Soy foods are great sources of nutrients including protein. Other components within soy foods include isoflavones, a class of phytonutrients that are the subject of research to try and understand the apparent correlations between soy foods and improved health.
A diet that includes soy foods may help
- lower LDL cholesterol by a modest amount
- lessen hot flashes during menopause
- lower risk of breast cancer especially when consumed starting early in life
- lower risk of prostate cancer
- reduce inflammatory factors within the body
- decrease the burden on kidneys in contrast to other high quality proteins
Soy foods that are good sources of soy isoflavones include
- edamame/ mukimame
- soy yogurt
Processed soy foods such as soy veggie burgers will have fewer isoflavones present.
According to the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, intake of 2-3 servings of soy foods daily may be beneficial.
My favorite drink at meals includes a half-serving of soy and takes just a second to make: combine ½ cup unsweetened soymilk + ½ cup unsweetened almond milk over ice. I have my favorite brands based on their taste (each has a slightly different taste, so try a variety to see what you prefer).
For more information on soy, health, and recipes using soy foods go to:
- https://www.vndpg.org/home – click on resources, education handouts, Soy Safety and Health Effects of Isoflavones
And also my complete guide to plant-based eating:
- The Dietitian Presents: The Smart Guide To Plant-Based Eating – Well-Planned Meals Made Easy + Recipes For 28 Days
Nachvak SM, Moradi S, Anjom-Shoae J, et al. Soy, Soy Isoflavones, and Protein Intake in Relation to Mortality from All Causes, Cancers, and Cardiovascular Diseases: A Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2019;119(9):1483-1500.e17. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2019.04.011
Wu SH, Shu XO, Chow WH, et al. Soy food intake and circulating levels of inflammatory markers in Chinese women. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012;112(7):996-1004.e10044. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2012.04.001