Soybeans and soy products contain high-quality protein and are filled with many essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. The amount of soy-based foods we eat is a controversial topic when it comes to breast cancer, hormones in men, thyroid function, and pediatric growth and development. Check out the facts:
- Soy and breast cancer: Isoflavones are plant compounds in soy that have a similar structure to the human hormone estrogen, but are much weaker and do not act like estrogen in our bodies. They actually have antiestrogen, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties and may help to reduce cancer growth.
- Soy and hormones in men: Soy does not have a feminizing effect. It does not affect sperm/semen, decrease testosterone levels, increase estrogen, or cause increased breast tissue growth.
- Soy and thyroid function: Adults with hypothyroidism can eat soy foods without any harmful effects. When using synthetic thyroid medicine, it is important to eat all foods, including soy-based foods, at least 3 hours before or 1 hour after taking the medicine for it to work best.
- Soy-based infant formula and pediatric growth and reproductive development: There is no convincing research that shows that healthy infants fed soy-based formula are at greater risk for harmful effects than those fed cow’s milk-based formula.
Types of soy protein and soy-based foods to enjoy:
- Soy fiber
- Soy nut butter
- Textured soy protein
- Soy protein powders
- Whole soybeans
- Soy flour
How to Make Sweet & Spicy Tofu Burgers
(Makes 4 burgers)
- 1 pound extra firm tofu, drained
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 whole wheat buns
- Cut tofu into 4 pieces
- Combine oil, soy sauce, sriracha, lime juice, honey, and black pepper.
- Marinate tofu in the mixture and leave in fridge for 30 minutes.
- Place tofu on nonstick skillet or on grill over medium high heat for 10 minutes. Turn and cook until evenly browned.
- Serve on buns with desired toppings.
Recipe adapted from “The Joy of Soy”