In a study published by the International Journal of Molecular Science, soy was found to increase estrogen levels in menopausal and postmenopausal women. During menopause, women experience a decline in the estrogen hormone, so increasing the intake of soy during that time helped relieve common symptoms like hot flashes.
In the past, excess consumption of soy in the diet was thought to increase the risk of breast cancer. Breast cancer is hormone-sensitive, and since soy has phytoestrogen that mimics estrogen effects in the body, it was thought that breast cancer risk increased. However, recent research has found that increasing soy intake in postmenopausal women can reduce the risk for breast cancer, but the health benefit may not be the same for premenopausal women.
Soy can be a part of a healthy and balanced eating routine, enjoy it with your favorite meals and snacks.
Soy is a nutrient-dense legume and edible bean, commonly used to make soy milk and tofu. Soy’s health benefits are a hot topic in nutrition research, as throughout the years, findings have been very controversial. Here are a few reasons you might want to include soy in your diet.
- Soy is high in unsaturated fats, which are known to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cholesterol levels. It is also an excellent source of fiber, whose benefits include improving bowel movement (aka constipation relief) and lowering blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Fiber also helps with increasing satiety, so less quantity will help you feel more satisfied!
- Soy is also a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Antioxidants protect against the damage of cells, aging and lower the risk of cardiovascular injury and disease.
- Soy has isoflavones, a plant antioxidant that mimics the estrogen hormone in our bodies. Estrogen is the hormone responsible for maintaining reproductive health and female characteristics. Isoflavones are also protective against cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and loss of cognitive function.