What about soy, is it useful, or harmful?

We conflicting information all the time. Things like:
– Soy will give you breast cancer
– Soy will block your thyroid function
– Soy formula is dangerous for babies

At the same time you hear:
– Soy is helpful for menopause
– Soy is a great source of plant based protein

As with many things in functional medicine the devil is in the detail and the answer is “it depends.” First we must consider who the person is, and what they are trying to do. Are you trying to treat symptoms of menopause? How much do you eat, and in what forms? Here is a great article that breaks it down in a common sense sort of way.

My recommendation is to do anything and everything in moderation, but always eat clean and unprocessed foods. Soy is a food crop that is highly genetically modified and heavily sprayed with pesticides. These are things you do not want, ever. If you choose to eat soy, do so in whole organic and fermented forms. This includes miso, tempeh, tofu, and edamame. Go ahead and skip the protein powders made with soy protein isolate, soy supplements or soy junk foods like cheeses, ice cream, or the new “meat like” food.

Just remember that soy is one of the top 8 most allergenic foods, so a trial of no soy might be helpful if you are having digestion issues or trying to eliminate things that might be adding to inflammation. Remember in last weeks post we mentioned all the names that soy can have on a food label? It can be hidden in many foods and you may not be aware. If you need help narrowing down food intolerances, I use a simple at home finger prick test that looks for immune responses to common foods. It’s a great place to start in any functional medicine approach.

Do you eat soy, and what forms do you enjoy?