The benefits and harm of soy

No other product causes so much debate as soy. For a long time there has been a debate about its benefits and harms to the body. Moreover, supporters consider the product extremely useful: it normalizes fat metabolism, prevents cancer of the genital organs.

Opponents of honeycombs claim the opposite: the level of cholesterol decreases slightly, and with regular use of seeds increases the risk of developing certain malignant tumors and senile dementia. Consider the effect of soy products on health.


The plant’s supposed homeland is China, mention of cultivation was found in ancient Chinese letters dating back to the 4th-3rd century BC. Subsequently, soybeans migrated to Korea, and from there to Japan.

In Europe, the plant first came in the 18th century. Americans became interested in the properties of beans and conducted their research in 1804. Since 1898, samples of varieties were imported to the United States, after which it began to be grown on an industrial scale. In Russia, they were engaged in the selection of soybean in the early 20th century, then the plant was forgotten due to the widespread cultivation of corn.

Chemical composition

In seeds, the protein content is 40%, the share of soybean oil accounts for 20%. The remaining substances are water, carbohydrates (20%) and ash. The beans are rich in pectins, cellulose, and dietary fiber, which are known body cleaners. The amount of fiber is about 4%, which is 10 times more than whole-grain bread.

Soybean oil is similar in quality to fish oil. In legumes there is lecithin, choline, vitamins A, E, many minerals - iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, silicon, etc. Among the fatty components are the most significant phospholipids, which enhance the detoxification properties of the liver, prevent damage to nerve cells and the development diabetes.

Irreplaceable linoleic acid is involved in the synthesis of prostaglandins, substances that prevent the formation of cholesterol plaques and thereby prevent atherosclerosis.

Soybean and its products (cheese, milk, meat) are an excellent substitute for red meat. Perhaps this is the only culture, whose proteins are complete in their composition. Of these, essential amino acids are synthesized in the body. Without a sufficient amount of protein in the diet, immunity is reduced, biochemical changes are altered, endocrine glands and many enzymes are disturbed. This is especially true for vegetarians who do not consume any animal products. For them, soy becomes the only source of valuable amino acids.

Daily consumption of a small amount of soybeans (25 to 40 grams) helps to reduce the level of "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides. This reduces the risk of heart and vascular diseases (stroke). However, there is a downside: 50 grams of soy is half the daily value of protein. Consequently, in the diet you need to reduce the proportion of other protein-rich foods.

Linoleic and linolenic fatty acids (belonging to the omega-3 and omega-6 classes) normalize blood pressure, stabilize the lipid composition of blood, maintain the elasticity of the vascular wall. According to the content of PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids), soybean oil is ahead of the olive oil known for its properties.

The positive effect of beans on the cardiovascular system is due to the presence of potassium and magnesium in them. Magnesium normalizes sleep, improves its quality and duration.

In men, soybeans reduce the risk of prostate cancer, but this is true only for natural, not processed foods. The experiment was conducted in the United States with the participation of 13 thousand men who drank 0.5 liters of soy milk daily. It has been proven that the likelihood of prostate cancer is reduced by 70%. This fact is explained by the presence of phytoestrogens that compete with male sex hormones.

To the note: Testosterone gives rise to the development of aggressive cancer cells in the prostate gland. By itself, the male hormone does not have a negative effect on the body, but it is a "nutrient medium" for existing tumor cells. A moderate decrease in its concentration suspends the development of a neoplasm.

Soy improves calcium absorption and helps strengthen bone tissue and prevent bone fractures.

It is beneficial for overweight people to include soy products in their diet. First, the protein stimulates metabolic processes in the body. Secondly, the product contains a small amount of fat and carbohydrates, which is a valuable quality for losing weight.

Sugars contained in the fruit of the plant are used by intestinal microorganisms as nutrients. Therefore, the use of soy improves the digestive system and is the prevention of intestinal dysbiosis.

The negative effect of beans on the body due to the presence of phytates, which prevent the absorption of many minerals, including - iodine. Soy has an antithyroid effect and suppresses thyroid hormone production.

Regular inclusion in the menu of soy products can cause urolithiasis. The deposition of stones in the kidneys due to the large amount of protein, as well as oxalates, which are formed when the plant seeds feed.

When eating food supplements based on soy protein isolate may decrease libido and sperm production. This side effect should be remembered by athletes and bodybuilders.

It is interesting! Soy products are traditionally consumed in Southeast Asia, and the population is quite healthy. The secret is that the Chinese eat predominantly fermented foods that are devoid of negative qualities.

Soy Isoflavones

Soy contains special substances that resemble female sex hormones - isoflavones. These include genistein and daidzein. Scientists consider them contradictory compounds. Genistein is thought to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and prevent cardiovascular diseases. According to other data, these compounds, on the contrary, contribute to the appearance of tumors.

The effect on the male body of isoflavones is also ambiguous. They activate estrogen receptors and inhibit the work of androgen receptors. When hydrolyzed soy in the intestine, equol is formed - a substance that inhibits male hormones. There is evidence that nutrition with soy products leads to gynecomastia and slowed sexual development in boys. Other studies refute this fact.

Germinated Soya

Soy sprouts are considered a very useful product. They can be grown at home and eaten when the length of the stems reaches 3-4 cm. Usually it takes a week.

In this form, all the nutrients are better absorbed by the body. During germination, the composition of the product changes. So, starch turns into malt, proteins are broken down into amino acids, and useful acids are formed from fats.

Germinated soy is a storehouse of vitamins and minerals. It is especially useful to eat in winter and spring, when the body needs to be supplemented with vitamin supplements.

The benefits of the product are as follows:

  • Normalizes metabolism
  • Improves sleep and fights insomnia
  • It activates the work of brain cells,
  • Restores nerve tissue,
  • Cleans the body of toxic substances.

Contraindications are small - this is individual intolerance.

It is not recommended to use soy sprouts in fresh form. They need to be planted in boiling water for several minutes, after heat treatment, they will not lose their beneficial qualities.

Fried soya

To prepare the dish, soak the beans for several hours, then boil for half an hour. Next, put soybeans in a saucepan with a lot of vegetable oil, fry until golden brown. It turns out a delicious product, but it is hard digested by the digestive system and contains a large number of calories.

Eat fried soy should be in moderation, it is also not recommended for dieters. To lose weight, it is better to pay attention to other, more useful products from soy.

Soy products

Tofu - bean curd, made from vegetable milk. The technology used is the same as in the production of cheese. Tofu is soft and firm, it is a non-greasy and light product. To add flavor to it add algae and spices. Tofu is consumed in its natural and fried form, cheesecakes and casseroles are made from it.

Soy sauce obtained from fermented seeds of a plant. The natural product is expensive and is prepared within 1-2 years. Cheap analogue consists of soy flour, dye and salt, therefore, the benefits of it are small.

Soy milk - drink, somewhat similar in taste with cow's milk. Prepared from cooked seeds. Yogurts and other drinks are made from soy milk by adding sourdough, desserts and chocolate cocktails are also produced. At home they make porridges and soups.

Meat made from flour, which is first fried, and then form a porous mass. This is a high-protein product from which you can make goulash, meatballs and other analogues of meat dishes.

Chocolate - Lean product, which fell in love with the sweet tooth because of its delicate taste. A manufacturer can put natural lecithin in a chocolate bar, which increases its nutritional quality. However, more often on the shelves there are soy bars containing lecithin substitute and other additives. Useful to call such a delicacy is quite difficult.

Soy Supplements used in the manufacture of sausage products to reduce the cost of production. They are made mainly from genetically modified soybeans, so they are best avoided.

How to choose and how to store

Soy seeds are sold in stores in packages of polyethylene. High-quality product is light yellow in color, all beans have a rounded smooth surface. Before cooking, it is recommended to soak them for 12 hours.

Soybean seeds well absorb moisture even from the air, and mold quickly forms on their surface. Therefore, soybean should be stored in a dry dark place, previously poured it into paper or cloth bags. Shelf life - no more than a year.

It is advisable to use natural products from soy, which are made from the seeds of a legume plant. They are on the shelves in the departments of healthy nutrition. Sausages mostly contain genetically modified soy, the benefits of such products is questionable. Beans should not be given to people with thyroid disease.

Is soy beneficial for heart diseases?

In 1995, based on the results of 38 control clinical trials, it was concluded that daily consumption of approximately 50 grams of soy protein instead of animal protein can lower total cholesterol by 9.3%, the level of LDL (dangerous cholesterol) by 12.9% and triglyceride levels of 10.5%.

Such a decrease, if it is long in time, could mean a reduction of 20% in the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other forms of cardiac diseases. And the benefits of soy would be without any precedent.

But the modern view, based on several studies published since 2000, is not so optimistic about soy and cholesterol.

According to a more complete and improved study of soybeans, which was conducted by the Nutrition Committee of the American Heart Association, 50 grams of soybeans in a person’s daily menu can reduce the level of dangerous cholesterol by only 3%. That is, it still lowers, but not too much.

In addition, we must bear in mind that 50 grams of soybeans represent more than half of the proteins needed by an adult on a daily basis. They correspond to 680 grams of tofu cheese or 8 cups (each with a volume of 236.6 ml) of soy milk per day.

It turns out that the benefits of soy for the heart is questionable?

Not at all. Known facts do not mean that it is necessary to abandon tofu, tempeh, or soy milk - and, in general, completely ignore edamame (as funny called soybeans).

The American Heart Association Committee notes that although soy protein itself has very little direct effect on cholesterol, soy-containing foods are good for the heart and blood vessels. First, they supply the body with polyunsaturated fats, fibers, vitamins and minerals and contain very little saturated fat. Secondly, they make it possible to replace with themselves less healthy products from the point of view of health (for example, red meat).

Is soy harmful to the thyroid gland?

What is the problem? We are talking about strumogenic substances that prevent the normal functioning of the thyroid gland, up to the formation of goiter. Dysfunction can occur when the diet of people who consume large amounts of products with strumogenami (and this is millet, cabbage, asparagus, cauliflower, kohlrabi, horseradish, radish, turnip, rutabaga, etc.) lack iodine.

Studies 50 years ago revealed cases of goiter in infants who were fed on the basis of soy flour. Soy demonstrated not only harm, but harm aggressive! Since then, baby food has been produced from isolated soy protein (it, unlike flour, does not contain strumogenic substances and is enriched with iodine).

As for adults, the use of soy leads to dysfunction of the thyroid gland in healthy people, if the diet does not have enough iodine. Therefore, people who eat soy, especially vegans, need to monitor the iodine content in their food. In particular, use iodized salt, seaweed (however, in them, the iodine content is not always balanced) or vitamin supplements.

Thus, soy foods may indeed contain strumogenic substances, however, if the diet is balanced in its iodine content, soy is safe for the thyroid gland.

Is "harmful soybeans leading to dementia"?

There is a study that found a relationship between tofu consumption and impaired mental ability. But the conclusions from this study have already been criticized as insufficiently evidence. There are, in addition, three other studies proving that isoflavones help strengthen these abilities. For example, Seventh Day Adventists, whose diets contain a lot of tofu, demonstrate better cognitive functions than other groups of Americans in old age. Therefore, it can be said that at least irrefutable evidence that soy causes harm to the brain does not exist today. In the same way we can talk about the benefits of soy for the intellect and memory.

Soy products and the absorption of minerals

Any product - these are its components in a certain configuration, on which benefit and harm depend, soy is not an exception. Soy contains a large number of so-called phytates, substances that interfere with the absorption not only of iodine, but also of zinc, iron and calcium.

As for iron, it's not a problem for vegans. Perhaps even somewhat lower than that of meat eaters, the level of iron is one of the reasons for the low risk of cardiovascular diseases. In addition, if a person forms a varied diet, including enough iron-containing foods (cereals, legumes, nuts, dried fruits), soy cannot be an obstacle.In addition, it is necessary to ensure adequate intake of vitamin C, always with food, as this helps the absorption of iron.

About calcium. For people using soy, it is important to know the recommended calcium levels (1000 mg for adults). In addition, it is necessary to formulate a balanced diet with sufficient protein and vitamin D content. But soy products do not affect the calcium content so unequivocally, and even more so, the isoflavones have a positive effect on bone health.

Finally, zinc. This is one of the nutritional elements that should be given special attention in vegan nutrition. There is no reason to refuse soy products, but there is a reason to make sure that the daily ration includes enough nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes (they contain a lot of zinc).

Thus, the benefits and harms of soy are also a matter of a balanced or unbalanced diet.

See also the article on the composition of soybeans and some of its other properties.

Is soy beneficial for breast cancer prevention or, on the contrary, leads to it?

The question is controversial and insufficiently studied, but there are also proven facts. For example, a study examining the health of Shanghai women revealed that those who took a high amount of soy protein in adolescence and early adulthood had almost a 60% lower risk of getting premenopausal breast cancer compared to women who did not use soy .

The fact is that isoflavones have an estrogen-like effect, which in itself means an increased risk of breast cancer. However, researchers are increasingly inclined to conclude that this effect exists over a short period of time, while the long-term anti-estrogen effect is activated. In addition, small doses of soy isoflavone (genistein) contribute to the reproduction of cancer cells, while large doses - inhibit. So not everything is straightforward with the benefits and harm of soybeans for hormone-dependent tumors, and even not everything is clear.

There is one more thing. Soy isoflavone genistein inhibits the growth of blood vessels and enzymes that support tumor growth. Soy is a “smart” product that can change estrogen metabolism in a way that protects the body from cancer.

Perhaps the only group of women who should refrain from consuming soy, or reduce this, are women who have experienced breast cancer. And that is not a fact, since the positive properties, the benefits of soy may outweigh its estrogenic effect, although the question requires further study. Therefore, if these women love soy products and are accustomed to their use, they do not need to completely exclude soy from their diet, soy will not cause any irreparable harm to them.

Is soy harmful to ovulation?

The evidence that soybean has a negative effect on reproductive function is not supported by any study. There is evidence that requires additional evidence that isoflaphones can delay, but not prevent, ovulation in women.

There is also no evidence that the number or concentration of spermatozoa is reduced. And recent studies show that soy does not affect testosterone levels.

Is soy useful for menopause?

Soy has also been investigated as a treatment for hot flushes and other problems that are so often associated with menopause.

Theoretically, this makes sense. Soybeans are rich, as already mentioned, phytoestrogens. Thus, they could calm post-menopausal hot flashes by supplying a woman's body with the likeness of estrogens - at a time when their level drops.

True, carefully controlled studies have not yet found that this is the case, and the Committee of the American Heart Association, for its part, came to the conclusion that for soy it was not observed the properties to relieve hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause.

So is it worth to use soy? Is soy good or bad?

What is known today about soy allows us to conclude that its moderate use is safe for almost all healthy people. A moderate intake is 2-3 servings daily (1 serving = 80 g) if you are vegan. Pay attention to the balance of your menu.

Soybeans, tofu and other soy products are a great alternative to red meat. Soy is useful primarily as a substitute for harmful meat, which is more harmful than soy, but only “more meat!”

In some cultures, soy products are the main protein, and there is no need to change age-old habits. However, if you are not vegan, there is no reason to make soy the main source of protein: 2-4 servings of soy are sufficient per week. And to give up soy is also no reason.

2 conclusions about the benefits and dangers of soybean:

1. Numerous tests have not revealed the harm of soy for human health. The scandal around soy is clearly not up to the scale of the problem. However, many of the beneficial properties of soybeans also did not find scientific evidence.

2. Moderate intake of soy is perfectly safe for healthy people:

  • There is no reason to give up soy if you are used to it
  • Eat up to 2 servings of soy products a day with a balanced diet if you're vegan
  • Eat soybeans up to 4 times a week if you are a meat eater.

Little about the product

The plant is a native of East Asia, belongs to the legume family. Because of its unique properties and composition is among the five most valuable cultivated crops in the world.

The grains of soybeans almost half consist of high-quality, nutritious, easily digestible vegetable protein.

In addition, in soy many mineral components - this is iron, and phosphorus, and potassium, and magnesium, more vitamins - B group, D, E, is fiber, some fat.

But the most important thing is not the successful chemical composition of the fruit, but the fact that soy is easy to grow, it gives consistently high yields and is therefore available to all segments of the population in every country of the world.

That is, it turns out: soy is an inexpensive product, which at the same time is capable of receiving the taste qualities of expensive gourmet products.

Skilled hands of a cook or a technologist can easily “turn” soy beans into meat, milk, cheese, caviar, pies, delicious expensive sausage, sausages, chocolate, etc.

Nowadays, soy dishes are frequent guests on the tables of not only convinced vegetarians, but also those who, for various reasons, cannot afford favorite meat or dairy products.

Important! It has been scientifically established that in large quantities soy products cause harm to the body, therefore, implying the benefits of soy, we must remember about the moderation in its use.

The benefits of soy

Soybean itself is a very attractive product for many housewives, because you can cook almost everything from it.

These beans do not have a pronounced bright taste, they have an oily consistency, by using spices and additional ingredients easily acquire the desired taste characteristics.

Suitable for the preparation of the first, basic and even dessert dishes, and plus to this bring considerable benefits to the body and the family budget.

1. Soy is an inexpensive, valuable from a food point of view product capable of satisfying the needs of the human body for the most part of the necessary protein, vitamins and minerals.

2. Soybeans contain bioactive substances that prevent the development of breast cancer - the most common cancer in women.

3. Soy, despite the fact that it is nutritious, belongs to low-calorie foods, therefore it is well suited for a diet food whose purpose is to lose weight.

4. The product does not contain harmful cholesterol, does not clog blood vessels, but rather maintains their elasticity, has a preventive effect against hypertension.

5. Soy milk is an affordable alternative for artificial feeding of children who are allergic to casein - cow's milk protein.

6. Excellent support for those who are on a meager diet, on a voluntary or a forced diet. Soy is a rich source of vitamins and minerals.

7. From soy make the famous cheese "Tofu"which is good in fresh, fried, smoked, pickled. Contains a lot of calcium. It has a minimum of calories, it is delicious, recommended by doctors for use by people who have problems with the organs of the gastrointestinal tract.

8. Soy is one of the few products that can have a positive effect on fat and carbohydrate metabolism, so it is recommended to eat it for people with type 2 diabetes.

Soy foods normalize the protein and fatty acid composition of their diet.

9. Soy is indispensable during religious fasting, as it gives fasting people the opportunity to diversify their menu, to support the body with the necessary amount of vitamin and mineral components.

10. Soybean reduces the intensity of anxiety attacks, promotes fast sleep, deep sleep, relaxes, improves brain function and memory - has a beneficial effect on the state of the nervous system in general, helps to resist stress.

11. Normalizes the composition of the intestinal microflora, which immediately has a positive effect on the skin.

12. Promotes muscle building, helps athletes and people who are looking for a figure to be in excellent shape.

13. Soy is good for the heart and blood vessels, and is not inferior to apricots in terms of potassium and magnesium.

At present, every person who buys ready-made products to the table unwittingly consumes soy as well.

Manufacturers add this cheap filler practically everywhere: in candies, and in sausages, in canned food, in confectionery and even in macaroni.

It turns out that unreasonably large portions of soybeans enter the human body, without the knowledge and consent of its owner.

This can cause significant damage to health, as the uncontrolled use of this product can provoke the occurrence of various diseases.

Soy is only beneficial in itself and in moderation., a person should understand that he eats 100% vegetable protein, and not a surrogate with the addition of soy.

1. Excessive use of soy can disrupt the hormones of a woman and lead to infertility.

The isoflavones (phytoestrogens) in it suppress the reproductive system, so couples who plan to conceive soy are better to give up.

2. Also, when regularly present in the diet, soy foods can cause severe thyroid dysfunction. Of particular danger is soy milk, which is often or for a long time fed babies.

It has been experimentally proved that problems with the endocrine system in children who grew up with soy milk occur many times more often than in other babies who ate breast, cow or goat milk.

3. Soy is not recommended for monodiet. Even such a nutritional product is not able to cover the needs of the body in its valuable components.

4. With constant ingestion of soy prematurely starts the aging process in it!

5. The product can cause severe allergies.

6. Soy is contraindicated in patients with metabolic uric acid.

7. Scientists use soybeans more often than other products to conduct genetic experiments, so it is likely to get into genetically modified variants that can affect the state of the body in an unpredictable way.

8. Soy contains phytic acid known to bind and remove minerals. Permanent use of soy dangerous mineral deficiency.

In conclusion, we can say that soy is an interesting product with high nutritional value, however, its frequency of use and quantity should be strictly controlled, only in this case it will bring more benefits to the body than harm.

How does soy look and where does it grow

Soybean is an annual plant with pubescent leaves, taproot, small flowers, fruit in the form of a bean. The height depends on the variety and varies from 25 cm to 200 cm. Soybeans are grown in America, Australia, Southern Europe, Asia. In Russia, the main part of the acreage is located in the Kuban, the Far East.

The composition and nutritional value of soybeans

The plant has become popular in vegetarian nutrition due to soy protein, the use of which consists in the ability to replace meat and dairy products. The caloric content of 100 grams of beans is 446 kcal. In the composition (in g):

  • carbohydrates - 30,16,
  • fats - 19.94,
  • proteins - 36.49,
  • water - 8.54,
  • ash - 4.87.

The benefits of soybeans, their properties are explained by the chemical composition:

  • vitamins - B, C, E, K, D, PP,
  • macronutrients - potassium, calcium, silicon, chlorine, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur,
  • trace elements - iron, manganese, boron, aluminum.

What is soy beneficial to the body?

Vitamins A and E contained in beans have antioxidant properties, neutralize the harm of toxins. The benefits of vitamins of group B is to improve the metabolism, the work of all organs. Lecithin is especially important for losing weight: it accelerates the metabolism, reduces the level of "bad" cholesterol. The bile ducts are purified by phospholipids, triglycerides for humans are a source of energy. Isoflavones prevent the formation of cancer cells, tocopherol tends to strengthen the immune system, fight aging. The beneficial properties of soy reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular pathologies, liver disease, and allergies to animal protein.

For men

At the end of the last century, studies were conducted at Harvard, but scientists are still arguing about the benefits and harms of soybeans for men's health and can not come to a common opinion. It is assumed that when using beans testosterone decreases, hormonal balance and sexual functions are disturbed, and less spermatozoa are produced. But in practice, the amount of sperm grows from a large amount of protein, while the number of sperm does not change, only their concentration decreases nominally.

It is proved that vitamin E is directly involved in the formation of male semen, while its deficiency affects the vessels, the nervous system. It helps to prevent prostatitis, heart attack, neurosis - these diseases have become frequent in men. The benefits of soy for men are observed with moderate use. Doctors recommend the daily inclusion of the product in the diet in the amount of 20 g, there is no harm from its use, and the risk of atherosclerosis and heart attack is significantly reduced.

For women

As a result of research and practical observations, the benefits of soy for women's health have been proven. During menopause, to maintain the level of estrogen hormone therapy can be replaced by the use of soybeans. 100 g of the product contains the daily rate of isoflavones necessary for the adjustment of hormonal levels. They have properties to overcome premenstrual syndrome, unpleasant symptoms during menopause. The use of soy prevents the development of breast cancer and osteoporosis. Lecithin, which is part of the beans, prevents the accumulation of fat in the liver, helps to normalize weight.

Soy during pregnancy and breastfeeding

It is believed that the benefits of soybeans for the health of women during pregnancy is completely absent and the product is even harmful. The statement is incorrect, because the fruit is fully developed due to the high protein content in the beans. The properties of lecithin allow normal intrauterine formation of the nervous system of the baby, iron contributes to blood formation.

The peoples of the United States, Europe, and Asia use soy in food during pregnancy, while no complications or deviations have been observed. In order to benefit, the use of soy beans should be moderate: 1 to 2 cups of soy milk per day is enough.

During breastfeeding, it is necessary to responsibly treat the introduction of a new product into the diet. If, after a trial use (no more than one teaspoon), the baby does not have a reaction in the form of diarrhea, rash, then there are no prohibitions for use. Gradually, the amount can be increased.During the period of breastfeeding daily intake - 60 g, twice a week. With this approach, the woman and the baby only benefit from soy products. Consultation with a doctor is necessary.

Is soy useful for children?

It is necessary to find out whether soybean should be included in the children's diet, which is beneficial for the child’s body.

Beans that contain high-grade protein and oil, contribute to the growth of the body, enhance metabolism, the formation of the skeleton. For children up to a year with the content of soy let out useful mixes. They have anti-allergenic properties, include the full range of essential vitamins, minerals. Recommended for intolerance to cow's milk. Enter the mixture should be gradually, over the course of a week, after consulting with the pediatrician.

Soy foods also have a beneficial effect in infections with diarrhea. The chair quickly normalizes. Despite the medicinal properties of soy, in some cases it is worth refraining from using it:

  • with congenital hypothyroidism,
  • to premature babies,
  • malnutrition.

Soy for weight loss

Despite the high calorie content of the product, the soy diet is effective. This is due to the high content of lecithin in the beans, which has a choleretic effect, which can reduce cholesterol and reduce appetite. When cellulite should be introduced into the diet of soybean sprouts, the use of which lies in their property to renew skin cells, eliminate its flabbiness, make it elastic.

Due to the complete absence of fats in the composition of soy, dishes from it are obtained diet. For their preparation they use meat, milk, cheese, butter, cottage cheese and other soy products. Vegetables and cereals can be seasoned with sauce or bean paste.

Protein, which is a lot in the composition of the plant, is wonderfully absorbed by strengthening the muscles. But it is impossible to forget about regular physical activity.

Due to phytoestrogens, analogues of female hormones, the soy diet is contraindicated:

  • in violation of the thyroid,
  • during pregnancy,
  • girls in their teens.

Soy in sports nutrition

Despite the controversy about the benefits and dangers of soy products, protein, derived from the beans of the plant, is the basis of sports nutrition. It is important for bodybuilders, fitness. As a source of protein, soy isolate is used, supplying the cells with amino acids, giving them energy. A dietary supplement rich in protein can be taken in a diluted with water or juice. It is important to respect the dosage, manufacturer's instructions. Otherwise, the benefits of soy protein will be completely leveled, overdose will damage the digestive organs.

Protein is consumed one hour before or after the workout. This is necessary to power the muscles of an athlete who is experiencing heavy loads. Consultation with a doctor is required.

Products containing soy

Soy is a part of most food products. It includes semi-finished products, sausage, pastry, milk, baby cereal. In addition to products with a low soybean content, there is an assortment made directly from beans:

  • flour - the basis of meat and noodles, produced by grinding the grains,
  • butter - obtained by the method of extraction from soy, serves as the basis of margarine,
  • milk is a product for babies, which is created by soaking and grinding the beans,
  • sauce - enhances the taste of dishes, it is produced by splitting starch,
  • Tofu cheese - consumed as cottage cheese.

The benefits of soybean germ

Soybean sprouts are easy to get at home from beans. It will take no more than a week. They are ready when they reach a length of 4 cm. If we compare the benefits and harms of germinated soy, the percentage ratio is 100: 1. Contraindication is a product allergy. Among the useful components of sprouts:

It is impossible to overestimate the benefits of soybean sprout for children, the elderly, women during pregnancy and lactation. They are recommended to eat not raw, but after blanching for 5 minutes. Bean sprouts allow you to:

  • clean the vessels
  • improve sleep
  • strengthen the nervous system
  • free from toxins liver, intestines,
  • improve memory
  • restore brain cells.

Since the caloric content of sprouts is only 30 kcal per 100 g of the product, their beneficial properties can be used during the diet.

What is harmful soy

A single point of view among scientists about the harm of soy does not exist. Among the arguments are not supported by scientific:

  • the use of beans helps to reduce the brain, the development of Alzheimer's disease,
  • accelerate aging
  • complication of pregnancy
  • as well as contraindicated in children,

After the tests, no harm was found to the human body. It has also been established that many positive properties are excessively exaggerated. However, the benefits of soy protein for men, women and children are obvious.

What is dangerous genetically modified soy

Scientists have created beans with altered DNA for resistance to extreme weather conditions, diseases, and pests. To this end, they add or remove the corresponding genes in soybeans. The consequences of the use of such products by people have not yet been studied. Experiments were conducted on animals, which in some cases ended with the detection of gastrointestinal inflammation, cancer, and immunity disorders.

Genetic modification of soybeans is a way to increase crop yields in order to provide the growing world population with nutrition. Supporters of the harmlessness of GMOs argue the position that 20 years of using soy products did not harm people. At least this is not reflected in the WHO reports.

How to choose and store soybeans

Buying soybeans by weight or in transparent packaging will allow you to consider, evaluate the quality of the product:

  • the package should not be litter,
  • bean shape - round or oval,
  • grains are dry, not damaged,
  • the surface is smooth
  • moderately hard beans
  • The label should contain information about the manufacturer, shelf life, storage conditions.

Experts recommend cooking dishes from soybean light shades: dark is considered aft. Store the product in a dry, dark place at room temperature in a cloth bag. Mixing freshly purchased and long ago purchased beans is not worth it. The maximum storage time is 1 year at a humidity of not more than 14%. After the expiration date of the product can not be used.


The benefits and harms of soybeans are determined by the quality of the product, the state of human health, as well as preferences and frequency of use. With proper use, moderate use, careful attention to the choice of beans will not disappoint the effect of their use, and their useful properties will be fully manifested.

Soy: Evolution from a Hazardous Technical Product to a “Revolutionary” Useful

Extensive propaganda of soybeans, especially in Western countries, led to a huge increase in its sales and widespread use. It is all the more surprising that only a few decades ago soy was considered unsuitable for consumption.. even in Asia.

In China, during the Zhou Dynasty (1134-246 BC), soybean was among the five sacred plants, along with barley, wheat, millet, and rice.

However, individual drawings, which date back to an even earlier time, indicate that soy was not originally used as a food: while images of the other four sacred plants show seeds and a stem, soybean patterns clearly underline the structure of the roots and their benefits.

Written sources often talk about the use of soybeans in crop rotation, most likely as a method of enriching the soil with nitrogen.

Soy was not eaten before the discovery of fermentation methods.around the time of the Zhou dynasty. The first fermented soy products were tempeh, natto, miso and soy sauce.

A little later in the 2nd century BC, Chinese scientists discovered that mashed boiled soybeans could be precipitated with calcium sulphate or magnesium sulphate, producing soft, pale curd mass — tofu or bean curd.

The use of fermented and precipitated soybean products soon spread to other parts of the East, in particular, Japan and Indonesia.

1 Soy contains natural toxins

Interesting that the chinese didn't eat unfermented soybeanslike other legumes such as lentils, because soy contains a large amount of natural toxins or “antinutrients”.

Among them, primarily trypsin inhibitors are substances that prevent the action of the digestive enzyme trypsin, which is necessary for the digestion of proteins.

Those. turns out that soybean in its natural form contains high quality protein (with full amino acid profile and high degree of absorption)but it is very poorly digested and absorbed.

Eating soy beans can cause serious stomach disorders and lead to chronic deficiency of amino acids in the body with corresponding health consequences, since amino acids perform a huge number of important functions.

In experiments on experimental animals fed with high content of trypsin inhibitors, an increase and development of pancreatic pathologies, including cancer, was observed.

Soybeans also contain a certain substance, hemaglutinin (haemagglutinin), which causes the formation of clots in the blood, due to adhesion of red blood cells (blood cells).

These harmful substances of soybean (trypsin inhibitors and hemaglutinin) are also growth retardants. In experiments on rats fed soy, persistent dysplasia was observed.

Soybean harmful substances that interfere with the normal growth and digestion of proteins, deactivated during fermentation. That is why the Chinese began to include soy products in their diet only after the discovery of the fermentation process.

During the precipitation process, enzyme inhibitors remain in the liquid, not in the curd. Thus, in tofu or soybean curd the content of harmful substances that inhibit growth and interfere with the digestion of proteins is significantly reduced, but not completely.

Soy also contains substances that disrupt thyroid function - goitrogens, which inhibit the absorption of iodine by the gland.

This causes the pituitary to release thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which leads to an increase in the size of the thyroid gland and the formation of goiter.

2 Soybean - one of the most polluted crops

Besides, A very large percentage of soybeans grown today (99%) are genetically modifiedand also has practically the highest degree of pollution by pesticidescompared to any other products.

Have you ever wondered why "modify genes in soy"?

Contrary to popular belief that this is done to increase yields or something else, gene manipulations are carried out to create plants that are resistant to pesticides - chemicals that are used to kill weeds.

Naturally, when spraying pesticides, they fall on soybean plants, including beans.

Thus, in the mysterious question of GMOs, not the altered genes of beans, but the presence of chemical contaminants in them, representing serious harm to human health, are terrible and dangerous.

99% of soybeans today are genetically modified and have the highest degree of pesticide contamination among agricultural crops.

3 Soybean contains phytates that inhibit mineral absorption.

Soybeans contain large amounts of phytic acid (mainly in the bran or husk of all seeds). This is the substance that blocks the absorption of important minerals in the gastrointestinal tract - calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and especially zinc.

Important: The action of phytic acid is carefully studied today. There are hundreds of articles in modern scientific literature. Scientists generally agree that a diet based on grain-legume crops with a high phytate content contributes to the development of a deficiency of mineral substances in the body .

Important: Studies show that calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc are present in sufficient amounts in the plant foods consumed in these areas, but the high phytate content in cereals and soy prevents their absorption.

When precipitated soy products, such as tofu, are consumed with meat, the effect of blocking phytates on minerals is less.

Important: Vegetarians who eat tofu and bean curd as a substitute for meat and dairy products are at serious risk of mineral deficiency (calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc).

Soybean contains phytates that interfere with the absorption of minerals, leading to their acute deficiency. They do not collapse even with prolonged heat treatment.

Zinc is called a “mineral for the intellect,” since it is necessary for optimal development and functioning of the brain and nervous system. It plays a role in protein synthesis, is involved in the mechanism of controlling blood sugar, protecting it from diabetes, and is necessary for the health of the reproductive system.

Zinc is a key component of many vital enzymes (substances that are involved in digestion) and plays an important role in the immune system. The soybean phyta inhibits zinc absorption to a greater extent than other minerals.

Its disadvantage may lead to an interesting mental disorder: a false feeling that some vegetarians may mistaken for "high" spiritual enlightenment.

One of the probable reasons why the Japanese living in America grow above their relatives from Japan is the consumption of cow’s milk and other meat and fish products, instead of plant foods high in phytate, which is the basis of the diet of their Japanese population and, as shown, provokes growth problems.

The harm of soybeans is explained by the content of certain plant substances in it - phytates and toxins, which theoretically can be removed by chemical means.

4 The main cause of soybean damage is isoflavones. Scientific research

Males of some species of tropical birds have a monochromatic (dim) color at birth, and receive color plumage only at the time of puberty (between 9-24 months).

In 1991, Richard and Valerie James, bird breeders from New Zealand, acquired a new kind of feed for their birds - based on soy protein. The result - their birds reached sexual maturity (got a bright color) after a few months! One of the producers of such feed commented on this fact as one of the advantages of the feed they produce.

In 1992, feeding the Australian parrot with such food, which usually acquires beautiful red plumage at 18-24 months, gave a stunning and at the same time frightening effect - it turned red already at the 11th week (at the 3rd month!).

In subsequent years, birds that reached early sexual maturity showed a decline in their ability to reproduce, and those chicks that did come into the world were deformed, short and often died before reaching maturity, especially among female individuals. As a result, the total number of birds in the aviary decreased.

The birds were observed deformation of the beaks and bones, dysbacteriosis, disorders of the immune system, pathology and aggressive behavior. An autopsy revealed that their digestive organs were falling apart.

But another thing is surprising: the list of problems was very similar to those observed in the two children of researchers who were fed on soy-based mixtures (!).

Frightened, the researcher hired a toxicologist for further study. As a result of the analysis of scientific literature were found numerous evidence that soy consumption is associated with multiple health problems, including infertility, an increased risk of cancer and leukemia among children, as well as the fact that soy's genistein provokes a disruption of the thyroid gland in animals.

Soy consumption is associated with infertility, an increased risk of cancer and leukemia in children, and dysfunction of the thyroid gland.

The doctor also researched bird feed and found that it contained phytoestrogens in large quantities, especially genistein. When feeding birds on the basis of soy protein isolate was discontinued, the flock gradually returned to normal levels.

Scientists have clearly understood that it is necessary to warn the public and government officials about the toxins in soy products, especially about isoflavones (genistein), which have a detrimental effect on the endocrine system.

In 1991, Japanese researchers reported that eating only 30 grams (two tablespoons) of soybeans per day for only one month resulted in a significant increase in the secretion of a certain hormone that affects the action of the thyroid gland . Other abnormalities in the functioning of the thyroid gland were also observed, many patients complained of constipation, fatigue and lethargy, even if their iodine intake was adequate.

In 1997, researchers at the US National Toxicological Research Center made the unpleasant discovery that the cause of the dysfunction of the thyroid gland are all the same components of soy - isoflavones .

Important: And now the most interesting: 25 grams of soy protein isolate per day (the minimum amount recommended by Protein Technology International for achieving the effects of lowering cholesterol in the blood) contains from 50 to 70 mg of isoflavones.

For a middle-aged woman, a dose of just 45 mg of isoflavones is enough to cause a malfunction of the thyroid gland. Even after the cessation of the use of soy, the violation persisted for three months.

100 grams of soy protein (the maximum recommended value to achieve the effect of lowering the level of cholesterol dose) may contain almost 600 mg of isoflavones - an amount that, without doubt, is toxic.

In 1992, the Swiss Health Service estimated that 100 grams of soy protein per day provides the estrogen equivalent contained in hormone pills .

100 grams of soy protein contain the equivalent of the female sex hormone estrogen equal to one hormonal pill

Laboratory studies have also shown that isoflavones inhibit the synthesis of steroid hormones responsible for muscle growth.

Infertility, diseases of the thyroid gland and liver due to the use of soy protein (isoflavones) were observed by researchers in several animal species, including mice, cheetahs, quails, pigs, rats, sturgeons and sheep.

Isoflavones are also credited with a “beneficial effect” on postmenopausal symptoms in women, including a state of mild fever, protection against osteoporosis, and so on.

The degree of discomfort while raising the temperature is a subjective thing, and many studies confirm that women note a decrease in discomfort to a degree proportional to the amount of soy protein consumed.

The statement that soybeans prevent osteoporosis is generally sensational, given the fact that soy foods block calcium and cause vitamin D deficiency.

If Asians do have lower rates of osteoporosis than Westerners, it is only because their diet contains more vitamin D from lard, shrimp and other seafood, as well as more calcium from broth made from bones.

The reason that Westerners have such high rates of osteoporosis is that they have replaced cow's butter, the traditional source of vitamin D and other fat-soluble active ingredients required for calcium absorption, soy.

5 Soy and cancer

Today in America, the authorities have adopted a resolution that prohibits putting on the packaging of products any statements regarding the anti-cancer actions of the product. But it does not restrict soybean producers and marketers from propaganda in literature and the Internet.

One of the pamphlets says: “In addition to protecting against cardiovascular diseases, soybean demonstrates powerful anti-cancer benefits. The Japanese, who eat 30 times more soy than North Americans, have a lower incidence of breast, uterus and prostate cancer. ”

And indeed it is. But the same Japanese and Asians in general have much higher rates of other cancers, in particular cancer of the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, and liver.

Asians around the world also have high rates of thyroid cancer.

Based on these facts, it would be fair to place those who talk about the anti-cancer effects of soy (meaning cancer of the reproductive organs) to warn about its likely increase in the risk of thyroid and digestive cancers.

In order to further clarify the essence of the issue, let's find out how much the same Asians actually eat soybeans.

In 1998, in one of the studies of daily consumption of soy protein by the Japanese, it was found out:

7 grams of women, i.e. less than two teaspoons. In another study, it was found that the consumption of legumes in China varies from 0 to 58 g per day, with an average value of about 12 grams.

If it is assumed that two thirds of the consumption of legumes is soy, then the maximum consumption is about 40 grams (less than three tablespoons per day), and the average value is 9 grams (less than two teaspoons).

A study in 1930 found that soy products made up only 1.5% of the calories in the Chinese diet, but the main share of calories (65%) accounted for .. pork (Asians traditionally cooked in pig fat, not vegetable oil!).

Traditionally fermented soy products are used as delicious natural seasoning in Asian cuisine. In times of affluence Asians consume soy products in small quantitiesas seasoning, and not as a substitute for animal products.

There are only two exceptions: the time of famine and monks living in monasteries. The latter take a vow of celibacy, lead a vegetarian lifestyle, and therefore for them soy is an ideal product that also reduces sexual desire.

One example of scientific speculation about the benefits of soy in the fight against cancer - Meta-analysis (analysis of a large number of scientific studies), conducted by Mark Messina in 1994.

The conclusion of this scientist is as follows: in 26 animal studies, 65% (far from 100%!) Showed positive anti-cancer protective properties of soy.

However, the author for some reason forgot to include in his work at least one study in which feeding soybeans led to pancreatic cancer.

In studies on a person that the author considered, the results were ambiguous: a small part of them showed some protective effect, but most showed no connection whatsoever between soy consumption and cancer incidence.

Mark Messina came to the conclusion that “His research data can NOT be used as a basis for stating that drinking soy reduces the risk of developing cancer..”

However, in one of her books, Messina recommends eating at least one cup or 230 grams of soy products a day, as an "optimal diet, for the prevention of cancer."

Today, thousands of women consume soybean in the hope that it will protect them from breast cancer.

In 1996, researchers found that women who regularly included soy protein isolate in their diets had an increased incidence of epithelial hyperplasia, a condition that precedes the development of a cancerous tumor.

A year later, scientists found out that one of the types of isoflavones, soy-gynestein, stimulates breast breast cells to be involved in the reproduction cycle. This discovery forced the authors of the study to conclude that to prevent breast cancer, women should NOT eat soy products .

The benefits of soy in the fight against cancer are questionable. On the contrary, some studies suggest that its use may stimulate the development of tumors.

6 Harm of children's soy mixes

In the above study of the dangerous effects of soy protein on the health of birds, as well as children of the Jameses family of researchers, soy isoflavones were the cause.

In 1998, scientists reported that The daily dose of isoflavones in infant formula based on soy is 6-11 times higher than the amount produced by hormonal disorders in adultseating soy products.

The concentration of isoflavones in infants fed with soy-based mixtures was 13,000 to 22,000 times higherthan the concentration of the female hormone in the blood of children fed on mixtures of cow's milk.

Important: In the US, about 25% of those fed on artificial baby food receive soy-based mixtures - a much higher percentage than in other parts of the western world.

Scientists estimate that an infant fed with soybean mixture receives a dose of the female sex hormone (estrogen) equivalent to at least five birth control pills per day (based on body weight).

In contrast, phytoestrogens were not found in infant formula or in the mother’s breast milk, even when she ate soy products.

An infant fed with soybean mixture receives a dose of female sex hormone (estrogen), equivalent to five birth control pills per day (based on body weight)

It has long been known that soy infant formulas can cause thyroid problems in infants. But what effect do soy products have on the hormonal development of babies, male and female?

In male children, during the first few months of life, there is a “surge of testosterone", when its level can be as high as that of an adult man. During this period, the child is programmed to develop male symptoms, and not only the genitals and other male physical characteristics, but also certain patterns of male behavior in the brain.

In monkeys, for example, the deficiency of male hormones leads to a disruption in the development of spatial perception (normally, in men it is better developed than in women), learning ability and visual recognition (important for reading, for example).

Obviously, under the influence of early distortion of the hormonal environment in the infant’s body, shaping the wrong patterns of future sexual orientation.

In one experiment, a male child who was “fed” during pregnancy with a synthetic analogue of the female sex hormone (estrogen), which in animals produces the same effect as soybean phytoestrogens, had testicles less than normal.

The inability to learn, especially among male children, has reached epidemic proportions today.. Feeding soybean babies, which began to gain popularity in the early 1970s, cannot be ignored as a probable cause.

And what about the girls? Today a frightening number of young females reach sexual maturity much earlier than usual, according to a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics.

Researchers found that 1% of all girls today show signs of puberty, such as breast development or pubic hair, at the age of three, by the age of eight, 14.7% of white girls and 50% of African-American women at the age of 8 have a pronounced one or both of these signs.

In a study in Puerto Rico, scientists in 1986 came to the unequivocal conclusion that the most the likely cause of early puberty in girls is not chicken, which is eaten, but soy-based infant formula .

The consequences of a “shortened” childhood are tragic. Young mature girls should struggle with strong feelings of sexual desire, which they are not ready psychologically.

And early maturation is often the cause of reproductive system problems later in life, including menstrual disorders, infertility and breast cancer.

Parents of children who fed them soybean mixtures also list other problems that their children have. Among them: unbalanced emotional behavior, asthma, problems of the immune system, pituitary insufficiency, thyroid disease and irritable bowel syndrome - the same endocrine and digestive abnormalities that were observed in parrots in the experiments described above.

7 Soy Protein Isolate: Use? harm? or cheating?

Soy protein isolate is the result of the manufacturers hard work to remove all of the harmful substances listed above. It is a key component of most soy products that imitate meat and dairy products, including infant formulas and some types of soy milk.

Despite the efforts of manufacturers, they failed to create the perfect product: the harmful substances of soybeans are not completely removed from it, but moreover, new ones are added. See our material on the dangers of soy protein isolate.

Phytates are not completely removed from soy protein isolate.

Important: Most of the harmful substances that interfere with the digestion of protein (inhibitors) and the absorption of minerals are removed during high-temperature processing, but not all.

Their content in the final product - an isolate of soy protein - may differ by 5 times from different manufacturers.

Protein in soy protein isolate partially destroyed

There is one more “but” in the process of obtaining soy protein isolate. During high-temperature processing (drying) occurs partial destruction (denaturation) of proteinand, consequently, its biological value decreases and it becomes less effective in building muscle mass.

It is for this reason that animals fed with soybean feed need additional supplements in the form of separate amino acids (in particular, lysine) for normal growth.

Soy Protein Isolate Contains Carcinogens and Toxins

And that is not all. In the last step of high temperature processing nitrites are formed, which are strong carcinogens.

The treatment process in alkali to remove fiber is accompanied by the formation of toxins in soy protein isolate (lysine alanine).

Soy protein isolate contains artificial flavorings

In order to mask the strong characteristic taste of soybeans and to add flavor, soy protein isolate is often added artificial flavor additivesin particular, monosodium glutamate. It is due to the flavorings get the "cow" taste in soy milk.

Soybean protein isolate, despite its technological processing, still contains harmful substances that inhibit protein digestion and the absorption of minerals, as well as carcinogens and toxins formed during the manufacturing process, and artificial additives to improve taste and color.

Watch the video: Health Benefits of Soy: Cancer (January 2020).