrogen and so can react with it in a similar way.
Soy is the mother ship of Photoestrogens (“photo” means plant), when we consume Soy we provide our body with a huge wave of estrogen that our body must deal with. If this high level of estrogen occurs regularly we can become estrogen dominant. That doesn’t sound to bad but when you learn that estrogen dominance has been linked to:
- Cystic Fibroids
- Hypothyroidism (poor thyroid function)
- Breast Cancer
- Ovarian Cancer
- Cervival Cancer
- Low Libido
- Weight/fat gain (hips and thighs)
- Cold hands and feet
- Sluggish Metabolism
Estrogen dominance has also been linked to a condition called precocious puberty where girls as young as 6-7 years are starting to have periods, this can then lead to early menopause.
Now soy doesn’t sound so tempting!
2) Trypsin Inhibitor
Trypsin is a very important enzyme within the body, it is needed to fully digest protein. Soy has been proven to stop Trypsin production causing the level of this important enzyme to fall.
Low Trypsin levels have been linked to stomach cramps, diarrhea, bleeding and increased risk of pancreatic problems in the future.
Phytic acid is a natural chemical found in all grains, seed, nuts and legumes, within Soy there is a high amount of it and it is an extremely reactive chemical. It loves to bind to minerals such as calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc.
This looks fine, until you realise that when you consume phytic acid, it binds to these minerals inside you and makes them unavailable biochemically to your own body. Not great at all if you are already suffering from some kind of deficiency in these minerals which a lot of people are.
It also inhibits the work of Pepsin, an important enzyme that is needed to break down protein in the stomach and Amylase, another enzyme that turns starch into sugar which is essentially fuel for your body.
Soaking the above foods overnight is a good way of removing or lowering the amount of phytic acid within them, however, this process has absolutely no effect on Soy.
Fermenting Soy can break down Phytic acid which is what they do in Asia. which, is why if you are buying soy you should use the traditionally fermented kind such as miso, natto and temph.
4) Thyroid Supressing!!
Soy is classed as a Goitrogenic Food (flash word alert), this means that it prevents iodine from reaching your thyroid which is vital for it to work properly. If this continually happens eventually your thyroid will fail leading to a whole host of problems including:
- Weight gain
- Mood Swings
- Increased fatigue
- Inability to concentrate
- Dry skin and hair
5)Toxic Chemicals and Carcinogens
Processing Soy into soy products, produces two compounds. Lysinoalanine which is toxic and Nitrosamines which is a strong carcinogenic!
6) Vitamin B12
The Vitamin B12 that occurs within Soy CANNOT be used by the body, we cannot absorb it. In actual fact to remove this product from our body actually takes our stored B12, leading to a deficiency if not replaced.
Soy foods contain aluminum. This is toxic to the body, specifically the nervous system and kidneys. Aluminum toxicity has been linked to Alzheimer’s.
Sources of Soy:
- Bean curd
- Bean sprouts
- Edamame (fresh soybeans)
- Miso (fermented soybean paste)
- Soy sauce
- Soybean (curds, granules)
- Tofu (dofu, kori-dofu)
Processed Soy is found on food labels and can be called one of the following.
- Hydrolyzed soy protein (HSP)
- Mono- and di-glycerides
- MSG (monosodium glutamate)
- Soy (albumin, cheese, fiber, grits, milk, nuts, sprouts, yogurt, ice cream, pasta)
- Soy lecithin (see above)
- Soy protein (concentrate, hydrolyzed, isolate)
- Soybean oil (see above)
- Teriyaki sauce
- Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
Please, start reading your food labels and become aware of what you are putting into your bodies. I am definitely not a saint when it comes to diet but the more I research, the more I start to realise that marketing and profits tend to come a lot higher on food manufacturers priorities than, their customers health.
I hope you have found this topic interesting. Please feel free to comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.