Benefits of Soy Food
Benefits of Soy FoodSoybeans and soy foods are definitely good for your health. More than 500 scientific studies to date confirm the disease-fighting potential of soy foods. In fact, we now know that people who consume a diet high in soy have historically had lower incidence of chronic disease - including heart disease- the UK's biggest killer.
Soy and Heart DiseaseSoy foods may help lower the risk of heart disease in two ways. Firstly, they are rich in a group of phytochemical compounds called isoflavones, which may work to reduce the risk of heart disease. Isoflavones are found in significant amounts only in soybeans and soy foods, such as tofu, soymilk, tempeh and textured soy protein. Secondly, Soy foods are not only low in saturated fat and free of cholesterol, but contain proteins, which have been shown to directly lower blood cholesterol, which also potentially reduces the risk of heart disease.
Soy and Cholesterol ReductionScientific studies show that 25 grams of soy protein daily in the diet is needed to show a significant cholesterol-lowering effect. To gain these health benefits, you would need to consume the equivalent of four cups of soymilk daily. This addition of four servings of soy products a day would be expected to decrease LDL cholesterol levels about 5-7 percent.
OsteoporosisOther studies have revealed that soy may play an important role in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis -a disease that affecting 24 million Americans. Osteoporosis causes the loss of bone mass and strength. It affects both men and women, but is primarily found in post-menopausal women. A study at Division of Nutritional Science, University of Illinois, found that post-menopausal women with high concentrations of soy in their diet had stronger bone health. Other studies have found that bone density increases with the consumption of ipriflavone, (a chemical isolated from soybeans), and bone quality improves. Soy has also shown promising results in the prevention of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and hot flashes during menopause.
Soy and CancerCancer is the UK's number two killer, second only to heart disease. There is a growing body of evidence linking soy foods to cancer prevention. One study, conducted n the USA, found that a molecule produced in the intestine when soy is digested stops a hormone, which can lead to prostate cancer.
While some studies shave shown that soy offers a protective effect against breast cancer, a few studies showed the oestrogen-like effects in isoflavones may be harmful for women with breast cancer. The data on soy and breast cancer are not conclusive, and more work is needed to be done before any dietary recommendations can be made.