In recent years, soy products have become a dietary staple for vegetarians and healthy eaters around the world. Research showed that Asian cultures that had a steady diet of soy generally experienced lower rates of cardiovascular disease, types of breast and prostate cancer and higher bone density, initially attracting people to soy. If you are a student in one an Austin culinary arts program, you might want to share information about the pros and cons of soy products.
What are the health benefits of eating soy?
One of the most obvious benefits of soy products is that it is rich in vitamins and nutrients. Soybeans themselves are full of high-quality protein and provide a wide variety of isoflavones and essential fatty acids. Soybeans are also good for people who have certain cardiovascular issues because they are low in fat and contain no cholesterol whatsoever. Soy is especially beneficial to young adults experiencing high blood pressure. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration even endorsed soy as one of the few foods that help lower cholesterol levels, which is commonly associated with healthy heart and circulatory systems. Research indicates that isoflavone, an estrogen-like substance produced in plants, encourages nitric oxide production in the body, a chemical which dilates blood vessels and improves the flow of blood.
What are some of the negative effects soy can have on the body?
Although multiple studies have shown that eating soybeans and soy products can be beneficial, some researches claim that those reports are biased. In one study, women who were given soy supplements showed an increase in epithelial cell production in their breast tissue. This is widely regarded as a precursor for breast cancer development. Some scientists believe there is a correlation between the effect isoflavone has on the production and regulation of estrogen in the body and the increased growth of breast tissue.
Newborns might also be negatively affected by consuming too much soy. Infant girls fed soy formula were more likely to go through puberty at an earlier age. Some studies also indicated that soy consumption during infancy could lead to prolonged menstrual cycles and intense pain during menses as adults.
Should I consume soy products?
A lot of research still has to be done on the effects of soy on the human body. In general, raw soybeans are healthy for you. People who want to consume soy because of dietary restrictions should pick soy products that are organic. Fresh soy milk and whole organic soybeans can be added to your diet, but in moderation.