SOY: NOT A HEALTH FOOD!
Personally I never consume soy, nor do I recommend it. I believe it is a 'junk food' being sold as a 'healthy food' that is not fit for consumption especially by infants.
Many studies have linked modern processed soy to malnutrition, thyroid dysfunction, digestive problems, hormone imbalances and many other health concerns.
Did you know soy is one of the most common food allergies, along with cow's milk, peanuts, wheat and egg white?
So why is processed soy so bad?
Soy is high in phytic acid which prevents the absorption of many nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, zinc, iron, copper. Soaking or sprouting soy does not neutralise the phytic acid like it does with many other grains and legumes.
This can result in malabsorption in children leading to stunted growth. The consumption of soy milk will not prevent osteoporosis either as the phytic acid prevents the absorption and assimilation of calcium and vitamin D along with other nutrients needed for strong bones.
Soy is high in phytoestrogens, which are plant based estrogens that mimic the role of estrogen in the body.
High estrogen levels have been associated with pre menstrual tension, breast cancers, endometriosis, uterine fibroids and infertility, so why would you want to add more estrogen?
Some studies have shown a link between soy consumption and early onset puberty in young girls due to the extra estrogen load they are exposed to. For the boys the effect has been to delay sexual maturation and promote more feminine characteristics such as enlarged breasts.
Soy foods are not fit for infants to consume for reasons already stated above but also because soy contains trypsin inhibitors which prevent protein digestion.
Soy also lacks cholesterol which is needed for healthy infant brain and nervous system development.
Soy does not help post menopausal women either, as it can stimulate the growth of estrogen dependent tumours and suppresses the thyroid, which will often aggravate any hormone imbalance.
We should however, differentiate between the dangers of modern processed soy and traditional fermented soy products consumed by Asian cultures.
Asian cultures only consume small amounts of these fermented soy foods such as; tempeh, miso, natto and soy sauce unlike western cultures who drink processed soy milk by the gallon and have soy flour & soy oil in almost every processed food.
The fermented soy foods of traditional cultures were often consumed in nutrient rich broths or with egg yolks as they were aware of the anti-nutrient effects of soy.
Soy is found in most processed foods in the form of soy flour, soy oil, soy protein or soy protein isolate, textured vegetable protein (TVP).
If you would like to know more about the dangers of soy then read "The Whole Soy Story" by Dr Kaayla Daniel.