Top 10 Benefits of Soy
- Antioxidant - Soy foods contain antioxidants - compounds that protect cells from damage caused by unstable oxygen molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are believed to be responsible for initiating many forms of cancer as well as premature aging. Also, oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol is believed to promote the formation of plaque.
- Breast Cancer - A major study in Singapore revealed that women who eat soy foods are at lower risk of developing breast cancer than those who don't. On the whole, Asian women, who typically eat a soy-based diet, have much lower levels of breast cancer than Western women.
- Cholesterol Lowering - Scores of studies from around the world attest to soy's cholesterol-lowering properties, especially for people with high cholesterol levels.
- Colon Cancer - A recent U.S. study showed that Americans who made soybeans and tofu a regular part of their diet had significantly lower rates of colon cancer tha those who didn't eat soy.
- Hip Fractures - Hip fractures from osteoporosis are a major problem among elderly women in the U.S. Japanese women have half the rate of hip fractures as U.S. women. Preliminary studies suggest that soy may help retain bone mas
- Hot Flashes - Half of all menopausal women in the U.S. complain of hot flashes - a problem so rare in Japan that there's not even a word for it. Some researchers believe that special compounds in soy called phytoestrogens may help.
- Immunity - Studies show that soybean peptides (chains of amino acids) can boost the immune system, helping the body's fight against disease.
- Kidney Disease - Soy protein is easier on the kidneys, the main filtering organ of the body, than is animal protein and may slow down or prevent kidney damage in people with impaired kidney function.
- Lung Cancer - Studies have linked soy consumption to lower rates of lung cancer.
- Prostate Cancer - A major study of Japanese men in Hawaii found a direct correlation between consumption of tofu and lower rates of prostate cancer. Studies of soy compounds show they can inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells in laboratory cultures.
Source: Mindell, Earl R. Ph. Ph.D; Earl Mindell's Soy Miracle, New York, Simon & Schuster, 1995.