Soy is known for being the heart’s best friend. It is filled with nutrients and protein, among other healthy nutrients. With the numerous benefits it has to offer, soy has been established as the miracle food. However, recent research finds that it does not lead to much miracle, after all.
People started to love soy foods somewhere in between 1992 and 2006. Its popularity came from the large investment of big companies in the soy industry. Nowadays, over 84% of the population in Spain alone takes about 25 grams of soy every day.
In recent years, however, some researchers reveal that soybeans are not everything the advertising companies want us to believe. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in several countries are reevaluating the health benefits of the said food. There is no doubt of course, that like any other food, soybeans have their own benefits. Some of these are the following:
- It treats Coronary heart diseases. It is said that 25 grams of soy protein every day can lead to lower cholesterol. Without the “bad” cholesterol inside the body, a person need not worry about the status of his heart.
- It lessens common menopause problems. When soy protein intake is regular, there’s lesser possibility for women to experience some of the usual menopause, like osteoporosis.
- It prevents cancer from growing in the body. Soy is said to contain huge amount of the plant-based chemicals called phytoestrogens. These chemicals are the weaker form of estrogen or the female hormone. One kind of phytoestrogens is isoflavones, which is proven to lower prostate and breast cancer risks.
Still, despite all previously mentioned health benefits, soy is not a food for everyone. A lot of people are, in fact, develop allergies from eating it. Aside from this, soybeans are also linked to pesticide contamination. The toxic gathered from toxic herbicide is alarming. What’s more alarming is that soy can actually lead to one of the following side effects if taken in large amounts:
- Brain damage
- Thyroid disorder
- Impairment of the immune system
- Abnormalities in infants
- Kidney stones
- Fertility problem
- Fatality in pregnancy
Some doctors, such as Dr. Gerbstadt, even start to doubt whether soy really helps the heart and prevents cancer. She previously stated that phytoestrogens is not an entirely good chemical for women who are diagnosed to have high risk in breast cancer, as it may cause hormonal imbalance. If a woman in such condition experiences hormonal imbalance, she may be increasing the chances of growing cancer cells.
The American Heart Association also published a review regarding soybeans’ claims in helping the heart. They found that large intake of soy protein can help reduce bad cholesterol in the body, but only to a certain percentage. However, no matter how much soy a person takes every day, if the cholesterol level of the person is already very high, the effect will not be felt. Finally, there were no traces of good cholesterol found in soy. Hence, soybeans may not be the heart’s best friend, after all.
If you really want to go on a diet and be healthy, it’s best you carefully examine the food you eat. Go for better alternatives if you wish to have the body and health you crave for.