I’ve been reading a lot about soybeans and their beneficial effects on health. What I found was surprising and reassuring. There’s many good reasons to incorporate more to soy into your family’s diet. Here’s 6 surprising secrets about soy and better health.
#1 Soybean Oil is a Great Source of Omega – 3
Many people find it difficult to get the recommended amounts of heart healthy Omega -3 fatty acids from eating 2 servings of fatty fish each week. You might be surprised to learn that soybean oil is a great source of Omega- 3 and Vitamin E. Most vegetable oil you buy is 100% Soybean oil.
#2 Soybeans Lower Cholesterol
Multiple studies have shown that soy has a number Heart Healthy Benefits including reducing total Cholesterol levels. Soybeans are low in saturated fat. In addition, soy helps:
- Lower triglyceride levels
- Decrease blood pressure
- Decrease LDL oxidation and Increase LDL particle size – both of which help decrease the build up of atherosclerotic plaque in arteries, and
- Other studies have shown that eating soybeans helps prevent atherosclerosis in the carotid arteries.
#3 Soy is Good for Prostate Health in Men
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the US and the 2nd leading cause of cancer death in men. Research has shown that soy helps promote prostate health by preventing Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH). In addition men who consume more soy have a lower likelihood of developing prostate cancer.
#4 Eating Soy Does not Lower Testosterone Levels in Men
Because women often find that increasing their soy intake helps with hot flashes and night sweats, some people are concerned about the possible effects of soy on men’s hormone levels. Soy contains isoflavones, which are considered a phytoestrogens, or plant based estrogens. Numerous studies have not found that eating soy increases circulating levels of estrogen in men or women and does not decrease testosterone levels in men.
#5 Soy Can Help Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
Though there is conflicting research on whether one type of soy protein, extract, supplement, metabolite and amounts help women with hot flashes and night sweats, there is ample evidence that increasing soy is better than placebo in reducing menopausal symptoms. A recent study reported in the Journal Menopause found that despite a high placebo response, women who ate more soy had a 21% improvement in symptoms over what the group that had the placebo.
#6 Eating Soy in Childhood May Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer
Numerous studies have shown that girls who ate more soy in childhood and adolescence were less likely to develop breast cancer as women. It’s thought that the phytoestrogens in soy help the breast tissue in childhood develop into the types of health breast cells and tissue that are much less likely to become cancerous later on. Eating soy does not have stimulating effects on breast tissue and does NOT increase breast density.
# 7 Soy is Safe for Women with Breast Cancer
Women who’ve developed breast cancer can safely enjoy soy foods because there’s no effect on recurrence. There’s also no interference with tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors. In fact the American Cancer Society states that women with breast cancer can safely consume 1-3 servings of soy foods each day.