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Shocking! Does Soy Really Disrupt Hormones?

Shocking! Does Soy Really Disrupt Hormones?

We’ve heard a lot about the health benefits of soy milk and soy beans, but some people also say that they’re bad for your reproductive system? Then, what should you do?

First let’s briefly look at the benefits of soy.

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Health Benefits of Soy

Soy is high in protein content, which is why many vegetarians refer to it as “meat food”.[1] Furthermore, because it is a plant protein and not animal protein, it is processed differently and may actually reduce your cholesterol levels. It is also known for it’s high fiber content, which makes it very suitable for those suffering from high cholesterol and diabetes as well as frequent bouts of constipation.[2]

Soy in the form of fermented soya bean paste (miso) is rich in several minerals. It is often used as flavouring in Asian cuisine. Soya cake, or tempeh as the Indonesians call it, is especially rich in B vitamins. It is made by cooking and dehulling soya beans to form a textured, solid cake and also contains many vitamins and minerals. Soy in the form of tofu is a valuable source of iron and calcium. It is a type of curd made by coagulating soy milk with magnesium and calcium salts.

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Harmful Effects of Soy

Soy has its share of bad side effects too.[3] It can cause infertility and plays a role in decreasing fertility in both men and women.[4] It can cause premature menstruation. It may cause girls to hit puberty early, like say at the age of 10 instead of the usual 12 or 13.

Given the fact that soy helps in the production of the estrogen hormone[5], it may be a factor in breast cancer. Soy can also cause male gynecomastia, which is the enlargement or over-development of glands in the breasts. Soy can also kill libido with large quantities causing men to feel a certain lack of sexual desire.

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Scientific Research Says: The Conclusion Is Inconclusive

Research points both ways. Certain studies indicate that soy is connected to breast cancer. Some studies blame constant sexual arousal[6] on soy consumption. Meanwhile, the benefits of soy as meat and tofu has been extolled in various health magazines, leaving people in a fix. Another study has claimed that soy can prevent decline in memory,[7] while another study contradicted it.[8]

Thus, it is impossible to say whether soy is “purely good” or “purely bad.” Like all other foods, soy has its share of health benefits and side effects, therefore it is always better to consume such items cautiously and in moderation.

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What Should You Do

It is always better to include a variety of foods in your diet instead of relying on just one. However, pay attention to how your body reacts to soy. Keep a food log or journal to keep track of your different reactions and responses. If all is well, continue including it in your diet. If it isn’t, consult your physician and try to find something else to provide you with the necessary nutrients.

Reference

[1] Ingredient focus – Soya, BBC Good Food
[2] Soybeans, The World’s Healthiest Food
[3] 5 Ways Soy Upsets Hormone Balance, Global Healing Center
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18650557
[5] The role of estrogen in the initiation of breast cancer, NCBI
[6] 4 Health Consequences of Soy for Women, Global Healing Center
[7] Isoflavones and cognitive function in older women: the SOy and Postmenopausal Health In Aging, NCBI
[8] Effect of soy protein, NCBI

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Last Updated on May 21, 2020

The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

You have probably seen enough fad diets to last a lifetime. Many have become popular overnight and left just as quickly.

Some fad diets, though, have actually passed the test of time and are making some headway in the nutritional world.

Outlined below are four fad diets that are actually beneficial for your health and wellness. Read on to find out why you should consider adopting one (or more) of these healthy eating styles today.

An important concept you should keep in mind is to disregard the term “diet” as it is typically used. The word diet implies the idea of restriction and removal. Instead, think of the word diet in this context as a healthy eating lifestyle.

Let’s take a look at some of these healthy eating lifestyles that have been categorized, by no fault of their own, as fad diets.

1. The Paleo Diet

The paleo diet, or ancestral eating, is simply eating the way your paleolithic ancestors would have up to 10,000 years ago, or when the agriculture age began.

The advantage now is you don’t have to do this in a loin cloth, unless you want to… The focus of this diet is proteins, vegetables, some fruits, nuts and seeds and some healthy fats.

In the paleo diet, there aren’t any grains, starchy carbohydrates, sugars, or dairy.

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How Your Health Can Change With Paleo

The paleo diet is a good way to keep your blood sugar under control. It can also have a positive effect on type 2 diabetes, and can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

With this healthy eating lifestyle, people have also achieved good weight loss results and boast improved energy levels. [1]

It’s not just what’s in the paleo diet that’s important, it’s what’s NOT in it. There aren’t any processed and manufactured foods, junk foods, artificial ingredients or chemical additives.

Paleo is a way of eating that gets you more in tune with your body and, therefore, can provide a lot of benefits.

2. Whole30

The Whole30 diet is relatively new and owes its popularity to social media and the #Whole30 Instagram hashtag that allowed people to share and broadcast their success with the diet.

With Whole30 you are taking 30 days and focusing on nutritious whole foods such as meats, nuts and seeds, seafood, eggs, vegetables, and fruits.

During the month you are eliminating:

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  • sugar
  • alcohol
  • legumes
  • grains
  • dairy
  • soy

Whole30 is similar to paleo, but it goes a bit further eliminating sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.

At the end of the 30 days, you strategically reintroduce those eliminated foods back into your diet to discover any possibility of health consequences from them or even potential food allergies.

Finding Out How Food Impacts You

Most people eat the same things so often and may not realize that certain foods are causing health consequences, as they’ve become accustomed to feeling lethargic and run down.

With Whole30 you get the chance to see how these foods may have a negative impact on your body. You’ll also reset your taste buds, which may have become desensitized from processed and artificial “foods” and excess salt.

This diet will help you regain your love of food… in a healthy way!

3. The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet has been at the top of the list as a very effective diet for some time now.

For people in countries like Italy or Greece, this has simply been a normal way of life–along with higher activity levels, sunlight exposure, proximity to water, and lower stress.

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With the Mediterranean diet, the focus is on heart-healthy foods. It looks like this:

  • Fruits & vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes & nuts
  • Replacing butter with olive oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Moderate amounts of red wine

Help Your Heart & Overall Health With A Mediterranean Diet

Information from the Mayo Clinic shows that this diet reduces heart disease and lowers your “bad” LDL cholesterol. Studies involving 1.5 million people demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality, along with overall mortality. [2]

With all these benefits, this is definitely a “fad diet” that’s worth the hype.

4. The Alkaline Diet

The alkaline diet is about changing the foods you eat so that you put your body into an alkaline state and out of an acidic state. When your body is too far on the acidic side it can result in a condition called acidosis. This can lead to issues in your body such as upset stomach, breathing difficulties, headaches, weakness and, fatigue. In extreme cases, it can result in shock, coma, or death.

The goal is to get your body in a more alkaline state, which results in overall better health. The focus is on including alkaline boosting foods such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes. You’re also wanting to reduce acidic foods such as low quality beef and poultry, dairy, eggs, grains, and alcohol.

Pros & Cons With The Alkaline Diet

The benefits that come from this way of eating is that reduction in inferior quality foods, processed items and alcohol. You may feel improved energy levels, mental clarity and even better joint health.

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People also report weight loss but again this may come from the reduction in calories from junk and processed foods but this is not a bad thing at all.

One con with this diet is that the pH value of the food you eat might not have an impact on blood pH, as your body is able to balance this pretty well on a day-to-day basis.

Follow These Fads for Better Health and Wellness

There can be a danger in categorizing things as a fad diet because fads come and go. People are always looking for the next big thing or a quick fix.

The four examples above buck that status quo. These diets, though mainstream, actually can give you benefits and aren’t going to go away anytime soon because they work.

What makes these diets special is that they boast real whole foods and the eliminate processed and manufactured junk.

The Big Takeaway:

Whatever way you choose to eat, the focus needs to be on whole unprocessed foods. Look for the cleanest, local and most natural things you can find for the benefit of your overall health and wellness. Your body and mind will thank you.

Featured photo credit: Dan Gold via unsplash.com

Reference

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