Soy: Is It Good Or Bad For You?
Soy is advertised as having benefits covering everything from heart disease to menopause. But is soy really nature’s "miracle food", or is its reputation just a bunch of hype?
It is argued that soy plays a key role in the long, healthy lifespan enjoyed by the Japanese people. If that is the case, why then, is the life expectancy of the average American so much shorter than that of the Japanese if we consume large amounts of soybeans?
Many products consumed in the United States contain soy, but the bean's popularity in the U.S. is a fairly recent development. We're eating it now, but seeing no real longevity increase. The difference lies in the fact that the Japanese eat fermented soy, which is very different from the unfermented soy found in dry soybeans, soy milk, and tofu. Fermented soy products, such as fermented soy milk, tofu, miso, soy sauces, tempeh, and natto, may actually help prevent certain cancers and other diseases.
This may be largely due to the fermentation process increasing the amount of available isoflavones in the soy. Fermentation makes use of live organisms. Unfermented soy products in America are deficient in these isoflavones, and they are full of natural toxins that can block essential enzymes needed for protein digestion.
In fact, according to Dr. Joseph Mercola, the soybean is high in phytic acid which, once in the intestinal tract, can block the absorption of essential minerals like calcium and copper. He also noted that much of our soy is also genetically modified and may be contaminated by pesticides.
Soybeans then present more toxins to your colon that contaminate the body and block the healthy absorption of essential minerals. You can't get the benefits of soy the way Americans eat it. You have to recreate the actual food that they Japanese eat by making fermented soy products to get the helpful stuff. The American style creates a toxic colon; the Japanese style produces food stuffs that may help prevent certain cancers and other diseases.
How to Eliminate Soy Toxins
- Do not drink soy milk. Avoid it.
- Do not feed soy-based infant formulas to your children. This may be difficult to do, but try to find a non-soy infant formula.
- Only eat fermented soy products like soy sauces, natto, tempeh as these are safe and helpful.
- Be careful of the foods that you purchase: soy meat substitutes might be obvious, but soy can be found in unlikely places as well like salad dressings, mayonnaise, and margarine. Read your labels carefully.
- When dining in Asian restaurants, if you're not certain about a dish, always ask about the soy content.
- Avoiding processed foods altogether is a good practice. But if you can't, be sure to read your labels carefully. Products containing lecithin, MSG, or "natural flavors" usually contain soy.