In my early years as a vegetarian, soybeans were essential part of my diet. From tofu to soy milk, I consumed a lot of soy. As my digestion has changed with age, I no longer consume much soy unless it is fermented. This change has not come because I read that soy can cause cancer but in response to my body. I also fear Chinese grown soy and GMO contamination.
Recently a family member sent me an article on the dangers of soy and wanted my opinion. This article lists 12 reasons from cancer to infertility.
What are the risks to eating soy?
- Soy Reduces Assimilation of Minerals
- Soy Causes Growth Problems and Even Cancer In Children
- Soy Linked To Cancer
- Soy Promotes Infertility
- D-Glutamic Acid
- High Levels of Aluminum
- Blocks Production of Thyroid Hormone
- Causes Allergic Reactions
- Genetically Modified
- Most Soy is Unfermented
- Enzyme Inhibitors
All of that sounds very scary, but ironically some of the risks are also some of the benefits of eating soy. For example, soy has been linked to lower rates of breast cancer according to WebMd.
What are the benefits of eating soy?
- Relieves menopausal symptoms (WebMd and Mayo Clinic)
- Linked with lower risks of breast and endometrial cancers ( WebMd and Mayo Clinic)
- Soy appears to help women under age 65 with cognitive function ( WebMd)
- Soy is an excellent source of dietary protein, including all essential amino acids (Mayo Clinic)
- Reduce heart disease risk factors (Mayo Clinic)
- Soybean foods may prevent urinary tract cancer. (Clinical Cancer Research)
- 1998: Eating soybeans and soy flour may reduce the early stages of colon cancer. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition)
- Consumption of soy is associated with lower risk of lung cancer. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition)
- Soy consumption reduces risk of stroke. (Neuroepidemiology)
- Substituting dietary plant proteins for animal proteins may lower blood cholesterol. (Atherosclerosis)
- Soy protein beverage may lower congenital high cholesterol in children. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition)
- Soy diet slows the accumulation of liver fat. (Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine)
It’s important to note that the benefits come from eating soy foods not supplements. It is the supplemental soy that carries potentially more risk, including increased prostrate and breast cancer risks.
Just like anything, you can find alternative opinions touting the safety and benefits of soy. Frankly, I trust the peer-reviewed studies on the benefits of soy more than the sources in the risks article, yet I will continue to listen to my body’s digestion and stick to fermented soy products like those by San-J International.
We were sent two versions of San-J’s tamari to try, which thankfully is gluten-free and organic:
- [amazon_link id=”B00HMUUCJK” target=”_blank” ]San J Organic Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce Travel Packs, 5 Ounce[/amazon_link]
- [amazon_link id=”B005TY1MO0″ target=”_blank” ]San-J Organic Wheat Free Tamari Soy Sauce — 10 fl oz[/amazon_link]
I love San-J tamari. It is a staple in our home. I also love the little travel packs. Sure it is more packaging, but it is very helpful when packing sushi in my children’s school lunches. Plus, I just don’t feel right giving them Kikomann packets that often come with sushi take-out.
San-J Internation can trace its roots back to 1804! Now that is tradition.
Fermented soy is easier to digest and converts minerals into more soluble forms. I love tamari and San-J makes the best on the market!
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