You must be familiar with soybean and its many health benefits promoted all around us. It is indeed a good food, in fact, it is known as a “superfood”.
It is a rich source of proteins and all the essential amino acids many people need. But there are dangers associated with taking soy and its products and that is what I want to let you know.
Whether you benefit from soy or get problems from taking it depends on how you take soy and the type of soy taken. This also applies to soy products.
History of Soy Marketing
In the early 1990s, soy was promoted as a “superfood” and many business people used the opportunity to sell lots of soy. The studies were right and it was based on the diet of the Japanese, commonly called the healthiest people on earth.
It is recorded that the Japanese have a low rate of cancers and a long lifespan and one of the major contributing factors is their intake of soy. Before you know it, businesses started packaging soy and selling it in many forms.
This included soybeans itself, soy milk, soy powder, soy oil, etc. food manufacturers who wanted to create cheap vegetable oils convinced the government to subsidize soybeans.
Soybeans were eventually turned into the oil and the industrial waste product which is full of carcinogens and toxins were turned into food for consumption.
They labeled it “soy protein”. However, the studies and the business people failed to tell the public TWO IMPORTANT INFORMATION. They didn’t tell them the kind of Soy the Japanese took.
- Japanese take only fermented soy
- They take little quantity daily, for instance, a person takes only two tablespoons of Soy sauce daily for breakfast. They also take little quantity of fermented soybeans like Natto, miso, and others and not like that large quantity we take here.
How Best to Take Soy for Optimum Health
Take non-genetically modified soy
First and foremost, 90% of the soybeans in the market today are genetically modified. This alone should make you reduce your intake of soybeans and its products.
Seeing non-GM soy now is like looking for a needle in a huge pile of clothes. If you don’t have access to non-GM soy, I will advise you completely eliminate soy from your diet.
GMOs are dangerous and have been linked to many health complications including cancers, cognitive decline, rapid aging, and autoimmune diseases. What you eat can either kill you or make you.
Apart from this, soybeans are also one of the most pesticide-contaminated foods in the world. When they enter your body, they act as poisons and cause an overreaction of your immune system.
This can lead to full inflammation, a root cause of most chronic diseases.
Take only fermented soy
Then the second factor that makes soy healthy or unhealthy is Fermentation. The only type of soy that offers the health benefits you are told of is fermented soy.
Unfermented soy causes a lot of health problems including hormonal imbalance, tumors, etc. Unfermented soy has been linked to a lot of health problems like reproductive disorders, digestive health problems, and even cognitive decline and many more.
Benefits of Fermentation and How To Do It
Legumes generally have an antinutrient called phytic acid or phytate. This binds to nutrients in your gut like minerals and vitamins and makes it impossible for your body to absorb and use them.
This causes nutritional deficiencies, a leading cause of sicknesses and death in the world. This anti-nutrient can also bind to enzymes and disrupt their functions.
In case you may be wondering, legumes, beans, peas, lentils, etc. and soybeans have phytic acid. But soybeans have the highest amount of phytate among legumes.
Soaking or fermentation destroys this anti-nutrient and others present in soy. Before using your soybeans for anything, try and ferment it first.
For instance, if you want to make Soy powder, first of all, boil your soybeans for at least 45 minutes and then wash and remove the skins. Then soak it in water for 24 hours, covered properly
Some people add yeasts if you don’t have yeast to add, no problem. After 24 hours, wash and drain and spread it on a tray and put it in the oven or under the sun to dry.
When it dries, grind it into smooth powder and it is ready for use. Store in a container with a good lid. This is better than the unfermented one because the phytic acid has been destroyed.
If you want to make Soy drink (commonly called Soy milk but know that plants don’t produce milk), follow this procedure. Soak they Soy for 24 hours after which you wash and remove the skin.
Blend it and sieve out the liquid using a sieve or cheesecloth. Boil it in a thick bottom pot for at least 20 minutes. Stir it continuously so that it doesn’t clog together.
After 20 minutes, remove from heat and drink when cool. Hemagglutinin, a blood clot-forming substance present in soybeans can also be destroyed by fermentation.
Blood clots increase your risk of stroke and heart attack. These are the reasons why the Chinese and Japanese ferment their soy properly before using them.
Unfermented soy should be avoided like a plaque. Only take fermented soy which is highly rich in vitamin K2. Fermented soy is also easily digested in the body than the unfermented one.
Take only little amounts of soybean and soy products
Soy contains a high amount of phytoestrogens. These are plant hormones that look like the human hormone estrogen. When in your body, they displace the real hormones and try to mimic their functions.
But they can’t do it, and they accumulate in your body. Before you know it, estrogen dominance occurs in the body. This causes hormonal imbalance, menstrual problems, breast cancer, reproductive disorders, and even infertility. Men can also be affected by this.
These phytoestrogens can also prevent ovulation and trigger the growth of cancer cells. They can also damage the liver.
Also, soybeans Contain goitrogens, too much of this will affect the thyroid gland and affect its functions. The thyroid gland produces and secret two important hormones that control all the functions of the other hormones in the body.
Goitrogens suppress your thyroid and make it deficient in iodine. Goiter can even develop. I am not writing this to scare you, but to help you know how to select your foods.
Soybeans also contain hemagglutinin and trypsin inhibitors. These interfere with the production of enzymes and the digestion of proteins.
Lack of enzymes will disrupt many digestive processes and even cause pancreatic disorders. Soy is also a risk factor in developing leaky gut.
Even if you are taking fermented soy, due to all these reasons mentioned above, you have to reduce your intake of soy. Asians eat only 10 grams of soy daily. This is about 2 teaspoons of soy.
Soy should also be consumed with nutrient-rich foods that support your thyroid health like iodine.
Dangers of Soybean Oil
There are many brands of soybean oil in the market, and some people who think they are informed choose them over the normal vegetable oil. As vegetable oil, soybean is also dangerous. It is hydrogenated and contains omega 6 fatty acids.
Soybean oil has been linked to obesity, inflammation, heart disease, tumors, etc.
Health Dangers of Soy-Based Baby Products
A lot of baby formulas contain soy or are made purely from soy. This is dangerous, especially to baby girls, boys too will be affected. Infants are exposed to the carcinogens and pesticides in GM soy and this will have a negative impact on their health.
This affects baby boys, they experienced delayed growth and development due to hormonal imbalance. Some boys develop breasts. Girls on the other hand start menstruating early.
Some health experts liken soy-based baby formulas to birth control pills.
Health Dangers of Soy Milk
Just taking two glasses of soy milk daily can alter your menstrual cycle and levels of hormones.
Healthier Alternatives to Soy Milk
- Date milk
- Coconut milk
- Tiger nut milk
- Rice milk
You can make all these yourself at home. Avoid store-bought products that are filled with unnatural chemicals and packed in BPA-lined cans. All these destroy your health.
So, Is Soy Bad For Me?
Well, I don’t like being a killjoy but I am always frank. I won’t be politically correct when it comes to health. Soy is bad for you BUT if you must consume it, then stick to the rules above.
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- Soy and phytoestrogens: possible side effects NCBI
- Phytic Acid 101: Everything You Need to Know HL
- Antinutrients PDF
- Various Possible Toxicants Involved in Thyroid Dysfunction: A Review NCBI
- The dangers of soy NHS
- Adverse effects of dietary soy WP
- Soy alert WP
- How to eat grains FR
- Dangers of soy lecithin ingestion LS