Is Soy Good or Bad for Your Health? Science Gives You an Answer
6Soy is loaded with a wide range of nutrients
1 cup of edamame which is approximately 155 grams contains:
- Protein: 16.9 grams
- Fiber: 8.1 grams
- Carbs: 11.5 grams
- Fat: 8.1 grams
- Vitamin C: 16% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Vitamin K: 52% of the RDI
- Potassium: 19% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 25% of the RDI
- Iron: 20% of the RDI
- Zinc: 14% of the RDI
- Copper: 19% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 26% of the RDI
- Manganese: 79% of the RDI
- Folate: 121% of the RDI
- Thiamine: 21% of the RDI
- Riboflavin: 14% of the RD
- Calories: 189
Soy also contains small amounts of vitamin B6, E, niacin, and pantothenic acid. In addition, it provides you with prebiotic fiber and phytochemicals like isoflavones- daidzen and genistein, and plant sterols.
7The health benefits of soy
Soy contains unique phytochemicals which provide you with many health benefits. Some of the amazing health benefits of soy include:
8Cholesterol levels are lowered
According to several studies, soy can improve cholesterol levels by reducing the LDL or bad cholesterol in the body. Researchers found in an extensive review that consuming soy products caused LDL cholesterol levels to decrease while HDL or good cholesterol levels increased.
But it was observed that soy supplements didn’t have the same effect on cholesterol levels like soy foods did. Soy fiber also has an important role in the cholesterol-lowering effects of soy.
9Helps in reducing menopausal symptoms
Soy contains natural isoflavones which are a class of phytoestrogens. These isoflavones act like a weak estrogen in the body. During menopause, estrogen levels decrease which then leads to emergence of symptoms like hot flashes. This can be reduced with the help of the natural estrogens in soy.
As per studies, soy can play a beneficial role in menopause. A review of 35 studies showed how soy isoflavone supplements increased the estradiol (estrogen ) levels in postmenopausal women by around 14%. In another review of 17 studies which involved women taking an average dose of 54 mg of soy isoflavones per day for 12 weeks recorded a 20.6% drop in hot flashes. These women also experienced a 26.2% decrease in symptom severity.
10It can affect fertility
One study pointed out that soy consumption is associated with improved outcomes for women undergoing fertility treatments which were assisted with reproductive technology. Soy’s protective effect against BPA was demonstrated in another study. BPA is a chemical found in plastic and which has negative effects on fertility.
Women were more likely to have a successful pregnancy if they ate soy before in vitro fertilization (IVF). However, still more research is needed to fully understand if soy actually has strong positive effects on fertility.