Soy Foods Beneficial or Not?
Soy foods are frequently being touted as a healthy source of protein, calcium and other nutrients.
In Asian cultures people eat these foods that are supposedly very health enhancing.
However, there is one major distinction. The products that Asians eat are typically fermented.
Why is this important?
Wikipedia talks of soya foods being high in goitrogens, which are a substance that can lead to thyroid health issues by inhibiting the absorption of iodine intake.
Obviously this would not be very good for thyroid health.
Likewise, these foods are also very high in phytates which bind with minerals in the gastrointestinal tract and prevent absorption.
The fermenting process dramatically reduces that harmful phytates and goitrogens, and unleashes the beneficial nutrients in the bean.
So what are these beneficial beneficial products? These products are: miso, tempeh, shoyu (tamari), and natto.
These fermented foods are also far easier to digest and are thus much better tolerated than other products from this bean.
We also see these intolerances in many of our clients that they are coming in telling us that they are unable to eat these bean based products.
Of course, they are typically referring to the non-fermented versions of this leguminous plant like: edamame, milk, protein isolates, flour, and nuts.
One of my dear friends is so reactive to this legume that if she accidentally gets it in trace amounts that she has terrible body pain, headaches, and her heart races very rapidly.
While, she is an extreme example, people like her with severe reactions are typically unable to eat the fermented versions as well.
Likewise, I have many others who do not react well to these foods. They tell me of digestive disturbances and physical discomforts that they experience when eating this food.
Many others will have no immediate reaction but eating it may later affect them in a negative way, such as developing a thyroid imbalance.
With this in mind, I typically recommend that everyone stay away from the non-fermented version of this food whenever possible.
Soya in foods are pretty hard to avoid, because it is used in so many different processed foods.
You will see this when you read labels of many of the gluten-free foods, where soya lecithin is used as a emulsifier and soy oil is used in numerous salad dressings and other foods.
For those of you who have no immediate reaction, it is still best to avoid it when possible.
What I typically do is avoid all products derived from this bean including: its flour, protein, milk, and nuts.
However, I do eat some products that contain small amounts of soya lecithin as a thickening agent and occasionally consume products which contain this oil.
Since doing the research for the web page, I am cutting down on those foods as well.
Soya Free Products
Fortunately for those who are very sensitive, there are several companies making excellent products free of this legume and its derivatives.
For those of us who want totally avoid use this bean food and its use in various products, I have compiled a list of gluten-free companies and the soya-free products that they offer. These companies include: