Some Dangers of Soy
by ThinkOnThis, Anonymous Reader
Here are some of the dangers of soy...
The addiction that many vegans, especially new ones, have to soy needs to be broken for the sake of health and well-being.
Where soy is concerned I believe we've all been sold a crock by the seductive advertising put out by the powerful Soy Industry.
I speak from experience here! I've been a committed vegan for many years, and at one stage developed a taste for tofu, consuming it 3-4 times a week, believing it would be very good for me. As a consequence I fell ill with very bad hormonal disruption. Clearly the high amount of phyto-estrogens in soy was exactly what I didn't need.
After months of agonising pelvic pain ending in massive ongoing hemorrhaging, I cut the soy right out of my diet, and everything started to come right in the reproductive area.
After my bad experience, I started researching soy nutrition from every scientific paper I could find and preferably from studies not funded by the soy industry. I discovered some dangers of soy and how regular consumption not only demineralises the body over time, but also causes hypothyroidism and other unpleasant conditions.
Demineralization of the body is also implicated in anemia, arthritis, osteoporosis, some eye and vision disorders, and other chronic diseases which have their causes in mineral depletion or imbalance.
Bear in mind that vegetarians and vegans who eat tofu and bean curd as a substitute for meat and dairy products are particularly at risk of demineralization and other dangers of soy. To be fair, soy is the worst culprit here as the mineral-locking phytic acid in it can't be reduced except by fermenting.
Other foods can have their phytic acid much reduced by pre-soaking, but not soybeans. Demineralization of our bodies is a very serious concern, and is the silent thief of health.
Scientists are in general agreement that grain and legume-based diets, which are high in phytic acid contribute to widespread mineral deficiencies in third world countries which rely on these foods as their staples, just as we vegans do.
SOY ALSO CONTAINS A NUMBER OF OTHER ANTI-NUTRIENTS WHICH ARE HARMFUL TO OUR BODIES
Beside the very large amount of phytic acid it contains, which no amount of pre-soaking or boiling will reduce, there are other worrying problems with soy consumption.
There's the problem of the very high level of phytoestrogens in soy. These present dangerous triggers for breast cancer, endometriosis, infertility and a number of other conditions. Of equal concern is the huge amount of phytoestrogens being loaded into vegan children's bodies if they are regular soy eaters.
The next problem is soy's goitrogenic effect-- it interferes with iodine uptake and causes malfunction of the thryroid gland. As we vegans tend to be very low in iodine anyway, this is a double whammy because the tiny amounts vegans get through their diet can't be utilised when soy is consumed. And iodine is an extremely important requirement in any diet, having multiple functions within the body.
Yet another problem is that soy contains potent enzyme inhibitors that block the action of enzymes needed for protein digestion. These inhibitors interfere with protein digestion and produce long term deficiencies in amino acid uptake. They can also produce serious gastric upset. In test animals, diets high in these enzyme inhibitors cause enlargement and pathological conditions of the pancreas, including cancer.
Another problem is that non-organic soy is extremely high in pesticide residues.
Furthermore, soybeans also contain haemaggutinin, a clot-promoting substance that causes red blood cells to clump together.
Because of these dangers of soy, I'm of the firm view that tofu, soy milk, and soy protein isolate should be eaten only rarely, if at all.
THE SAFEST WAY TO EAT SOY
The only safe way to eat soy is in the form of tempeh, which is fermented, ensuring that many of soy's anti-nutrients are reduced or neutralised. (For the best reduction in phytic acid store your tempeh in the fridge for 2 weeks and then fry in a little oil). The other virtue of tempeh is that it provides twice the protein content of tofu.
Miso is also acceptable, being fermented, but choose those types which have low salt content.
Naturally fermented soy sauce is another acceptable form of soy.
Some vegans rely heavily on soy for its protein content, and also because they believe the pseudo-hype put out by the industry claiming soy is good for you, and because they see it pushed at them by virtually the whole vegan community, and in numerous recipes.
Vegans have good reason to be concerned about where their protein will come from and I'd suggest that we replace soy with other legumes and pulses (pre-soaked lentils, chick peas, quinoa, etc) and get back to learning about protein complementation. It may be a bit more work but well worth the effort.
Along with your usual staples, if you include chia seeds, hemp seeds, almonds, cashews, pistachios, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds (pre-soak your seeds!), organic peanut butter, and tempeh to your diet you will provide yourself and children with very useful amounts of protein without needing to fall back on tofu or soy milk as a protein source. Just remember to make sure you eat various grains (also pre-soaked) during the day too.
I encourage the practice of soaking all grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, prior to eating or cooking them. This considerably reduces the phytic acid in them and your body will then be able to absorb a good deal more of the essential minerals they contain. (Oats and corn are exceptions. Soaking only reduces phytic acid by 25% with these two)
If you neglect this step of pre-soaking in acidified water, you put yourself at risk that over time your body will become demineralised and chronic diseases will set in.
One other excellent insurance is to consume each day a plateful of raw organic fruits or vegetables, (or delicious fruit and vegetable smoothies) to replenish body stores of essential minerals. Eat them separately (1-2 hours either way) from grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. This will ensure maximum absorption of minerals and will give your body a fighting chance to remineralise itself. As well you'll get a bountiful supply of vitamins from the raw fruits and veg, some of which cooking inevitably destroys. If you can, incorporate some good quality spirulina powder into your smoothies for an instant mineral boost.
Please avoid some dangers of soy.*Editor's Note*
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