Benefits of Soy
An Incredible Gift from the OrientRecently, Oriental cuisine has become very popular in America. We have a surge of interest in food products derived from the soy bean, due to the health benefits they provide. Soy contains a variety of health-promoting phytochemicals that decrease the risk of a number of chronic diseases.
Using soy products four or more times a week markedly reduces the risk of breast and prostate cancer. Asian populations using tofu regularly have one-half the rate of cancer seen in similar communities not using soy products. A regular use of soy lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. The isoflavones in soy decrease LDL cholesterol levels, and improve the elasticity of the arteries. Clinical trials with menopausal women reveals that a regular intake of soy protects against bone loss and hence reduces their risk of osteoporosis.
Most of the health benefits of soy can be experienced by consuming 50 grams (2 ozs) of soy protein per day. This can be obtained in many ways - tofu with stir-fried vegetables, TVP-containing entrees, soy burgers, soy nuts, soy milk, etc. What a blessing the soy bean found its way out of Asia to the West and provided us with new cuisine choices that support a healthy lifestyle.
Author: Winston Craig, MPH, PhD, RD.
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