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Is soy good for you or not?
How clever marketing brought soy to consumers
Falling for the soy-ploy
The soybean is relatively new to the American diet. Soy was first introduced into the US around 1900 and was used to manufacture industrial products like ink, oil and plastics. Soy was deemed to be unfit for human consumption and not even considered to be a food product.
After WWII in the 1940s, the farming of soybeans in the US rocketed to 140 billion pounds a year. Push the fast-forward button forward another 6 decades and soy products become ubiquitous in human food and animal feed. Today, over 90% of soy crops are genetically modified organisms that are found everywhere.
Numerous studies prove that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) increase allergies, increases resistance to antibiotics, lower thyroid function, cause organ swelling (particularly the pancreas) and even cause cancer. Then there is aluminum and toxic chemicals that food manufacturers use to process soy that toxify our bodies.
Soy choices: fermented or not
The history of the ubiquitous soybean begins in China. But the Chinese did not eat unfermented soybean products because they recognized them as quite toxic. In fact the early uses of soybeans in China were for the nitrogen rich root systems that worked to rebuild soil with crop rotation - not for eating.
Unfermented soybeans contain large quantities of potent enzyme inhibitors, which block the action of trypsin and other enzymes humans and animals both need to digest protein. You do find some amounts of the same inhibitors in all seeds, grains and legumes, but in soybeans, these inhibitors are highly resistant to traditional cooking and preparation methods. These anti-nutrients in soybeans can cause serious gastric distress, reduced protein digestion and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake.
In a very large study by Ralston Purina alongside many other animal studies, diets high in trypsin inhibitors cause enlargement, pathological conditions and cancer of the pancreas.
Unfermented soybeans also contain goitrogen substances that suppress thyroid function along with hemoglutinen, a clot-promoting substance that causes red blood cells to clump together. Both trypsin inhibitors and hemoglutinen are growth depressant substances. All of these products are neutralized in the fermentation process.
Most soybean products that counterfeit traditional food items like baby formulas, some soy milks and fake meats are made with soy protein that is isolated from the carbohydrate and fatty acid components that naturally occur in the soy bean. To produce soy isolate, soybeans are ground up, cooked to a high temperature, rinsed in chemical solvent, mixed with a caustic solution, acid washed, doused with another caustic alkaline solution and spray-dried at high temperatures to make a high protein powder soy-isolate.
In rat studies, feeding soy protein isolate with even low levels of trypsin inhibitors resulted in reduced weight gain and stunted growth compared to controls.
Fermented foods have proven benefits
Fermentation uses yeasts or bacteria microorganisms for the conversion of carbohydrates to alcohols and carbon dioxide or organic acids under anaerobic conditions. Fermentation is more simply, the conversion of sugars into ethanol. Fermentation is used to leaven bread and also in preservation and pickling techniques to make acetic acid in foods with vinegar or lactic acid in sour foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and yogurt.
In Eastern cultures, people have been enjoying fermented soy for thousands of years. Fermented foods around the world include atchara, balao-balao, kefir, kimchi, kumis, lutefisk, magou, natto, nham, shubat, soy sauce and tamari among many other foods. In Western culture, the most common fermented foods are limited to pickles, sauerkraut, sourdough bread and yogurt along with the less-popular tempeh and kombucha tea.
Many fermented foods have been extensively studied and research shows that fermented foods improve digestion, bolster immunity, and increase overall health. A study of more than 3,000 people demonstrated that those who consume yogurt regularly suffer far fewer colds. Studies show that kimchi has proven medicinal, antimicrobial, and anti-aging properties. Chickens infected with avian flu recover when fed a kimchi extract. Natto iswell-studied for health benefits that range from reduced bone loss to lower cholesterol, improved heart health and reduced high blood pressure.
Fermented foods pack powerful probiotics
Research shows that fermented foods help bring balance of intestinal flora to improve intestinal health and digestion. Probiotics delivered from fermented foods protect against colon cancer, relieve, lactose intolerance, reduce rotavirus diarrhea, reduces cavities, helps prevent re-occurrences of inflammatory bowel disease, adds in B vitamins and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids all the while protecting the body from pathogenic microorganisms.
Precocious puberty and other estrogen-driven problems of soybeans
Soy contains phytoestrogen which mimics true estrogen. In infant soy formula, the phytoestrogens consumed by the baby are equal to 4 birth controls every day. With so much soy in a child’s diet, early-onset puberty has rocketed the past few decades. Estrogen overload also drives breast cancer, infertility, decreased sexual libido and uterine fibroids.
The soy ploy exposed
Advertising trickery has turned soybean products into a multi-billion dollar industry. A Mayo clinic study summed up soy benefits: </i>Out of 34 supposed “benefits” of soy products, only 3 could be proven: Soy is a valid source of protein, lowers cholesterol, and suppresses diarrhea in infants who are intolerant to regular formula.</i>
Although soybeans can provide a few positive benefits, unless it is fermented, soybean products not only lack the health benefits advertised, but are generally very bad for you. Americans bought the hype, bought the goods, ate the products, and now we are paying for it in both our and our children’s health.
Don’t be a sheople. Nourish your body with only GMO-free, fermented soy products.
Sources for this article
The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food, by Kaayla Daniel PHD, 2005
Authored by cancer nutritionist Craig Stellpflug NDC, CNC
Dayspring Cancer Clinic Scottsdale, AZ
Copyright 2012 Craig Stellpflug© Permission is hereby granted to copy and distribute this article but only in its entirety
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