The only reason soy has been celebrated as a wonder food is because of the powerful force of marketing. A quick look at it through a scientific lens, and you will quickly realize how dangerous soy truly is. There is a broad body of research linking unfermented soy to a myriad of diseases and disorders such as brain damage, reproductive problems, cancer, allergies, thyroid dysfunction, heart disease, weakened immune system and more.
Let’s look at what makes soy so dangerous to our body:-
Soy contains high concentration of phytates which, to put it simply, slows down the assimilation of minerals such as calcium, copper, magnesium, zinc and iron. Phytic acid is an anti-nutrient because it makes certain vitamins and minerals less available for our body. It binds itself to the nutrients before they get the chance to be absorbed in the gut. They also reduce the digestibility of fats, starch and proteins. The only way to neutralize the right amount of phytate in soy is through the process of long fermentation.
Soy comes under the category of foods known as goitrogens, which contain vegetables, grains and other foods that promotes the enlargement of thyroid- resulting in goiter. It slows down the functioning of thyroid. Soy is extremely rich in Isoflavones, which are compounds derived from plants that have estrogenic activities. Research has shown that soy inhibits the activity of thyroid peroxidase– a hormone requires for the synthesis of other thyroid hormones- T3 and T4. It also causes iodine deficiency.
3. Trypsin inhibitors-
Trypsin is an enzyme that serves a very important function in our body. It aids in the digestive process by helping breakdown protein. Soy is the king of trypsin inhibitors because of which it can drastically affect our pancreas and even cause cancer. Soy actually contains both trypsin inhibitors and protease inhibitors. These enzymes do not get deactivated with cooking. It can cause great digestive distress and amino acid deficiencies
Soy is filled with neurotoxins, one of which includes Hemagglutinin- a substance that promotes clot formation and clumps up the red blood cells together, which makes it inefficient at absorbing and transporting oxygen to the cells. Some hemagglutinin includes antibodies and lectins. Viruses use them to bind to the host cells. Plants, like soy, use phytohemagglutinin to protect themselves against pest. These substances can inhibit growth. They are deactivated only during the process of fermentation.
Soy is dense in isoflavones, which are polyphenolic compound that exerts estrogen like properties. These impact various functions of our body. Research has shown that high intake of soy products is linked to low sperm count. A Brazilian study showed that female rats who were fed GM Soy for 15 months had significant changes to their uterus and reproductive cycle. Phytoestrogen latches onto to the receptor sites meant for true estrogen. These partially stimulates these receptors. This stimulation is less intense when compared to true estrogens, but still very strong to keep them away. Phytoestrogens can cause fertility problems, increase your risk for breast cancer, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and even cause low sex drive.
Other than these, remember that more than 91% of the soy in United States is genetically modified, which means that it is loaded with pesticides and genes from foreign bacteria. Do know that soy is processed in aluminum tanks, which can infuse aluminum into the soy product.
If you do decide to eat soy, make sure that it is organic and has undergone a long fermentation process. The reason Asians have lower rates of cancer despite indulging in soy frequently is because they primarily only eat fermented soy. These include Tempeh, Miso and Natto.
Soy products that should be avoided include Soybean oil, tofu, soy protein isolate, soymilk, soy ice-cream/cheese/yogurt, soy “meat” and edamame.
You should also avoid soy based infant formula because the estrogen in soy can impact your baby’s reproductive health. An infant fed with soy formula can have up to 20,000 times higher estrogen than those fed regular formula. Also, soy formulas contain 80 times higher manganese than breast milk.
Vegetarians and vegans using soy as a replacement for meat should look for more healthy alternatives as soon as possible.
The best way to avoid falling into the traps of soy is by arming yourself with scientific knowledge, exposing its danger. The only way we can stop big corporations from profiting off of this disease causing food item is by decreasing its demand, which can only happen though a growing army of informed citizens.
In the comments below, please tell us: Do you use soy in your diet? If yes. Do you plan to continue using it?