By Nancy Addison CHC, AADP
Many people eat and drink soy and soy products. I’m asked questions about soy frequently, so I thought I would address this food.
Soy has many negative effects on health because it is difficult to digest, affects your hormones, and is closely linked to GMOs, pesticides, and harmful processing chemicals.
Soy protein is a complete protein but can be very hard to digest. The Chinese did not eat unfermented soybeans, because they contain quantities of natural toxins or “anti-nutrients” and are high in phytic acid. This means ingesting unfermented soy can prevent the body from absorbing other nutrients like calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, and particularly protein.
In China, soy was not used as a food until fermentation techniques were discovered in the Zhou Dynasty (1046–256 BC). When soy is fermented—as in miso, tempeh, or soy sauce—the soy nutrients are more digestible and easier to absorb.
Soy has been linked to gastric distress and pancreatic problems, including cancer, and it can impair our body’s uptake of amino acids.(1) It also contains goitrogens, which are known to suppress the functioning of the thyroid.(2)
Most soy on the market today is from genetically modified (GM) seed. 91 percent of soybeans planted in the United States are GM, and the rate is rapidly growing throughout the world, according to Natural News newsletter.(3)
Dr. Gregory Damato points out that “more than 95 percent of GM soy (and 75 percent of other GM crops) is engineered to tolerate glyphosate herbicide, the most common formulation of which is Roundup. (4)
Recent studies by French scientists on the Toxicity of Roundup and Glyphosate found this herbicide carcinogenic.(5)
They found it:
1. Causes cell cycle dysregulation, which is a hallmark of tumor cells and human cancers.
2. Inhibits DNA synthesis in certain parts of the cell cycle— the cells’ reproductive process, which underlies the growth and development of all living organisms.
3. Impedes the hatchings of sea urchins. (Sea urchins were used because they constitute an appropriate model for the identification of undesirable cellular and molecular targets of pollutants.) The delay was found to be dose dependent on the concentration of Roundup. The surfactant polyoxyethylene amine (POEA), another major component of Roundup, was also found to be highly toxic to the embryos when tested alone, and could therefore be a contributing factor.(6)
These reasons are some reasons why I don’t eat soy if I can avoid it, or any other genetically modified food or non-organically grown food.
I recommend reading more about glyphosate herbicide if you are eating non-certified organic foods.
Be aware that soy is added to tortillas, breads, fake meats, and many other foods, supposedly for the “health” benefit. In my opinion, it is really used as cheap filler.
Health and nutrition expert Dr. Joseph Mercola writes that the advertising industry has misled the public about the safety and health benefits of soy, as well as the widespread use of it in the Asian diet. He states, “A study of the history of soy use in Asia shows that the poor used it during times of extreme food shortage, and only when the soybeans were carefully prepared (e.g. by lengthy fermentation) to destroy the soy toxins.”(7)
He goes on to say that, contrary to some reports in the West, it is not the usual practice in Asian countries to feed soy milk to infants.(8)
Be aware of this when you read food labels that refer to soy’s health benefits, even those that display an FDA statement that soy can help lower the risk of heart disease.
In 2000, two FDA employees, Daniel Doerge and Daniel Sheehan, were so worried about the danger of soy that they wrote a controversial letter to their employer, protesting the positive health claims for soy that the FDA was approving at the time.
There is abundant evidence that some of the isoflavones found in soy—including genistein and equol, a metabolite of daidzen—demonstrate toxicity in estrogen sensitive tissues and in the thyroid. This is true for a number of species, including humans.
Additionally, isoflavones are inhibitors of the thyroid peroxidase which makes T3 and T4.
Inhibition can be expected to generate thyroid abnormalities, including goiter and autoimmune thyroiditis. There exists a significant body of animal data that demonstrates goitrogenic and even carcinogenic effects of soy products.
Moreover, there are significant reports of goitrogenic effects from soy consumption in human infants.(9)
Think carefully about the effects that soy can have on the thyroid (our master gland which affects almost all aspects of our health) and estrogen. Many doctors and nutritionists are soy proponents. Be careful and research this yourself if you are concerned.
A billion-dollar industry advertises soy as the answer to many health issues, from heart disease to weight problems. Soy is frequently touted as the answer to women’s menopause hormone imbalances. This is one of the reasons why so many doctors and older women were happy to embrace it.
Soy and soy-based products contain isoflavones or phytoestrogens, which are plant-based estrogens. Soy is not the only food that contains phytoestrogens. There are other less controversial and more digestible foods with phytoestrogens you can include in your diet.
For men, eating soy isoflavones can significantly reduce testicular function and lower luteinizing hormone (LH) production, which is what signals the testicles to work. A high soy intake which potentially lowers level of LH increases the probability of estrogen dominance in men, contributing to hair loss, swollen and cancerous prostates, and insulin resistance.
Dr. Doris Rapp, MD, a leading pediatric allergist, asserts that environmental and food estrogens are responsible for the worldwide reduction in male fertility.(10)
Soy consumption has been linked with cancer in adults, notably breast cancer, as I read in an article by Jim Rutz. He went on to say:
That’s why the governments of Israel, the UK, France, and New Zealand are already cracking down hard on soy… In sad contrast, 60 percent of the refined foods in US supermarkets now contain soy. Worse, soy use may double in the next few years because (last I heard) the out-of-touch medicrats in the FDA hierarchy are considering allowing manufacturers of cereal, energy bars, fake milk, fake yogurt, etc., to claim that “soy prevents cancer.”
It doesn’t…P.S.: Soy sauce is fine. Unlike soy milk, it’s perfectly safe because it’s fermented, which changes its molecular structure. Miso, natto, and tempeh are also okay, but avoid tofu.(11)
Soy can create allergic reactions. In 1986, Dr. Stuart Berger, MD, placed soy among the top seven allergens, one of the “sinister seven.”
Finally, completely avoid soy protein isolate. It is a byproduct of soybean oil processing that is found in a huge number of vegan foods. A standard soybean contains 40 percent protein, while soy protein isolate is usually about 95 percent protein. But it poses serious health risks.
The processing of soy protein isolate is done mostly in aluminum tanks that leach high levels of aluminum into the product. Then MSG, flavorings, preservatives, sweeteners, and synthetic chemicals are frequently added to help get rid of the “beany” taste and add more “meaty” flavor. In animal experiments, the test animals fed soy isolate developed enlarged organs, particularly the thyroid and the pancreas.
After the soybeans—which are mostly GMO varieties—are crushed to extract the oil, the leftover soy “chunks” (which still contain fiber, water, some fat, and other carbohydrates) then undergo another extraction process that involves hexane—a neurotoxin that is also a substantial component in gasoline.
The next step involves soaking these chunks in a chemical mixture (which commonly contains ammonia and hydrochloric acid) to help concentrate protein levels and achieve a sponge-like texture. Finally, the mixture is spray-dried.(12)
Soy protein isolate can only be made in factories. Healthy, whole foods should be possible to make in a kitchen. You can grind your own almond flour at home from almonds. You can make your own seitan (wheat meat) at home. You can make your own rice milk or hemp milk at home with a blender and some whole-food ingredients.
The only way to make soy protein isolate is by using extremely flammable and hazardous chemicals, like hexane, and extreme temperatures that you could not possibly obtain in a kitchen setting.
Hexane is not used in the production of organic soy protein isolate. For a list of which protein bars and soy burgers are made using hexane-extracted soy protein isolates and which aren’t, go to: www.cornucopia.org/hexane-guides/hexane_guide_bars.html.
As I researched soy, I came to seriously reconsider its use. I avoid it in most forms, but I do, however, use organic, non-GMO fermented soy sauce. I also use organic miso and tempeh occasionally. There are alternative organic misos now that are made with brown rice, garbanzo beans, and barley—and they taste terrific. I buy these instead of the soy variety.
In conclusion, I do not recommend soy or soy protein for a healing diet.
If you are going to buy soy, purchase certified organic, sprouted, non-GMO soy because it won’t be from genetically modified seeds. If you must buy soy, purchase sprouted and/or fermented, non-GMO, certified organic soy for a more digestible and less harmful soy protein, and avoid soy protein isolates.
1. Damato, Gregory. (2009, May 27). “GM-Soy: Destroy the Earth and Humans for Profit.” Natural News. http://www.naturalnews.com/026334_soy_Roundup_GMO.htm l#ixzz1RzIZAWwh
2. Fallon, Sally, & Enig, Mary G. (2000, April–May). “Newest Research on Why You Should Avoid Soy.” Nexus, 7(3). http://www.eregimens.com/therapies/Diet/Soy/NewestResearc honwhyYouShouldAvoidSoy.htm
3. Damato, Gregory. (2009, May 27). “GM-Soy: Destroy the Earth and Humans for Profit” Natural News. http://www.naturalnews.com/026334_soy_research_Roundup.h tml
5. Mercola, Joseph. (2012, June 9). “New Evidence Against These Cancer-causing Foods – and the Massive Cover-up Effort.” http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/06/09/mons anto-roundup-found-to-be-carcinogenic.aspx
6. Bellé, R., et. al. (May 9, 2012). Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B: Critical Reviews, 15(4): 233-237. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10937404.2012.67 2149
7. Mercola, Joseph. (2009, January 9). “Learn the Truth About Soy. Just How Much Soy Do Asians Eat?” http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2000/01/09/truth-about-soy.aspx
9. Sheegan, Daniel M., & Doerge, Daniel R. (1999, February 18).Letter to Dockets Management Branch (HFA-305). The letter was posted on ABCnews.com as “Scientists Protest Soy Approval.”
10. Bellatti, Andy. “You Ask, I Answer: Soy Protein Isolate.” Medpedia. Belatti is a commenter on the original article by Kelsey Lepp. http://smallbites.andybellatti.com/you-ask-i- answer-soy-protein-isolate/
11. Rutz, Jim. (2006, December 12). “Soy is Making Kids ‘Gay’.” WND Commentary. http://www.wnd.com/2006/12/39353/
12. Cousens, Gabriel. (2008). There Is a Cure for Diabetes. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.
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In a world faced with uncertainties, we crave our holiday traditions now more than ever. We want to embrace what is familiar.
What is comforting is a table filled with family, friends, laughter, and food from recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation.
I was in charge of the stuffing and Waldorf Salad this year. My mother gave me the stuffing recipe that she has used since her mother taught her to make it. Now I am taking up the tradition, and I will pass it on to my children. These recipes and traditions can be such a stabilizing part of our lives.
My mother recently moved, and it has not been the same this year. She said that she wasn’t going to decorate for Christmas this season, because it is so much trouble getting all the ornaments out, and then putting them away after the holidays.
It would have been so hard to imagine going to my mother’s home on Christmas morning without the Christmas tree and the festive decorations that she so lovingly put out every year of my life.
I suggested that we just change a few things this year and still make it work, and the traditions will grow and change with the times, and my mother agreed.
When my daughter asked my mother about the traditions we always had every year, she said that many years ago, she just decided that we were going to have some traditions, and she simply made them up as she went along.
After all these years of my mothers’ wonderful traditions, these are what her children and grandchildren now embrace and cherish so very much.
One of these traditions that my mother started years ago was to have a “Family Wassail Party” the weekend after Thanksgiving. The entire family goes over to my mother’s house, and drinks wassail (a hot mulled cider), eats, talks and helps decorate the tree.
There is a rule that you must put at least 10 ornaments on the tree before you can leave. This creates such fun and merriment, as everyone is part of the overall creation.
The tallest members of the family put the ornaments way up high, and the smaller ones decorate the lower hard-to-reach part of the tree.
The laughter and sharing of the evening together is a time when we all get to relax and just catch up with each others’ lives, since we are all running at lightning speed these days.
My family is very large, and even though most of us live in the same city, we don’t get to see each other all that often. It is the eye-to-eye contact, sharing and communication that truly bond us together.
These traditional events reconnect us and bring us closer together as a family.
I am going to make my grandmother’s recipe (that was handed down to my mother, and now to me), with loving care. I know that the energy and love that I will put into the making of this dish will be what makes it so good.
All the foods your grandmother made had her loving energy in it. The main ingredient was always love. That is why that familiar traditional food tastes so much better. That is also why we crave it when we are sad or lonely.
So as we continue our traditions, remember that we can create comforting, wonderful memories for our families and friends by just relaxing, and putting a lot of love into everything we do. It is the warm feelings in the traditions that we will always cherish.
It truly is about being present, and being here, right now. Slow down and savor the moment. It is food for our soul.
Eating a well balanced diet is always a good choice for new moms. But many new moms wonder how breastfeeding will affect their child and their diet. You probably don’t need to make any major changes to what you eat or drink when you’re nursing, though there are a few important considerations to keep in mind, like avoiding alcohol, pharmaceutical drugs of any kind and avoiding caffeine are some of the most important. Also, it’s important to minimize your exposure to contaminants in your food, body care products (they go directly into your blood stream through your skin, without being filtered) or environment, while you’re nursing. Pesticides, insecticides, and other chemicals that you ingest or put on your body will get into your breast milk.
You want to be aware that your body also draws on its reserves, when you don’t get the nutrients you need from your diet and that can eventually make you become depleted. That is not good, because you need strength and stamina to handle the physical demands of caring for your new baby. So a high nutrient rich diet is recommended.
Some of the best snacks are simply fresh fruits and vegetables cut up into bite sized pieces. I frequently take raw, freshly washed green beans or raw okra and rub or sprinkle unrefined sea salt on them. They make a great snack! Green beans have an insulin-type of effect on the body, so they make particularly good snacks for anyone who has to regulate their blood sugar.
Place about a half of a cup in small snack containers or zip lock baggies. That way, you can then grab them quickly throughout the week for quick snacks. They taste delicious.
Hummus is a high fiber food that is easy and inexpensive to make or buy. I make mine with a variety of beans. Hummus goes well with whole grain, gluten-free crackers, chips, cut up veggies (example: red bell pepper or sliced cucumber), pita chips, etc. I use it as my sandwich spread for many things. It is a delicious high protein staple to keep around for emergency snacks or meals.
Be careful to avoid artificial ingredients and additives like dyes, sweeteners, flavorings, growth hormones and antibiotics (given to animals) and toxins from the ocean or environment (as in fish). They can be toxic to you and your child. I expand on this and how it can affect your child’s brain health as well as their behavior and physical growth in my healthy cookbook, “Raising Healthy Children.”
Raisins and dates (pitted) are both a good source of carbohydrates for energy.
Dates are an excellent source of potassium, sulphur, iron, and magnesium.. Raisins are also rich in B vitamins, iron, and potassium. This might seem surprising, but compounds found in raisins fight bacteria in the mouth that cause cavities and gum disease.
Also, nutrient dense smoothies with the proper amount of healthy fats, super foods, protein, etc. are an easy way to get intense nutrition in an easy effective way.
I have many great recipes in my healthy, award winning cookbook: “Raising Healthy Children.”
If you are concerned about pesticides or the high cost of organically grown food, you can check the list created by the Environmental Working Group, and their list of the worst foods tested for highest for pesticides, They call them the dirty dozen. They list them from worst to least. Some of them listed as the most toxic are: strawberries apples, celery, peaches, spinach, imported nectarines and grapes, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce, and kale and collard greens.
The clean fifteen list of fruits and vegetables that had the lowest amount of pesticide residue were onions, sweet corn, pineapples, avocados, asparagus, sweet peas, mangoes, eggplant, cantaloupe, kiwi, cabbage, watermelon, sweet potatoes, grapefruit, and mushrooms.
If you are concerned about losing some of the weight you had gain from pregnancy, you might plan to take up to a year to get back to your pre-pregnancy/normal weight.
Some new moms find the weight just seems to fall off, while others don’t lose much. This will all depend your food choices, your activity level, your metabolism and on your own body,
I suggest avoiding any kind of weight loss plan for a couple of months after your child is born. A low calorie diet can drain your energy and limit your milk supply. Also, always stay hydrated. This is critically important for your and your child’s health and well-being.
When you combine healthy eating with moderate exercise, this can be a safe and effective way of losing weight and getting back into shape.
Enjoy this time with your child, it goes very quickly and it’s one of the most important parts of your child’s life. So, relax, enjoy and find peaceful moments in your time together.
For more information go to: www.organichealthylife.com
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