With so many foods controversies going on right now perhaps Soy is the longest withstanding argument. It seems like at least for me it has been a circular argument never having been resolved. Well I ignored the topic a little while longer and now have re-evaluated it hoping that the break would clear my mind. It appears so since I now have a definitive view on Soy consumption. I am beginning to think of it more as an herb per say, something that is very potent and has the ability to cause substantial changes in the body instead of an appropriate food or condiment choice.
Companies that thrive off of Soy sales such as Silk have entire websites dedicated towards rebutting myths and clearing the name of Soy. After looking at their “evidence” and doing a little of your own research it is clear that for every article that says it is beneficial for your health there is another that says to run away. Personally I have a few Soy anecdotes that show that at least for myself it has a big impact. About 5 years ago I found some Soy Isoflavone supplements in my mothers pantry and thought I would try them. Not even a few hours later the texture of my skin had changes, breakouts had started to reside and I felt great. I was on cloud 9 for the next few days until I woke up with huge painful cystic breakout on my neck that continued to get worse until I stopped taking the pills a few days later.
If Soy could have that big of an impact on myself I am sure it can on others too regardless of if you have a strong reaction. Now some people avoid Soy simply because it is a legume, which is another post topic together (along with grains). I believe that it SHOULD BE AVOIDED because of its high phytoestrogen content. A phytoestrogen is just what the name imply, a plant version of estrogen that although it can’t function the same as estrogen in the body does, it can cling to estrogen receptors tricking the body into it thinking that is is real estrogen. This can reak all kinds o havoc in the body through disrupting the delicate hormonal balance. There are many types of phytoestrogens within three main groups: Isoflavones. Lignans, and Coumestan. Soy is contains predominately Isoflavones.
Now while all of the Soy haters are out there hating on Soy they neglect to look at other foods which have high phytoestrogen as well. Granted, Soy overall is the highest by far, however in some forms it is actually quite low. For example Soy Sauce and Soy Sprouts do not provide high amounts. Also Flax-seed comes in second highest to Soy in content and many people use Flax-seed Oil everyday and do not even realize that. Some other surprising foods are: Black Bean Sauce, Hummus, Mung Bean, Sesame Seeds, Alfalfa Sprouts, Garlic, Dried Apricots and Dates, and Black Licorice. Now some of these may not be that high depending on your serving. For that reason I have included this link.
In the end, I have decided to try and avoid anything that has a high phytoestrogen load. I am working so hard to heal my body so it can balance my hormones that I do not what to confuse it by adding phytoestrogens in there to throw it off balance. Of course there are always exceptions for example I love Garlic and it is so good for you, plus the amount of Garlic that I would eat does not have a phytoestrogen load I am worried about. Also my husband and I love Thai and Sushi and because Soy Sauce does not have a high phytoestrogen load we are not going to deprive ourselves of that enjoyment occasionally. Overall do some research, and decide what’s best for you!