Have you ever heard someone saying that ‘Don’t eat soya, it increases estrogen levels’? A lot of men have this misconception that soya and its products would increase the female hormone(estrogen) level in their body and may give them man boobs. Well, there are mixed opinions on the same. Some believe this is true while some refute this theory. To find the truth, Onlymyhealth spoke to Dietitian Dr. Swati Bathwal and she explained why soya isn’t that bad.
Does Soya Contain Estrogen?
Soy does contain estrogen but that is plant-based estrogen which works differently in a human body. Unlike animal estrogen which causes harm to the health and body, plant-based estrogen poses no negative effects. However, there is a catch. Dr. Swati Bathwal explains that organic or natural soy products are absolutely fine to consume with no relation to hormonal levels.
Any soy-derived product contains a compound called ‘Isoflavones’ or ‘phytoestrogens’.
- Phyto- plants
- Estrogen- the female hormone
This is where the myth comes from. While men believe that soya consumption would scale up female hormones in their body, women, on the other hand, believe that this would complicate their hormonal system.
It is controversial
There are mixed opinions of nutritionists around the world about soy and its association with estrogen levels. Ideally, organic soy is good while processed or genetically modified soy is not good for health. The soy products such as soya chaap or soy milk, that are most consumed forms of soy are processed and they may pose some risk on one’s health. This was derived after it was found that in some countries where people eat an organic form of soya, no effect on hormones was seen.
Overconsumption, in some cases, may even cause impotency in a lot of men. This is why men must watch out their soy consumption. The best source of soy protein are soybeans which are completely organic. If you can, prepare soy milk with soybeans. This would eliminate the health risks associated with genetically modified soy.
Soy and Breast cancer
Dr. Bathwal also tells that there are theories that soy products increase the risk of breast cancer or complicates the health condition of a breast cancer patient. Only 5 studies and due to lack of evidence, this cannot be said.
Also Read: Is Soy Harmful For Women, Read The Study
Nutrient Profile of Soy
The organic or unprocessed soy is rich in nutrients. Not only it is high in protein but also fibre and carbs. Soybean can be called a nutrient-packed food item that provides multiple vital nutrients as a whole. Check out the nutrient profile:
- Protein: Soybean is the best way to get plant-based protein.
- Fibre : Soybean and its organically-derived products are rich in fibre, which aids the digestive system and allows the grain to get digested easily.
- Carbohydrates: This is not the typical carb but healthier version of carb. The best source is soy flour.
- Fats: It has healthy fats including Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
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