I get asked certain questions all the time but one of the major ones is always soy. What do I think about it? Is it harmful or helpful? In or out?
So I thought my answers might be of interest to those of you that read my blogs regularly. So let’s begin with the notion that soy products effect your estrogen-positively and negatively. Here’s what I’ve come to know from reading all kinds of different studies. I believe the idea that soy can replace or effect your estrogen levels is completely and total bunk! It is my understanding that the amount of estrogen like chemicals contained in soy is actually like 1-more than 16,000th of a fraction of natural estrogen compound. So I do not believe you could even possibly consume enough soy products to effect any kind of estrogen change. NONE!
And this leads me to soy products. Ok, some of you might not be real happy about what I have to say about this. Soy is one of the largest GMO crops second only to Corn. This means that you are consuming soy probably a whole lot more than you even realize and what you are getting is harmful and most likely processed into nutritionally devoid crap. If you are buying specifically “soy” products I beg you to only buy organic. But again, with any “products” you consume realize you are getting a washed out version of the benefits of soy. (And there are many) Unless you are taking in whole soy-soy milk, soy burgers, soy butter, etc. are a major loss of benefits. I believe strongly that the over use of this GMO soy by-products in almost everything commercially produced is without a doubt the root of many rising cases of soy intolerance and soy-allergy, particularly in children, suppressed thyroid function, and digestive upset. It is my opinion that this is because we are ingesting huge amounts of harmfully modified soy. My caution always is, just because it’s sold under the guise of a health food, if it’s processed and not labeled organic, it rarely is.
But let’s end this discussion with a discussion of what is good and right about true, organic soy. Soy is an excellent source of protein for those wishing to reduce or eliminate meat in their diet. Soy does contain isoflavones, a type of plant estrogen, which has been shown to show some benefit with slowing osteoporosis and relieving side effects of menopause. It also a strong source of iron, vitamin B1 and B2, carotin and niacin. It has been shown to dramatically lower the bad cholesterol while raising the good cholesterol. It has also been demonstrated that pure, good quality soy products (mostly the bean themselves) can support detoxification, improve circulation and promote clear vision.
Remember that soy can be hard to digest. So make sure beans are cooked thoroughly. This will aid in the digestion. If you are bored with just eating plain soy beans and edamame (baby soy) get creative-add it to stir frys, I make a great “hummus” with it, put it on salads.
My wrap-it-up, final thought is soy is not bad. GMO soy and soy refined products are not good.