Facts you should know about soy, especially when you are pregnant.
There is a lot of controversy out there about soy. Some praise it for its high nutritional value, others call it inedible. The reason for some people to call it inedible is a certain toxic anti-nutrient in soy, that is extremely hard to digest. As a result of this, many health conditions arise.
Well, it wouldn’t be fair to not also value the extraordinary properties of soy.
So, let me tell you a bit about this plant, that was already mentioned thousands of years ago in ancient China.
In nature many plants protect themselves from being eaten by creating some toxins. This way the plant keeps insects and animals away that would otherwise eat it. Beans in general are very high in these anti-nutrients. This is the explanation why most of us get gas and bloating after eating beans. Our body has difficulties to properly digest this food.
In most beans the anti-nutrients get broken down when you cook them. But not in soy.
The trouble is that these anti-nutrients bind to minerals like zinc, calcium, magnesium, iron and copper and take them out of the body. This leads to mineral deficiencies.
At the same time it has been proven, that soy proteins can be successfully used to treat mild and moderate protein deficiencies. You see how controversial it gets? But I come to this later.
Another great point is that soy blocks the uptake of iodine in the thyroids. This kicks up thyroid stimulating hormones and thereby boosts the thyroid’s functioning.
On the other hand, a good reason to avoid soy – especially during pregnancy!!! – is the so called isoflavones in soy.
First of all, these molecules suppress the thyroid functions in many people. But not only this. Also liver functions, reproductive hormones and fertility can get disturbed by these isoflavones (Genestein and Diadzen).
What is really crazy about the isoflavones is that they can cause an imbalance in the estrogens, especially in embryos.
This means that if you eat soy during pregnancy it has an influence on an area in the brain of the embryo, which is connected to the sense of sexuality. Later during Life, the child may experience confusion in questions of gender and sexuality.
This might be the reason why there are so many trans-gender people in south-east Asia, as soy is a daily food product in many of those countries.
One more very bad point about our soy is, that there is probably no soy available in Europe or the US, South-America, Canada or Australia which is not contaminated with loads of agricultural chemicals (especially Monsantos Roundup, a highly carcinogen herbicide, is needed to grow soy industrially).
Soy is (together with corn) Monsantos (now called Bayer) favorite crop. Our modern soy is far away from being natural. The plants are genetically manipulated to produce more, quicker and cheaper. Without all these chemicals, this plant would not grow in nature.
One example of gen-manipulation:
Monsanto has crossed a golden variety of corn with a fish that can create toxins. Now more than 90% of the world’s corn is basically a breed between fish and corn. This corn creates the toxins of the fish and therby protects itself from being eaten by insects. You receive a shiny golden corn on the cob, nearly untouched by nature.
Monsanto did the same thing with all fruits and vegetables and everything that lands on peoples plates. From A for like apple to Z for zucchini: There probably isn’t any crop anymore that Monsanto didn’t genetically manipulate.
And as I said: Especially our corn and soy has been changed so far away from its natural state in order to be mass produced. You find soy in nearly every product that is out there. Really, it is hard to find any processed food that doesn’t contain soy.
It has many names (Glycine max, Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), Mono-diglyceride or Monosodium glutamate (MSG)) and often the etiquette is simply lying by saying „May contain traces of soy“. This product is probably full of soy.
What does Ayurveda say?
Most Ayurvedic doctors and practitioners won’t recommend soy. In fact, some don’t even consider it being food. The fact that the soy proteins are very hard to digest is probably why it was never part of the traditional Ayurvedic diet. Digestion plays a main role in Ayurveda.
Soy is more of a nut than a bean, so it is Vata (air and space element) pacifying.
But because of the fact that it is very hard to digest and has very stimulating (rajasic) qualities for the body and is heavy and dulling to the mind, it wasn’t used in Ayurveda. As I said, still nowadays it is not very popular among Ayurvedic doctors and practitioners.
The ancient Chinese found out that you can ferment soy and get rid of the anti-nutrients this way
They were not eating unfermented soy, but some fermented products of it. For example miso, traditionally brewed soy sauce, tempeh or natto.
Over the last 20 years especially natto has been used in the west for cardiovascular and circulatory support, as it is extremely high in vitamin K2 and an enzyme called nattokinase. Nattokinase prevents clot formations in our blood and is therefore very useful to prevent blockages in the arteries of the heart and brain.
I generally don’t recommend eating soy or soy products, especially in Europe, the US, Australia or Canada. No matter if soy milk, soy pills or whatever. Soy and soy products have become a massive industry. Not only can industrial soy harm our health, but also destroy the environment.
It is very sad to see a soy field in the middle of the rain-forrest. Everything has been cut down and all herbs have been killed with Monsanto’s/Bayer’s roundup. A huge piece of dead land. Like a dessert. And in-between the little soy plants. This genetic modified crops would have no chance to compete with natural, local plants. So all nature around is being destroyed.
In Asia you can still find non-GMO soy in some places. The taste is much stronger and more alive. In Western countries you should go for an alternative.
Soy is more useful as a medicine than a food that you eat regularly.
In some cases the intelligent consumption of soy can be beneficial for certain conditions. For example the case that I mentioned before:
Soy can help you balancing a mild protein insufficiency, but on the long run it will cause a mineral insufficiency and a lot of other problems.
Feel free to share your experiences or thoughts.