Soy – it’s one of those ‘superfoods’ right? It provides a great source of vegetarian protein and a wide range of nutrients…
Unfortunately this is not true for the soy we eat today. Once upon a time, traditional cultures would eat small amounts of highly fermented soy – and when we say highly fermented, we mean fermented for at least 6 months. Today, our soy is barely processed, let alone fermented.
Here are 3 reasons why soy should be avoided (especially by those of us who suffer from an autoimmune disease):
- Trypsin Inhibitors
Ironically, soy can inhibit the absorption of protein. Trypsin is an enzyme that assists the assimilation of protein. However soy contains Trypsin Inhibitors which interfere with this process.
- Phytic Acid
Soy products contain extremely high levels of phytic acid. Phytic acid interferes with our body’s ability to absorb and use nutrients such as Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Copper, Calcium, Zinc, Magnesium and Iron. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies, thyroid damage and heavy metal toxicity.
Soy contains phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens work by mimicking our estrogen and throwing off our body’s normal hormone regulation process. These are the hormones we can blame for fat gain, decreased libido, PMS, and hormone imbalances (which can result in a myriad of health problems including fertility issues in both men and women).
In fact, we should be seriously concerned about the amount of soy in our children’s diets. According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, “babies fed on soy formula receive the estrogenic equivalent of at least 5 birth control pills per day”.
I was actually fed on soy formula and grew up on soy milk, which I believe may play a part in the hormone and fertility issues I suffer from today (but mum, I’m not blaming you – you did the absolute best you could in such a tough and difficult situation!!!).
Unfortunately, soy is highly resistant to sprouting, fermentation and soaking which means a lot of the soy we see in our shops is processed. When soy is processed it can form neurotoxins such as MSG, as well as developing high levels of aluminium, which can lead to a number of other health problems.
One thing we can say about soy is that the food industry have been very clever in their marketing of soy products, making us believe it is a superfood! If you are going to have soy, ensure it is fermented, and only in limited quantities.