Good Things Come in Small Beans
From the ever-growing organic food section in your grocery store to the increasing number of meat substitutes now available, soy is hard to ignore. And with its numerous health benefits, why would you want to?
Any vegetarian will tell you that soy is a good source of protein; however, Professor Bahram Arjmandi of Florida State University’s College of Human Sciences claims it is among the best.
“Consuming protein from vegetable sources is easier on our digestive system than consuming animal protein,” he says.
“The best reasons to consume soy products are because they protect our cardiovascular system, and they protect the cartilage and joints better than many other vitamin supplements,” Arjmandi says. Studies he has done show a diet containing soy is useful in preventing osteoarthritis and also as a supplementary treatment for the condition. Soy products also contain estrogen-like hormones called isoflavones that help women experiencing hot flashes during menopause and relieve some postmenopausal symptoms.
As for those arguments against soy – that it may lessen sperm count in men or increase the risk of breast cancer in women – Arjmandi says, “I don’t buy that.” He says that almost everyone would benefit from consuming 30 to 40 grams of soy per day in any form. That’s not as hard as it might seem with the variety of products available; soybeans in their raw vegetable form (edamame), tofu, tasty soy protein drink mixes and soy alternative products such as peanut butter and milk all are available at the local supermarket.