So…. What about Soy? The Soy Bean
Usually towards the end of a one-on-one dietary counselling session I will often be asked, “so…. what about the soy bean? After hearing the same question various times, I think it is time to set the facts straight. Is soy cause for concern? Should we be avoiding soy? Should we be consuming more soy? Let’s find out!
What is soy?
Soy products have origin to the soy bean. They are part of the “legume” family, which is the seed, pod or other edible part of a plant. Soy beans are native to East Asia and continue to be a central part of their diet. Soy is a popular choice for vegetarians since it is the only plant-based protein that is also a complete protein meaning that it contains all of your essential amino acids (ones your body cannot make on its own).
Where is soy found?
Common sources include:
• Soy milk
• Soya nuts
• Edamame beans (soy bean pods popular in Japanese cuisine)
• Tempeh (fermented soy)
• Soya sauce
• Soybean oil
• Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
Nutritional contribution of soy:
Overall, soy is a healthful dietary contribution for both men and women. Judging by all the questions and speculation out there, this is a very hot research topic that is constantly evolving. So remember to stay tuned!
Did you know that phytoestrogens have antioxidant effects in the body?
Research continues on this hot topic. Based on the latest research, I feel confident stating that soy is a safe contribution to an otherwise healthy diet. Aim for 1-2 servings of soy a day for the phytoestrogen health benefit. You may even want to try vegetarian alternatives like soy products on a Meatless Monday.