Everybody “knows” that soy is good for you. But is it really? I’ve written about it many times in the past, in the full belief that compounds called isoflavones in soy are helpful in protecting women from hot flushes, pre-menstrual tension, and so on. Well, I was wrong. So was most of the world, as it happens. There are things about soy that you need to know about eating soy beans and using soy-based foods—from soy milk to tofu—things which can be vitally important to your health and the health of your family as well as to the reproductive capacity of future adults.
BADS NEWS FOR SEX CELLS
If you’re thinking of having a baby—or you’re pregnant—new research clearly shows that you want to steer clear of soy products. This is not only for your sake, but for the health of your developing fetus. The phytoestrogens in soy have been shown to exert profoundly detrimental effects on a growing baby as well as after its birth. Exposure to estrogenic chemicals in the womb and during childhood, can damage a girl’s fertility as she grows into a woman. Even more surprising, for many adult women even a small amount of soy can pcreate an anti-pregnancy effect—equal to four or five birth control pills a day! Eating a lot of soy has also been linked to an increasing chance of breast cancer. But women are not the only ones affected by soy and soy products. The soy isoflavone genistein interferes with sperm motility. Even small doses of this substance can seriously impair your ability to conceive if you are trying for a baby.
PERILS OF GM
Virtually 95% of all soybeans in the world are genetically modified. The last thing you want to do is feed yourself or your children on this nasty stuff. Not only are these foods incompatible with your body for many reasons. They can also contain dangerous quantities of Glyphosate, which is the main ingredient in the weed killer Roundup. As if this weren’t bad enough, a great deal of soy contains potentially destructive levels of manganese and aluminum—both of which are known to reduce brain functioning. The sad news is that in the United States alone, 20% of babies are now fed on soy formula. Meanwhile, as an adult, if you’re drinking a couple of glasses of soy milk a day for a month, you will be absorbing a lot of phytoestrogens. These are very likely to interfere with your menstruation and undermine your health.
FALSE “FACTS” ABOUT SOY
We’ve been told that Asians consume a huge amount of soy based foods in their diet. In truth they eat very little soy food...on average, only about 10 grams per person per day—two teaspoons. This they eat soy only as a condiment and never as a replacement for animal-based proteins. The use of soy foods began during the late Chou dynasty in Japan and China (1134-246 BC). This was only after the Chinese had mastered the art of fermenting soy beans to make foods like temph, natto, and naturally fermented tamari—all three of which are good for you. Most modern day foods are not fermented to neutralize the toxins in soybeans. They are manufactured in a way that not only denatures what protein they do contain but also increases the levels of carcinogens present in the foods. If you are vegetarian, you have also been told that soy foods provide complete proteins. This too is untrue as is the notion that soy foods can supply Vitamin B12 to vegetarian diets.
ORGANIC FERMENTED ONLY
If you are vegetarian and you wish to eat soy in some form, only choose fermented soy—and only from organic soybeans: natto, temph and tamari. Steer clear of all soy milk products, that are not fermented and let go of the notion that any soy products are going to give you all the protein you need to live at a high level of health and resistance to early ageing.
BREAST IS BEST
As far as infant formulas are concerned, soy is something you want to avoid altogether. The very best care you can give to both yourself and your baby is to breastfeed. If possible, let your child decide when the or she is ready to give up nursing. Your baby will get life-long health gains from breastfeeding. And the closeness that develops between the two of you is a great blessing. Here are some of the health benefits nursing your baby confers upon him or her:
- Decreased risk of obesity
- Decreased risk of eczema and other skin problems
- Fewer middle ear infections
- Better respiration
- Added protection against diabetes, asthma, allergies and heart disease
- Improved immune function.
- Better brain function.
Want to learn more about soy? Check it out online at the Weston A. Price Foundation. There you can discover and learn which naturally fermented soy products are available.
I Want to know more about breastfeeding? You can get help from a wonderful organization called the La Leche League. Find them at http://www.llli.org/. If you are unable to breastfeed, your next best option is to create a healthy infant formula based on certified raw milk.