Soybeans are great source of protein and the best alternative to meat. They are also packed with vitamins and minerals, healthy fat and fiber. They are the most widely used and most affordable protein sources around the world. We can use soybeans in many forms, including tofu, soy milk, soy powder, tempeh, miso, edamame and many more.
Unfortunately, oftentimes we hear this misinformation that consuming soybeans will increase the risk of getting breast cancer. Soybeans are high in isoflavones, a type of plant estrogen, which is said to be weak estrogen. High levels of estrogen have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. However, according to the American Cancer Society, isoflavones in soy may act like estrogen, but they have anti-estrogen properties as well. Many studies suggested that there is no association between consuming soy and breast cancer, some studies even showed that consuming soy may even lower the risk of breast cancer. Not only isoflavones have anti-estrogen properties, they also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that have the potential to reduce the growth of cancer cells.
Soybeans offer several health benefits due to its powerful compounds. Some research has found that including plenty of soy foods in your diet may in reducing levels of triglycerides and bad cholesterol while boosting levels of good HDL cholesterol. Soy protein could also relieve menopause symptoms, promote regular menstrual cycles and enhance fertility.
Although, soybeans may be a common allergen, including soy in your diet gives you a wealth of benefits. Most importantly, keeping your intake in moderation and selecting non-GMO, minimally processed and fermented varieties whenever possible to maximize the potential benefits of soy!
Written by: Jasmine Lim
(Love Earth Nutritionist)