Soy is the worldÂ’s most popular super food and is an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber, phytochemicals, estrogens, lecithin, phosphorus, potassium, isoflavones, calcium and iron. Since ancient time, soy has been touted as the Â“yellow jewelÂ” for its beneficial nutrients; nutrients that help prevent colon cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, kidney damage, and stroke, while relieving menstrual pain and menopausal symptoms.
Thousands of years ago, our ancestors have added this highly nutritious soy in their diet for better health and for promoting a longer life span. The nutrient profile of the soy speaks for itself: it is high in dietary fiber and protein, cholesterol-free, and an excellent source of phytochemicals and minerals like phosphorus, potassium, calcium and iron as well. Also, the yield of protein from soybeans is about twice that of meat, twelve times that of milk and four times that of eggs.
Up to now, soy is by far the best and most complete nutritional beneficial plant food. Its countless health benefits are beyond words described here. Soy offers wholesome nutrients with no harmful side effects. Safe, convenient, inexpensive and available in any stores- why not nourish your body with the natural goodness of wholesome soy foods?
Protecting Kidneys from Damage
Soy is a prime example of a beneficial food for our kidneys as it effectively protects the kidneys from damage. In comparison to animal protein, soy protein is more beneficial to the kidneys since it does not add more of a workload to the kidneys causing them to be overburdened like animal protein does. Therefore, soy protein is much better than animal protein in regards to reducing the risk of kidney damage and/or kidney failure.
Destroying While Suppressing Tumor Growth and Preventing Blood Clotting
Soyasaponin is the isoflavones commonly found in soy. This substance helps destroy the formation of tumor cells while suppressing their growth. Since the soyasaponin has an effect on blood clot formation by controlling blood platelets from declining/lessening and thrombin (a key clot promoter) from forming, and hence, soy has shown to effectively prevent the occurrence of blood clots.
Reducing the Risk of Colon Cancer
Soy is a type of foods that is loaded with abundant fiber and iron, in addition to a useful substance called Phytates (phytic acid) which has been linked to a decline occurrence of colon cancer. By eating appropriate amounts of soy (note: the intake may vary according to the existing health of the individual, and it’s better to discuss with a doctor or health professional prior to calculating the amount of soy you should include in your daily meal), you’ve helped protect your body against colon cancer.
High blood pressure and brain infarction (the medical condition that occurs when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked by a blood clot) are two main risk factors of stroke. Besides that, researchers have associated stroke with unhealthy diet, especially for the diets which are high in sodium but low in potassium. As soy is rich in potassium, it helps the body to eliminate excessive sodium, and hence lower the risk of stroke.
Promoting Smoother, Fairer Skin While Improving Skin Complexion
Linoleic acid found in soy foods is one of the precious gifts bestowed by Mother Nature for improving a healthy complexion. Like pearl, soy is such an amazing tonic and helps to promote healthy skin texture, making it smoother, fairer and softer. Latest researches have revealed that soybean paste that contains Linoleic acid is seen beneficial in suppressing the formation of excess melanin, which is a main culprit of pigmentation. With such tremendous health benefits, not surprisingly, soy has gained a foothold in the world of skin nutrition.
Soy is Crucial for Healthy Brain Cells
Our brain, basically, is formed up by 20% phospholipids, a substance that is crucial to the brain. Phospholipids or more specifically lecithin is also one of the substances found in soy. Thus, a diet high in soy, generally contributes to better learning capabilities, brain performance and vitality while enhancing brain memory.
Improving Insulin While Controlling Blood Sugar Level
Soy protein is better than animal protein. Medical experts say that the plant compounds in soy help improve insulin resistance and control blood sugar levels. Besides its delicious taste, soy has significant medicinal value, especially beneficial for postmenopausal women suffering from type 2 diabetes. As soy is packed with healthful nutrients, it also aids in reducing the risk of diabetes-related complications such as kidney damage and heart disease.
Increasing Good Bacteria in the Intestine
Having drawn a wealth of nutrients from the land where it’s grown, soy contains a useful substance called fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which could increase the good bacteria in human intestines. Over years, many researchers have revealed that FOS could promote the increase of the multiplication of Bifidobacterium bifidum (B.bifidum), which helps enhance the absorption of magnesium and calcium, and eventually reducing the occurrence risk of hip fracture and/or osteoporosis.
Boosting HDLs While Lowering LDLs to Prevent Heart Disease
By boosting high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) or “good” cholesterol, while lowering low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) or “bad” cholesterol, soy helps prevent against cardiovascular disease by suppressing the hardening of artery walls. Isoflavones present in soy function like estrogens, help protect the human heart. Since soy is also cholesterol-free or fat-free, it’s an ideal food for the heart as well.
Preventing Bone Loss and Osteoporosis
Over the years, people have an increase of interest on the health benefits of soy, because of its common range of essential nutrients, particularly phytoestrogens, such as isoflavones found in soy protein, which can effectively help prevent calcium loss, enhance the body absorption in calcium as well as increase bone density. This will in turn help to prevent bone loss, hip fracture and osteoporosis, thus making soy especially beneficial for menopausal women.
Lessening Menstrual Pain and Menopausal Symptoms
There is more good news for females: Soy is among the plant foods that help lessen menstrual pain such as cramps and breast pain while reducing the occurrence of menopausal symptoms (such as hot flashes and the increase in body temperature due to the regulation of hormone levels) and are therefore particularly important for menopausal women.
Protecting against Prostate and Breast Cancers
Current medical science always finds the best way to prevent prostate and breast cancer from occurring. As for now, early detection and appropriate treatment is the best bet for a lasting cure. And here, I would like to recommend soy as a food therapy to supplement an effective prevention for both prostate and breast cancers. It has long been known that isoflavones found in soy helps protect against prostate and breast cancers caused by hormone imbalance, while simultaneously slowing down menopause and the aging process.
Phytoestrogens in Soy: A Booster for the Declining of Estrogen Level
Nutrient-dense soy provides a substance called phytoestrogens that function like human estrogens helping to promote healthy cell growth. Different from human estrogens which will promote tumor growth during the body’s production of cancerous cells, phytoestrogens found in soy helps prevent tumor growth without causing any negative effects. Rather, a diet rich in phytoestrogens will assist in regulating estrogen levels to its peak condition.
After the age 35, most female’s estrogen levels will decline gradually. And when estrogen levels decline drastically during the onset of menopause, soy-derived phytoestrogens could be the best solution for the only source of naturally occurring estrogens the body needs.
How does Soy Help Menopausal Women
Menopausal symptoms vary according to the individual, but may include mood swings, hot flushes, and high lipid (fats) levels. Of all, the most serious form of menopausal symptom is bone loss causing osteoporosis. Generally, human estrogens help promote calcium absorption, particularly in the intestine. The lack of human estrogens in menopausal women and is therefore detrimental to their bone formation and calcium absorption.
Thankfully, through eating soy based foods, scientists have discovered that soy isoflavones helps increase calcium absorption in the intestine, while promoting bone renewal in the lumbar spine and simultaneously minimizing bone loss. In short, soy protein can greatly affect bone formation, and calcium absorption while enhancing cell growth, especially among menopausal women.
Hormone replacement therapy is still used to treat and prevent menopausal symptoms, but unfortunately, this sometimes causes unexpected side effects and may elevate the risk of breast cancer, stroke, heart disease, and endometrial cancer (or cancer of the uterine lining).
The cases of osteoporosis being diagnosed among the menopausal American women are almost twice that of Japanese women. At this point, you might wonder why there is a lower osteoporosis rate among the Japanese women. The answer is simple and it is related to their regular consumption of soy foods. Further, research brings us an astounding fact: isoflavones found in soy, including genistein, helps to regulate estrogen levels in the body, minimize bone loss, besides increasing bone density, and thereby preventing osteoporosis.
Easily Assimilated Iron and Calcium
Both iron and calcium are vital minerals needed by human body for building healthy bones and also for the production of hemoglobin (red blood cells) in blood, which play a crucial role in transporting oxygen in the body.
Among all the legumes, soy has the most abundance property of calcium and iron. Each 100 grams of boiled soy contains 102 milligrams of calcium and 5.1 milligrams of iron, in addition to its other substance called ferritin essential for a better nutrients assimilation in the body.
Soy protein derived from plant sources is better than animal protein derived from milk and meat, as our body is unable to break down animal protein as effectively as plant protein. What is worse, the undigested animal protein or excess animal protein may cause allergies. Also, diets high in animal protein promote the loss of calcium via urine, feces and sweat and again heightening the risk of osteoporosis.
A research has been conducted by the researchers from Pennsylvania State University and Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute in California. They studied 18 women who were all borderline iron deficient. In this study, these women were asked to eat soy broth and muffins made with soy flour. After 28 days, they were called to undergo blood tests regarding their iron level. Astoundingly, the researchers discovered there was an increase of 27% of iron absorption in the women’s red blood cells.
Simply using vitamin D and/or calcium supplements, as according to US researchers, cannot effectively increase bone mass and prevent osteoporosis. In fact, certain manufactured supplements may cause the formation of kidney stones. Since nature has offered us with an array of wholesome nutrients as found in wakame (wakame: health treasure from the sea), ABM mushrooms (the amazing health benefits of ABM mushrooms) and soy, why do we still want to go for chemically processed supplements that may cause side effects? Unless, your doctor prescribes such supplements or your body’s lack of certain nutrients is such that you cannot obtain the nutrients from your meals, it is not wise to shift from natural nutrients to chemically processed nutrients and risk the side effects with less health benefits overall.