"Isn't there a reason why I stay away from soy?" the question you probably ask yourself more times than not. Generally speaking, most are aware there are some negatives in regards to high consumption of this legume, but don't necessarily know why. Personally, having severe food allergies has given me the opportunity to become rather experienced and well-learned when it comes to soy. Back in the day, the only milk alternative was soy, but thankfully there are now countless dairy and protein product alternatives available. These substitutes range from coconut, almond, and cashew, all nut based to rice, hemp, and additional plant based foods.
The soy bean itself carries several disadvantages that should be avoided, most importantly because you're unknowingly already consuming soy in everyday foods. Take a look at the ingredients for any food product you own and nine times out of ten, the food label will list soy or a soy byproduct. For starters, soy has high levels of goitrogens, compounds known to inhibit and disrupt thyroid functioning. The body is unable to process iodine properly and can lead to hypothyroidism or related issues of a slower thyroid. For those unfamiliar with the thyroid, this gland controls hormones that regulate your body's metabolism. Having any dysfunction of the thyroid or its gland will disrupt its functioning. Maintaining a proper balance is essential for the body. Other foods of course have the similar high levels of goitrogens, like cruciferous vegetables, once cooked the negative effects diminish, yet with soy they remain.
The promotion of estrogen is one of the soybeans attributes which is likely to cause development and growth of cancerous agents in some cases. The genes effected can easily be inititated to produce mutation, the beginning stages of a cancerous growth. With the presence of isoflavones, estrogen activity is thus increased. You may think estrogen is harmless, but it is quite the contrary. Estrogen acts differently in males and females. Both can gain fat around the midsection, this can promote diabetes. Men will lack energy and libido, gain fat or accumulate breast tissue causing a swelling breast shape, resembling a female, known as gynecomastia. Women having elevated levels of estrogen develop a hormones imbalance, in turn causing menstruation issues and thus fertility problems, along with a greater risk of breast cancer. Even newborns can be affected due to heightened soy intake. Higher amounts of estrogen can cause failure in male infants to fully develop proper or adequate testosterone levels. To put it into perspective, it's been said, certain estrogen producing soy products like formula can be equivalent to consuming up to five contraceptive pills daily! Wow! Many formulas are soy based, so please read labels thoroughly!
Soy also contains trypsin inhibitor, a type of protease inhibitor. For those who aren't science obsessed like myself, this toxin basically causes the blockage of enzymes to reach soy in order to digest this protein properly. With such an effect on digestion, soy often causes bloating, indigestion, bowel issues (constipation or diarrhea), and gas. As with any indigestion, additional health complications may arise.
Now, as a crop, the soy bean is destroying our planet more so than the human body. Believe it or not, the idea of eating plant based isn't necessarily the best for the human body or Mother Earth. Planting soy is very destructive in the sense that when harvested, soy takes irreplaceable nutrients from the soil while also being one of the most genetically modified crops today. Soy is even injected into meats, mostly in factory settings. Know where your food is coming from! There are several large producers of soy, who sue other farmers and producers from producing and harvesting soy properly, so the majority of soy out there is of GMO crop sources. The large scale companies desire mass production and drive profits by cutting corners and dominating an industry, not by harvesting ethically. I can imagine this must be news to you, although the truth is now clear as day. Overall, soy should be used minimally and NOT as a primary protein source. Like any other source, a well balanced diet is in order.