These are the pros and cons of consuming soy

It is very consumed when menopause arrives and in vegan or vegetarian diets, soy (and its derivatives) has become in the last years a habitual one in the homes of many western women. Vegetable milk, soy sauce, bean sprouts, yogurts … Soy has been installed in our diet and it is no longer uncommon to consume it daily But is it as healthy as they say?

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Soy as a fashionable food

Soy is a legume that has been consuming human beings for thousands of years, mostly in Asia, and that It has greatly increased its consumption in recent years, especially in the West, as a vegetable alternative to animal protein.

In vegan and vegetarian diets, taking soybeans is usually very frequent, both as a drink and in derivatives such as tofu, tempeh or textured soy. It is also very common take soybeans in yogurts and milk or vegetable drink during menopause due to soy phytoestrogen levels, and its antioxidant content, which acts to provide greater well-being for women.

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Although in recent years it is easy to find more types of vegetable drinks in stores and large stores, like oatmeal, rice or nuts, soy is still the queen of vegetable drinks (as well as soy products in general) for many people who have chosen to eliminate or reduce cow's milk from their diets but is it so beneficial to consume soy?

Benefits of soy

Soy has a high nutritional value, it is the only vegetable that is considered complete protein because it contains the eight essential amino acids. It is rich in minerals such as magnesium, iron or calcium, low in fat, with low caloric intake and with vitamins such as group B vitamins and vitamin K, in addition to omega 6 fatty acids.

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Consume soy It is associated with a reduction in cholesterol levels, of the risk of suffering some types of cancer and suffering from heart disease, in addition to protecting against osteoporosis.

When consuming soy in the diet they stop taking, or their consumption is reduced, foods such as red meat so in that sense the diet would protect against diseases such as diabetes or cardiovascular problems which could be derived from excessive consumption of red meat.

Cons of consuming soy

Unfortunately there is also another face in the consumption of soy in a habitual way since This plant has antinutrients, toxins that are part of the defense system that the plant has and that, if they are not properly removed, they can harm health.

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These substances they may disappear if the food has a good controlled fermentation and proper cookingIn this way the antinutrients are eliminated but their properties, proteins and antioxidants remain intact.

Soy is an allergen and is thus indicated in the lists of food ingredients. It can therefore cause symptoms if the person taking it is sensitive or allergic to soy.. These symptoms are like those of any allergic reaction, from the mildest such as stomach upset or gas, to rashes, diarrhea and more severe conditions that require medical attention.

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It is potentially inflammatory and its phytoestrogens act in the woman's body as a replica of the female hormones and can affect the nervous and reproductive systems. Soy also contains heavy metals such as aluminum and cadmium, in addition to oligosaccharides and oxalates.

Oligosaccharides are sugars and can cause inflammation in tissues and gases, these substances can be found to a greater or lesser extent depending on the production of soybeans and their processing. For example In the fermentation process the harmful effects of these sugars are reduced.

Oxalates on the other hand are substances that inhibit the absorption of calcium but many other foods have oxalates (spinach, blueberries …). If the consumption of foods that have this toxin is moderate, or oxalates are reduced by cooking, it should not be a big problem, the excess is what would be dangerous to health. Soy consumption has also been associated with thyroid problems due to the action of its isoflavones.

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In short, in the middle is, as in so many occasions, virtue. Having a balanced diet and not overeating any type of food is the key. You can consume soy perfectly but not base your diet on it and its derivatives as it is an allergen and can promote inflammation. However consumed moderately, soy can be a very beneficial food for health, especially in menopause.

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