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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.


MORE RESOURCES:

Deseret News

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The Packer

UPDATED: Senate sets date for child nutrition markup
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MarketWatch

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Voice of America

Obama Sows Seeds of Nutrition in Ethiopia
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ADDIS ABABA—. During his visit to Ethiopia, U.S. President Barack Obama took the time Tuesday to meet with Ethiopians who have benefited from U.S. development initiatives. During a visit to a food factory, Ethiopian farmer Gifty Jemal Hussein beamed ...

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Charlotte Observer

Charlotte-area residents can get free nutrition information
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The North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis includes the UNC Chapel Hill Nutrition Research Institute, left, and the North Carolina State University Plants for Human Health Institute. Since 2004, billionaire David Murdock, the Dole Food chairman, ...



Duluth News Tribune

NUTRITION: Follow a few guidelines, and fish is quite good for you
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Fish can be an important component of a balanced, healthful diet. It's rich in protein, and unlike many other protein-rich foods, such as meat, fish is relatively low in saturated fat. Fish also is a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as ...



WBTW - Myrtle Beach and Florence SC

Protein-rich Nutrition Key to Helping Patients Recover from Severe Burns
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However, burn specialists at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center say nutrition is so vital to their patients' recovery that they make it a quality indicator for patient care. “The metabolism goes into hyper drive, trying to heal the wounds ...



Nutrition for Optimum Equine Performance
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Don Kapper, PAS, shared equine nutrition and management knowledge during a recent visit to University of Guelph, in Ontario, Canada. He discussed the importance of understanding gut function and nutrient absorption in order to understand the importance ...



iSchoolGuide

Massachusetts' New School Nutrition Standards Make Significant Improvements In ...
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