After hearing an item on the nightly news about the benefits of a diet rich in soy, I decided to find out more about this "wonder" food. It turns out that what makes soy so unique is that, unlike most plants, it contains high amounts of protein, fiber, and a variety of other nutrients and compounds that are extremely beneficial to one's health.
A study conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that eating soy protein on a regular basis can cut the risk of heart disease by as much as 30% as well as reduce the danger of both heart attacks and strokes by reducing "bad" cholesterol, and raising the level of "good" cholesterol.
Soy isoflavones, with their many similarities to the estrogen hormone, have been found to ward off certain types of cancer. Soy can also cut the risk of osteoporosis and ease the symptoms of menopause.
There are many ways to incorporate soy into your diet. Soy milk, soy flour, and soy protein powder all can be substituted or spliced into cooking recipes for an interesting twist. Tofu, dried soybeans, and tempeh are also other favorite ways of adding soy to your repertoire. With all of the new evidence about a diet rich in soy, it is no longer just a vegetarian option, but an important component of nutrition in general. tf
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.