Soy or soybeans are an almost every day items in the food chart. However, there have been many talks surrounding this bean, both good and bad. Amid the raising health concern, soy was said to promote the growth of some cancer cells, impair female fertility, and mess with the thyroid function. soybeans are also proven to be a high-protein food and contains the nine essential amino acids that can be cooked and eaten in a variety of ways. So, the big question is, should it be avoided altogether?
Soy oil is also used for cooking, or as an ingredient in many foods. The remaining of the beans after the secretion of the oil are also used to make food for farm animals and pets.
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However, nutritional benefits of soy differ based on how they have been processed and what other ingredients have been added. According to researchers, following are the health benefits of soy:
It is good for the heart: According to a research, the findings showed that consumption of soy significantly reduced total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol also known as the bad cholesterol.
On the other, they also concluded that soy intake also showed a significant increase in the HDL cholesterol also known as "good cholesterol.
They as such concluded that the lesser processed soy foods were more effective than soy protein extracts or supplements.
Soy could help lessen obesity: Estrogen levels naturally decline with aging women and an analysis conducted on the effect of soy isoflavone supplements (Which have similar properties with estrogen) on body weight in postmenopausal women showed a significant decrease in body weight.
It reduces breast cancer: The same study on soy also concluded that soy intake might reduce breast cancer risk. According to the scientists, Asian women who had for about 10 to 20 milligrams (mg) of isoflavones each day experienced less breast cancer rate.
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Having said that, soy can also increase possible health risks such as Thyroid problem. In one study, researchers found that women with higher soy intake showed an elevated thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) which signified hypothyroidism. However other studies showed varied results regarding the effect of soy intake on thyroid function.
Hence, if you are to eat soy, choose the less processed ones like edamame, soy milk, tofu, and soy nuts.