What Are The Benefits Of Eating Soy
Research suggests that soy can be beneficial for women with a history of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer and may even reduce their risk for recurrent disease.
Other research has found that soy foods can be protective of a womans bone health, which is important because the risk for osteoporosis increases during menopause. Soy also appears to increase longevity among breast cancer survivors, especially for those who have hormone receptor negative breast cancers.
Lightly steamed edamame with or without salt is a delicious snack. Look for it in the freezer section of your grocery store.
Soy may also have benefits for menopausal symptoms. A 2021 study of postmenopausal women found that when they added half a cup of soybeans to a low-fat plant-based diet had an 84% reduction in moderate to severe hot flashes, from five a day to one. A 2012 analysis of 19 studies found that soy isoflavone reduced hot flash intensity by 26%, compared to a placebo. Another analysis, done in 2015, looked at 10 studies and found that soy isoflavones reduced hot flashes by 11%. Note that soy isoflavones can take from several weeks to months to have these symptom-reducing effects, and they wont necessarily be as significant as hormone therapies.
The most benefit of eating soy has been found when women begin eating it regularly at a younger age, a practice that is more often seen in Asian countries than in the United States.
Research On The Dangers Of Soy On Breast Cancer And Heart Health
What are your thoughts on soy?
Do you like soy based products?
Is soy bad for you in your books?
Leave me a comment below I would love to hear your thoughts!
Contribution by RD2B Maxine Seider
Dont Miss: Dr Yael Swica
Where To Get Soy Protein
Now that we know soy has some health benefits and does not increase our risk of breast cancer, lets talk about where we can find soy protein in our diets!
Some people may say soy makes us fat, but they are not talking about WHOLE foods, they are talking about processed foods that use soy as an additive. So stick with whole foods instead of anything overly processed. Want some suggestions? Check out this easy infographic to find out the best whole food sources of soy protein to add to your diet.
You May Like: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause
How Diet Can Cause And Improve Menopause Symptoms
Certain foods can worsen menopause symptoms like fatigue and hot flashes. Discover some menopause diet no-nos and find out what to eat instead.
Fatigue, weight gain, moodiness, and hot flashes can make you wish for a slice of cake or a second martini, but those choices could actually make these symptoms of menopause worse. A woman can take a little more control over the consequences of her symptoms by eating better and by exercising, says nutritionist Mickey Harpaz, PhD, author of Menopause Rest! Reverse Weight Gain, Speed Fat Loss, and Get Your Body Back in 3 Simple Steps. Simple menopause diet choices, such as fruit instead of a sugary dessert, could make all the difference in your day and your mood.
What Is Soy Milk Exactly Defining The Popular Drink
Soy milk is a plant-based nondairy beverage, often consumed as an alternative to milk. Its made from soybeans, and many brands fortify their soy milk with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D and calcium. Soy milk offers culinary diversity, creamy texture, and a healthful nutritional profile, including essential omega-3 fatty acids and flavonoids that exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cardioprotective properties, says , a plant-based-foods dietitian in the Los Angeles area and the author of The Vegiterranean Diet.
Also Check: Is Lightheadedness A Symptom Of Menopause
Recommended Reading: Sweet Potatoes And Menopause
Consider Beef And Chicken Liver
This one may be an acquired taste, but hear us out it’s one worth acquiring! Cow and chicken liver offer some of the best sources of trace mineral and B vitamins. When shopping, make sure the cow or chicken liver is of the grass-fed, zero-hormone, natural variety. “Liver is a fantastic source of vitamin C complex, iron, and many of the trace minerals our body relies on. When these are in low supply, symptoms such as those experienced in menopause become more pronounced,” explains Dr. Forman.
Assessment Of Vaginal Cytology
The epithelium lining the vaginal wall is markedly sensitive to estrogens. The presence of vaginal superficial cells is indicative of estrogen stimulation and has been utilized to evaluate the degree of estrogenization and the effectiveness of estrogen therapy, whether systemic or topical.
Various indices are used to measure the estrogenization of the vaginal epithelium. The Vaginal Health Index scores, on a scale of 1 to 5 , vaginal moisture, vaginal fluid volume, vaginal elasticity, vaginal mucosa, and vaginal pH . The karyopycnotic index and the maturation value are also used and characterize the hormonal action on the vaginal epithelium in a different way. The KI is expressed as the percentage of superficial cells within the total population of squamous cells and is more sensitive for evaluating the superficial cells . The MV is another quantitative analysis reflecting hormonal action on the vaginal epithelium. The score considers parabasal, intermediate, and superficial cells, to which the values of 0 for parabasal, 0.5 for intermediate, and 1.0 for superficial are assigned. The score can vary from 0 when only parabasal cells are present, as in the case of atrophic specimens, to 100 for specimens that contain only superficial cells, reflecting a mature specimen . The vaginal maturation index is the calculated number of superficial, intermediate, and parabasal cells out of 100.
Don’t Miss: Perimenopause Frequent Periods
Ways To Relieve Menopausal Hot Flashes
If you’re approaching or in the midst of the “change of life,” or menopause, hot flashes are probably an unwelcome visitor. Hot flashes can include a feeling of intense heat, sweating, flushed cheeks, increased heart rate, and even tingling. These symptoms are often the bane of menopausal people everywhere.
Due to plummeting estrogen levels, about 75% of all menopausal people experience hot flashesa symptom that lasts for about two years, but some can experience it for longer. Hot flashes usually start before the final menstrual cycle, but the transition of menopause and its symptoms can start up to seven years prior to the cessation of bleeding.
Traditional hormone replacement therapy that includes estrogen and progesterone replacement provides effective relief from hot flashes associated with menopause. However, some people may not be able to use HRT, such as those recently treated for breast cancer. And others may be curious about trying lifestyle changes to keep them from constantly burning up.
Here are some nonhormonal suggestions for reducing the severity of your hot flashes.
Caffeine: Hot Flashes And Sleep Problems
Women experiencing symptoms of menopause may have trouble sleeping well along with hot flashes, says Harpaz. You might try to fight fatigue in the morning with a dose of caffeine, but this strategy can backfire. Caffeine can make you both moody and even more tired, since it interferes with sleep, especially if you drink it after noon. The other problem with caffeine is that we rarely drink it alone once you add sugar or cream, you are making the drink even less healthy. Try an herbal peppermint tea for a gentle pick-me-up on a menopause diet.
Recommended Reading: Does The Texture Of Hair Change With Menopause
May Help Protect Heart Health
Diets rich in legumes, including soy, may help lower your risk of heart disease .
It appears that soy isoflavones may help reduce inflammation in blood vessels and improve their elasticity two factors believed to protect the health of your heart .
A recent review further links soy-rich diets to a 20% and 16% lower risk of stroke and heart disease, respectively .
Additional research suggests that diets rich in soy foods may reduce your risk of dying from heart disease by up to 15% .
You May Like: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause
Impressive Benefits Of Soy Milk
The 5 Impressive health benefits of soymilk include lowering risk of cholesterol, cancer, and obesity. It helps in improving cardiovascular health and reducing the risk of many postmenopausal problems. High-quality protein and vitamin content of soymilk makes it a beneficial supplement for a plant-based diet.
Soybeans are a legume from which many food items are made for regular diet consumption. Soy products replace many meat dishes and are popular with those eating a vegetarian or vegan diet because of the high protein content. Soymilk and other soy products are traditional staples of Asian cuisine. Soymilk can also be used to make tofu which is a cheese substitute. Use of soymilk is said to have begun in China in A. D. 82. It is used extensively in other Asian countries such as Japan and Malaysia. Today, it is used all over the world and is easily available in various varieties across many countries.
Soymilk is extracted from the soybean. Many choose soymilk because of its versatility and ability to be used as a milk replacement in recipes. It is a good source of protein for those who are lactose intolerant. It is available in chocolate and vanilla flavors. In countries such as China and India, some people also drink salted soymilk.
With the cost-effectiveness of soy and its increasing popularity in diets around the world, research studies are beginning to look at the other health benefits of this natural plant product.
Health benefits of soymilk include the following:
Also Check: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause
What Do Soy Menopause And Okinawans Have In Common
Soy is a sensitive subject. Is it bad, is it good, is it both bad and good? In this post I try to make sense of soy and namely tofu. Ill tell you right off the bat my take on soy- it rocks my world! Organic, sprouted tofu provides a good source of protein and is incredibly satisfying to the palate. I make Szechuan marinated tofu probably once a week. When prepared correctly, tofu is slammin good.
But what about the media coverage? Can soy increase your risk of breast cancer, lead to Alzheimers or block your thyroid function? I was concerned when I first heard these reports. I have a client and dear friends who are breast cancer survivors. My friends father passed away at an early age from Alzheimers. I wanted to make sure that I had all the facts straight before recommending tofu or consuming it myself.
The general rule when it comes to soy:
- Eating processed soy/genetically modified soy/ soy protein isolate is generally NOT RECOMMENDED.
- Eating whole, real soy/organic, fermented soy in moderation is A HEALTHY CHOICE.
centenarian okinawans living longer and seemingly happier lives
If you need more convincing, the Okinawans, indigenous islanders from Japan, have a life expectancy among the highest in the world. For thousands of years, they have consumed whole, organic and fermented soy foods. Tofu is just one example of a fermented soy food. Others include miso, tempeh, soy milk and edamame.
soy for improving symptoms of menopause
Eggs Are A Good Thing
Shapiro is a big fan of eggs, which she considers a great source of vitamin D, as well as iron and B vitamins. “All the nutrients we need to feel energetic and keep our bones strong are packaged in one small shell!” When possible, opt for cage-free, organic eggs. Ideally, you’ll also be buying eggs from pastured hens raised locally.
You May Like: Does Ristela Cause Weight Gain
Raw Dairy Products Are Good To Go
“If you can get them raw, cheeses, milk, and yogurts are highly beneficial,” says Dr. Forman. “These quality dairy products, unlike their pasteurized cousins, are very digestible and promote healthy bacteria in the gut, which is essential for digestion. They also supply good amounts of calcium for bone health.”
Load Your Plate With Brain Food
Protect your mind in the later years with foods that fuel brain power! According to Somer, these include fatty fish rich in DHA and EPA , which show promise in improving memory and possibly lowering the risk of dementia. Two compounds in dark green leafy vegetables also show promise in protecting both vision and memory as we age. Finally, blueberries have been nicknamed “brain berries” because of the evidence linking them to improved brain function.
You May Like: Is Lightheadedness A Symptom Of Menopause
Soy Protein Content Of Foods
Soy contains the isoflavones genistein and diadzen that are not found in any other foods. These isoflavones have been scientifically proven to reduce blood cholesterol levels and slow down bone loss, thus preventing heart disease and osteoporosis. For some women, isoflavone intake also has reduced symptoms of menopause, specifically hot flashes.
May Lower Blood Pressure
Soybeans and foods made from them are generally rich in arginine, an amino acid believed to help regulate blood pressure levels .
Soybeans are also rich in isoflavones, another compound believed to offer blood-pressure-lowering benefits.
In one study, eating 1/2 cup of soy nuts daily was found to reduce diastolic blood pressure by around 8% in some, but not all women .
Other studies link daily intakes of 65153 mg of soy isoflavones to blood pressure reductions of 36 mm Hg in people with high blood pressure .
However, its unclear whether these small blood-pressure-lowering benefits apply to people with normal and elevated blood pressure levels.
Some studies suggest both may benefit, while others suggest only people with high blood pressure would experience this effect .
Clearly, more research is needed on this topic, but for the time being, the blood-pressure-lowering effects of soy, if any, appear to be very small.
Recommended Reading: What Causes Vaginal Odor After Menopause
Also Check: Menopause Light Headed
More Than Meats The Eye
Many soy studies are funded by industry groups a predicament that can make our understanding of phytoestrogens more murky. Though Rosenfeld has received grants from the National Institutes of Health to study S-equol and gut microbiota, she says its rare that strictly nutritional studies receive funding from large, unbiased scientific organizations.
When studies are funded by the industry say, a large company that sells soy products results may be cherry-picked to show only the benefits of the plant. On the other hand, if a competing industry decides to recruit researchers to look at soy, the results may be tailored to only mention its negative effects. The results might sway consumers to purchase a certain product leaving scientific research that can seem conflicting or limited.
That sentiment is echoed by Frank Sacks, a Harvard University professor who studies cardiovascular disease prevention. He studied the effects of soy on cholesterol and hormone levels under funding from the American Heart Association in 2006. In a previous interview, he noted that nutritional studies dont tend to be the ones singled out by big research grants.
Most of the research in the nutrition field is funded by industry, Sacks said. I dont agree that all industry-sponsored studies are bad but its just a trickier situation.
Should I Be Adding More Soya To My Diet
Now, I get asked this an awful lot. Women are emailing in saying, “Should I be adding more soya into my diet? I’ve read so much about it. Soya seems to be really good at helping with menopause symptoms. What should I do?” And we’re talking here about whole soya foods. So these would be things like soya milk, soya cheese, soya yoghurt, and your sort of textured vegetable protein packets that you can get to make up into your own dishes.
You May Like: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause
Soy Helps Menopausal Symptoms
There are a number of menopausal symptoms that soy alleviates directly. Several research studies report that the most common menopausal symptom that can be reduced using soy is hot flashes. Soy also offers protection against bone loss that is related to menopause. If this symptom is untreated, it eventually leads to osteoporosis. Soy also helps lower LDL cholesterol and increases the good or LDL cholesterol in the body by lowering blood fat concentrations.
Spicy Foods: Hot Flashes
Spicy food could make hot flashes worse or just make you less comfortable in general. When you are eating spicy food your core body temp goes up, and you start sweating. This is exactly what happens in hot flashes, says Harpaz. However, if you just love spicy food, you can still include it in your menopause diet in small servings just be aware of the effect it is having on your body.
Don’t Miss: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause
Soy Intake And The Breast Cancer Survivor
In athymic ovariectomized mice implanted with estrogen-sensitive breast cancer cells , dietary isoflavone exposure stimulates the growth of existing mammary tumors . This model is widely used by cancer researchers, but recently published data suggest that it may not be suitable for evaluating isoflavones because athymic mice metabolize these soybean constituents very differently than humans . Furthermore, not all studies using this model showed that isoflavones stimulate tumor growth . More importantly, the human evidence is supportive of the safety and potential benefit of soy food consumption by breast cancer patients.
Five studies have evaluated the effects of soy-derived isoflavones on breast cell proliferation, an intermediary marker of breast cancer risk generally thought to be more reflective of risk than mammographic density and reproductive hormone concentrations. The intervention periods ranged from 14 d to 1 y , and the daily isoflavone dose from 36 to 239 mg/d. All but one study used isoflavone supplements . Two studies involved postmenopausal women only , one mostly postmenopausal women , one premenopausal only , and one was equally divided between pre- and postmenopausal women . None of the studies found an increase in cell proliferation in response to isoflavones relative to the placebo. In contrast to the lack of effect of isoflavones, combined hormone therapy increases breast cell proliferation in postmenopausal women by 4- to 10-fold .