Soy beans and foods related to it like
bean curd and soy milk were found to contain several compounds that
may reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, help lower cholesterol
and ease some discomfort of menopause.
We all know that heart diseases and
strokes are related to having high cholesterol. Eating more soy foods
may help lower our cholesterol levels. Look at the Japanese people.
Their men have the world's lowest rate of death from heart disease
followed by their women in second. One reason might be because
Japanese consumes about 24 pounds of soy food per person per year,
that is about one ounce a day. And Japanese live longer than people
anywhere else in the world.
Researchers believe that a class of
compounds called phytoestrogens present in soy foods is the key to its
healing power. Phytoestrogens like genistein and daidzein are the
weaker versions of the natural estrogen produced by women. They block
the negative effects of natural estrogens and supplement them when
they are low. Soy phytoestrogens which mimics a woman's natural
estrogen may help to reduce the effects of hormones in the body and
lower activity in the body could mean a lower risk of developing
breast cancer as estrogen is believed to fuel the growth of breast
Consuming a lot of soy foods may
lengthened the menstrual cycle of women. Every woman experiences a
surge in estrogen at the beginning of her menstrual cycle. Throughout
her lifetime, these surges expose the woman's body to large amounts of
estrogen which could cells to mutate and lead to cancer. By
lengthening the menstrual cycle, experts believe it reduces the
frequency of these surges and a woman's lifetime exposure to the
Researches also believe that a diet rich
in soy may help reduce the harmful effects of testosterone.
Testosterone is the male hormone which is believed to cause the growth
of cancerous cells in the prostate gland. Soy foods inhibit the
effects of testosterone and help shut off the effects that causes
cancer to grow.
Apart from phyestrogens soy foods also
provide us with proteins and calcium. While soy foods are moderately
high in fat, most of it is polyunsaturated and contain little of the
artery clogging saturated fat found in meats and dairy foods.
When cooking soy food, such as bean
curd, add them late in the cooking process as high temperature for a
long period of time may destroy and eliminate its nutritional