If you were to carefully review the thousands of studies published on soy, then you probably reach the conclusion that there are no possible benefits of consuming soy. In fact, soy should not be consumed by anyone pursuing good health.
However, not all forms of soy are bad. Properly fermented products like natto and tempeh, which have been consumed for centuries don’t wreak havoc in your body like unfermented soy products do. For example, the enzyme nattokinase (derived from natto) is a safer, more powerful option than aspirin to dissolve blood clots.
Unfortunately, many Americans still believe that processed and unfermented soy products like soy milk, soy cheese, soy burgers and soy ice cream are good for them.
What’s so wrong with soy?
If these anti-nutrients aren’t removed by extensive preparation such as fermentation or soaking in the Chinese way of making natto, tempeh or miso, soybeans are one of the worst foods a person can eat.
While Americans have been consuming soy products at record levels, research has linked a whole host of health problems to soy consumption, including:
- Thyroid problems, including weight gain, lethargy, malaise, fatigue, hair loss, and loss of libido
- Early puberty and other developmental problems in babies, children, and adolescents
- Brain damage
- Reproductive disorders
- Kidney stones
- Immune system dysfunction
- Food allergies
Furthermore, the groups most at risk of experiencing negative effects from soy appear to be infants fed soy-based formulas, vegetarians eating a high soy diet, and mid-life women going heavy on the soy foods thinking they will help with symptoms of menopause.
1.Phytates in soy rub the body of essential nutrients
Phytates are enzyme inhibitors that block mineral absorption in human digestive tract. They are naturally present in all grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes.
However, soy is so rich in phytates that it’s almost impossible to get rid of them. In order to be digestible to humans, soy must be fermented. That means that if you eat soy at all, you should stick to fermented soy products like miso, tempeh, natto, or a naturally fermented soy sauce (tamari).
2.Enzyme inhibitors in soy cause digestive problems
When food is eaten, digestive enzymes (amylase, lipase, and protease) are secreted into the digestive tract to help break it down and free nutrients for assimilation into the body.
The high content of enzyme inhibitors in unfermented soybeans interferes with this process and makes carbohydrates and proteins from soybeans impossible to completely digest.
When foods are not completely digested because of enzyme inhibitors, bacteria in the large intestine try to do the job, and this can cause discomfort, bloating, and gas.
3.Soy can block production of thyroid hormone
Soy will destroy your thyroid. Many foods are thyroid suppressing (goitrogenic), but soy is king of them all. Goitrogens work by preventing your thyroid from getting the necessary amount of iodine.
So, if your thyroid fails you gain weight, you have a harder time regulating your moods, you get colder more easily, you’re more easily fatigued, you demonstrate an inability to concentrate and remember details. etc.
Non-fermented soy products also contain:
- Phytoestrogens (isoflavones) genistein and daidzein, which mimic and sometimes block the hormone estrogen.
- Hemaggluttin, which causes red blood cells to clump together and inhibits oxygen take-up and growth.
- High amounts of omega-6 fat, which is pro-inflammatory.
Which soy products do have health benefits?
Natto – Fermented soybeans with a sticky texture and strong, cheese-like flavor. It’s filled with nattokinase, a very powerful blood thinner. Also, natto is the highest source of vitamin K2 on the planet and contains a very powerful beneficial bacteria, bacillus subtilis.
Tempeh – A fermented soybean cake with a firm texture and nutty, mushroom-like flavor.
Miso – A fermented soybean paste with a salty, buttery texture.
Soy sauce – Traditionally, soy sauce is made by fermenting soybeans, salt, and enzymes. However, be careful because many varieties on the market are made artificially using a chemical process.