Soy And Soy Isoflavones

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As obesity and its related diseases like heart disease continue to rise in America, people have consumed more soy to their diets in recent years. Soy is a healthy alternative to red meat because it contains high quality protein, low animal fat, and rich of essential vitamins and minerals. Experts suggest soy phytochemicals, isoflavones, may offer health benefits to prevent certain cancers. Medical research and population studies have shown consumption of soy may help in reducing body weight, lowering blood cholesterol and risk of chronic disease including heart disease. Soy is a species of legume and well known for its rich nutrients. Soybeans contain up to 40 percent protein, 18 percent fat, 25 percent carbohydrate, and 5 percent calcium (4). Soy protein can supply many essential amino acids and dietary fiber. Soybeans and soy products are good sources of phytochemicals, natural chemicals in many plants, called isoflavones. Isoflavones can also be found in small amounts in a number of legumes, grains, and vegetables. Soy isoflavones (genistein, daidzein, and glycitein) are classified as phytoestrogens because they mimic or interact with hormone signals in human (2). Soy can be consumed as in whole soy and soy foods. Foods that contain soy protein include tofu (soft, cheese-like curdling soymilk), soymilk, textured vegetable protein (TVP), miso (fermented soybean paste), tempeh (a chewy fermented cooked soybean cake), soy flour, soy sauce, soy nuts, edamame (raw soy bean in their pod), and soy protein powder. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommend that soy protein intake should be added at least 25 grams per day to a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol to reduce the risk of heart disease (6). Pregnant women and individuals with certain allergies, and chronic disease should consult with their physicians for medical advice before taking any

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