Benefits of Soybean for Women

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Soy has been an integral part of South East Asian (mainly Japanese) diets since time immemorial , healthy long lives have been attributed to diet along with an overall healthy lifestyle. In America and the West in general, Soy has become popular as a meat and dairy alternative.

Benefits of Soybean for women

As the popularity of Soy has increased, so has the research around it. The internet is full of scientific and popular literature as to why you should eat Soy as well as why you should not! There is so much of conflicting information about the health benefits of Soy and Soy Protein that at times, one might feel it is better to avoid it than risk.

Ever since I turned to a plant-based diet a year ago, soy products — soy nuts, edamame, tofu, miso, soy milk, and even soy nuggets on occasion — have been an important part of my diet. Given the amount of conflicting information around eating soy, I have treaded carefully, read a lot of journal articles, spoken with nutritionists and listened to my own body on how I felt with soy. I have written based on my experience below to share why I love Soy Products.

Health Benefits of Soy for Women

Soy is a great source of essential nutrients. It is rich in protein (100 gms of soybeana have 36 gms protein), dietary fiber, iron, manganese, phosphorus, and several B Vitamins including folate. The many health benefits of Soy for women include:

  • Relieving Breast Tenderness: Cyclical breast tenderness is a common side effect of menstruation. As the hormone (mainly oestrogen and progesterone) levels shift, it leads to fluid retention and tenderness in breasts. The increased pressure can cause breast pain. Soy contains isoflavones called phytoestrogens — a natural plant chemical which have mild oestrogen like qualities. Phytoestrogens have been found to counter the hormonal fluctuations related to menstruation and help reduce breast tenderness.
  • Soy Reduces Breast Cancer Risk: Soy consumption has been found to lower the risk of breast cancer. Asian women who eat a traditional diet rich in soy seem to have reduced risk of breast cancer. Research has shown that phytoestrogens in soybean have antiproliferative effects on breast cancer cells and are also capable of maintaining the survival of normal breast cell.
  • Soy Prevents Heart Diseases: Inside our arteries, there are two kinds of cholesterols — Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is the ‘bad’ kind as it clogs the arteries and raises the risk of stroke. HDL is the ‘good’ kind as it helps remove LDL from the blood. The ratio of the two is what usually determines a healthy heart. Consumption of soy not only reduces total cholesterol levels, it has shown to improve the HDL/LDL cholesterol ratio and thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Soy eases Menopause Symptoms: The hormonal fluctuations during perimenopause and menopause can result in a variety of uncomfortable symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, night sweats, mood swings, and sleep problems. The phytoestrogens in soy products can help ease menopausal symptoms especially hot flashes and vaginal dryness.

Benefits of Soybean for women

Then why is there so much hue and cry over the harmful effects of Soy?

There are the two main reasons:

  1. Genetically Modified: The benefits of soy come from real soy products. Sadly, the majority of soy in US is genetically modified which can have harmful effects on the body.
  1. Highly Processed: With advances in technology, it has been possible to isolate soy proteins, and the isoflavones found in soy. These are now added to products that traditionally never had soy. That in turn has made the consumption of soy much higher

How to Best Include Soy in Your Diet?

To enjoy the benefits of soy, make sure you choose organic, non-GMO, minimally processed soy-products. Below are some traditional soy products and suggestions on how to add them to your meal:

  1. Tofu & Tempeh: Add them to salads or in stir fry.
  1. Edamame: Steam and lightly season with salt and pepper. Enjoy as a snack
  1. Soy milk (unflavored and made with whole soybeans): Use as a non-dairy alternative to cereals, smoothies, or desserts.
  1. Miso: Use as a seasoning for soups and salads
  1. Soy nuts: Use as a snack
  1. Tamari or Soy sauce: Choose low sodium soy sauce for your Asian stir fries.

Benefits of Soyabean for Women


Soy has tremendous health benefits when taken as part of a healthy balanced diet. In our home, we consume about 100g tofu per person in two weeks, we usually eat a soy-based curry once every couple of weeks, and alternate between soy milk, almond milk, rice milk and other non-dairy milk for our morning smoothies.

Enjoy REAL soy products in moderation. Always remember, “Little is good”, doesn’t always translate to “more is better”.

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