Soy – Good or Bad?
I saw a friend yesterday who said to me, "I quit eating soy products because of you." I asked him "why?" He told me when we saw each other a few months earlier I told him about soy.
What I said made him so concerned it motivated him to change his eating habits. So what did I say?
I mentioned to him that I used to eat a lot of soy products including tofu. At various times I used to use soy milk almost daily on my cereal.
One day, while talking with an Alternative Medicine M.D., the conversation drifted into a discussion of soy products. He mentioned several very negative effects from eating unfermented soy products. I immediately drastically cut my unfermented soy consumption.
Unfermented soy products like tofu and soy milk cause the following:
- Block absorption of essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. This results from a high content of phytic acid and phytates.
- Estrogenic effects from the isoflavones causing increasing estrogen levels higher than what’s healthy
- Suppress thyroid function which is referred to as Goitrogenic effects and disrupt endocrine function
- Inhibit growth due to the trypsin inhibitors that it contains
- Can cause blood clots due to haemagglutinin
Whew! That’s quite a list of negatives. By the way textured vegetable protein is really bad due to the way it’s processed with high temperature, high pressure, and the use of acid and alkaline chemicals.
Soy allergies are common but often undetected. The doctor I mentioned above said he conservatively estimates that about 10% of his patients are allergic to soy. Many of them don’t even know this until they are tested. Pay attention to how your body reacts to soy when you eat it in any of its many forms and as part of the ingredients of many foods.
Some of the symptoms caused by soy include acne, canker sore, inflammation and infection of the mucous membrane lining of the eyelids and the exposed surface of the eyeball, dermatitis, diarrhea, eczema, hives, heart palpitation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, panic attack and PMS like symptoms.
Soy has been linked to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune-system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility.
Like many other foods, unfermented soy products should be eaten in moderation of 1-2 servings per week. It just goes back to having a well rounded diet that contains a variety of foods.
Are any soy products good for you? Yes. Fermented soy products like miso, tempeh, natto, and soy sauce are good for you. The fermentation process reduces or eliminates the phytic acid and phytates in soy and changes soy’s other effects mentioned above.
Fermentation creates probiotics, the "good" bacteria necessary for your body, such as lactobacilli, that increase the availability, digestibility and assimilation of nutrients in your body.
About the Author
Ed Mass is an Alternative Medicine researcher, writer, and business coach. He works with a Board Certified M.D. who practices Alternative Medicine and a Biological Dentist who is also a Certified Clinical Nutritionist. To discover evidence based Alternative Medicine concepts and immediately useful insights for healing that are rarely discussed in the general media go to his blog at AltMedToday.com.
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