Soytastic ? The Health Benefits of Soy

It is often taken as a given fact that soy is beneficial to our health, and that it is certainly a healthier alternative to dairy products and meat. However, it is rare that anyone actually either asks or informs us of what soy is or why we should consume it.

Soy ? Where does it come from?

The origins of soy can be traced back to Japan from as early as 2800 B.C. Since then, it has been a prominent feature of the Asian diet and has been linked to the lower frequency of cancer in those native to this region (especially in comparison to the UK and the USA).

Soy was first introduced in Europe in the early 18th Century and has gone from being used almost exclusively as animal feed to a multi-billion dollar industry.

What is it?

Soy is a highly nutritious legume which has over a 40% protein content, omega3 fatty acids, high fibre content and contains 'isoflavones' which are known to imitate the effects of natural estrogens. Also known as glycine soja (wild soybean), soybeans are the world's primary source of vegetable protein and contain all of the essential amino acids, which gives it the title of a 'complete protein'.

Why Consume Soy?

Aside from the obvious benefits to consuming soy outlined above, there are several more specific reasons as to why soy would be a smart addition to any diet or lifestyle. Soy has been given more and more attention in terms of research over the past decade and the following have been the most prominent discoveries:

Making Soy a Part of Your Diet

This is not as difficult as it sounds as soy products are becoming more and more readily available (in all shapes, sizes and flavours) and equipment such as soy milk makers, and tofu kits are now available for home use, as well as commercial.

Probably the biggest step towards increasing soy in your diet (and replacing dairy) is gained from converting to soy milk. Although some people find the taste of soy milk, 'different' to that of cow's milk, by transitioning, this can easily be overcome.

By mixing soy with cow's milk, in incremental steps over the period of a month or so, it can be relatively easy to transition.

Suggested Transition:

Weeks 1-2: Use 25% Soy, and 75% cow's milk on cereals and for drinking 'neat'. Use soy in coffee and tea, but with a splash of milk. Replace 25% of regular flour with soy flour when baking. Use soy milk in smoothies where the taste is much weaker than on cereals.

Weeks 2-4: Split 50-50 when using milk and flour. Use only soy in tea and coffee and have a scoop of soy-based 'ice cream' along with regular ice-cream.

Week 4+: Increase split to 25-75 in favour of soy milk and flour. Continue at this level until you feel accustomed to the taste of soy milk and other soy products.

It will not be long until your taste alters and you actual begin to prefer the taste of soy milk, especially in drinks such as smoothies, where soy gives a much more creamy taste.

Recommended Soy Products/Brands

At EFL we heartily recommend the following:

  • 'Winner' Swedish Glace (tastes like Mr Whippy style ice-cream!)
  • EasyGreen Sprouter (for sprouting Soy seeds)
  • Provamel Yoghurts
  • Innerlight SuperSoy
  • Alpro/Provamel Unsweetened Soya Milk
  • Trader Joes Soya Milk (if you can find it in the UK or Europe)
  • SoyaFresh! Home Soya Milk Maker
  • SoyaFresh! Home Tofu Kit
  • Vogel's Ultra Bran, Soya & Linseed Cereal

Energise for Life aims to bring you the very best in health and nutrition advice resources, news and articles as well as the products, equipment, supplements and superfoods you need to achieve optimal health and nutrition.

In The News:

Nutrition in older age  Rising Kashmir
Wendy Wesley Nutrition, LLC  ABC Action News

Artificial Sweeteners - Are They Safe?

To research the health risks Sweet 'N Low and other... Read More

Alcohol Addiction and Obesity

People who consume too much alcohol have good chance of... Read More

Confessions of a Personal Fitness Trainer

Last year I had a number of clients who started... Read More

The 7 Best & The 7 Worst Food For A Long Life

The above foods contain high antioxidant capacity. These foods were... Read More

Healthy Eating Myths Shattered

Salt does Not Cause High Blood Pressure. Some things you... Read More

Post Workout Nutrition: Secrets to a Hard, Lean Body

As you've probably heard before, your post-workout meal may very... Read More

Healthy Food Tastes Better!

How is it that we can't seem to think that... Read More

How to Use Flax Seed

You can eat whole flax seeds but you need to... Read More

Can Chronic Pain Come From Food Additives?

It is always amazing to me when I find a... Read More

Food Additives: Safety versus Health Maintenance / Prevention

The topic of food additives is not quickly addressed in... Read More

What To Eat When You Are Sick

Did you know that the food you eat when you... Read More

Food with Niacin and The Benefits

Niacin, also called nicotinic acid, is a member of the... Read More

Free List of Fat Burning Foods

This free list of fat burning foods will help you... Read More

Finding the Elusive Complete-Protein Source

Images of "protein powder" containers with accomplished bodybuilders on their... Read More

Healthy Eating Habits

I read a lot about the topics of health and... Read More

How Food Affects Mood

Everyone can benefit from understanding how food affects our... Read More

Personal Wellness Program

Having a personal wellness program has become a concern for... Read More

ACAI Berry Named Top 10 Superfoods For Anti-Aging by Dr. Nicholas Perricone

The benefits from eating healthy are endless. And, according to... Read More

Body Calling: Maintaining Excellent Health

Our bodies are truly incredible machines. What makes cells healthy?... Read More

Ayurvedic Nutrition: Let Your Food Be Your Medicine

It is ironic how something as obvious as nutrition has... Read More

You are Closer to Being Vitamin C Deficient Than You Think

Okay, so you think you are doing pretty well with... Read More

Can a Child Thrive on a Vegan Diet? YES!

Can a child thrive on a vegan diet? The answer... Read More

Whatever Happened to the Basic Four Food Groups?

What Ever Happened to the Basic FourThe USDA was originally... Read More

Reverse Disease and Maintain Optimal Health

PROTEIN DEFICIENT? CHANCES ARE YOU ARE!Did you know that 9... Read More

Organic Eating - Why Bother?

Originally, all foods were "organic" ? grown and prepared without... Read More