Soyfoods Linked with Improved Survival in Women with Breast Cancer
Women with breast cancer can safely consume soyfoods. In fact, eating soyfoods may improve the survival of breast cancer patients. That was the conclusion of the World Cancer Research Fund International after extensively reviewing the studies on soy and cancer. Other lifestyle choices that may improve prognosis include maintaining a healthy body weight, being physically active, eating foods containing fiber, and reducing total and especially, saturated fat intake. More information here.
Health Canada Set to Approve Health Claim for Soyfoods
Studies show that including soy protein in the diet can lower LDL-cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol). Based on these findings, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a health claim in 1999 about the relationship between soyfoods as part of a heart healthy diet. Since then 10 other countries have approved similar health claims for soy protein. That list is soon to expand as Health Canada recently announced their decision to award a health claim for soyfoods. More information here.
Dietary Protein Needs May Be Higher for Older Women
Women over the age of 65 may need as much as 50% more protein than the current RDA. Since calorie needs usually decrease with age, older women need to choose plenty of healthful, nutrient-dense, protein-rich foods. The high-quality protein in soyfoods can help women meet their protein needs without increasing their saturated fat and cholesterol intake. More information here.
Top Three Meat Alternatives are Made From Soy
While interest in meat alternatives continues to grow, many consumers have questions about meeting protein needs on meat-freed diets. These were the findings of survey among food shoppers conducted by Acosta Sales and Marketing. Soyfoods can easily address that concern since they are rich in high-quality protein. Not surprisingly, in fact, tofu is the best-selling meat alternative with 21 percent of shoppers purchasing it in the past year. Textured vegetable protein was purchased by 12 percent of shoppers and 10 percent have tried tempeh. More information here.
Soymilk fortified with Vitamin D and Calcium Can Help Prevent Deficiencies
Children who drink non-cow’s milk beverages are more likely to have low serum vitamin D levels than those who drink cow’s milk according to a study of 3,000 children in Canada. Although cow’s milk is fortified with vitamin D by law in both the United States and Canada, fortification of plant milks like soymilk is voluntary. Since sun exposure in many areas isn’t a year-round reliable means of meeting vitamin D needs, it is critical for children drinking soymilk to use brands that are fortified with this vitamin. Fortunately, the vast majority of soymilk sold in North America is fortified with both vitamin D and calcium. More information here.
A Low-Carbohydrate Diet Improves Quality of Life
The results are controversial, but there is growing evidence that low-carb diets can be useful in treating diabetes. Findings from a year-long Swedish study show improvements in physical function, vitality and general health in response to a diet in which carbohydrate provided only about 20% of the calories. For those who want to incorporate the healthful qualities of plant foods into their low-carbohydrate diets, there is a beneficial role for soyfoods. Soybeans are unique among legumes because of their high protein and low-carbohydrate content. Tofu, tempeh and soynuts are examples of healthful low-carbohydrate choices. More information here.
Soymilk Decreases Blood Pressure
Among Korean adults with high blood pressure, consuming two servings of soymilk caused systolic blood pressure to drop by almost 8 points within two hours. Interestingly, canned soymilk had less of an effect compared to soymilk consumed from glass bottles. Other studies support the blood pressure-lowering effects of soy protein. More information here.
Beans Beat Other Protein Sources for Protecting the Environment
Beans have a much smaller environmental footprint than beef, chicken and eggs. Researchers from Loma Linda University in California compared the resources required to produce 1000 grams of protein from either kidney beans or beef. The beans took approximately eighteen times less land, ten times less water, nine times less fuel, twelve times less fertilizer and ten times less pesticide. Beans also required fewer resources than protein from chicken and eggs. Soybeans are higher in protein than other beans, making them among the most environmentally friendly protein-rich foods. More information here.
Cow’s Milk is Linked to Higher Mortality and More Fractures
A study of more than 100,000 Swedish linked intake of cow’s milk with an increased likelihood of death. Among the women, drinking more milk was also associated with an increased risk of bone fractures. The authors of this study suggested that the milk sugar galactose was responsible for these adverse effects. Soymilk doesn’t contain galactose but does contain all the calcium and vitamin D found in cow’s milk. More information here.
Soybean Isoflavones Improve Dry Mouth
Dry mouth, which is characterized by decreased salivation, typically develops in middle-aged women. Unfortunately, there is a lack of consensus regarding the treatment of this condition. New research suggests that the isoflavones in soybeans might be helpful in this regard. The amount of isoflavones found in just one serving per day of soyfoods was shown to be effective in a recently conducted study. More information here.
Soyfoods are Associated with Lower Risk of Stomach Cancer
A statistical analysis of four Korean studies found that people with the highest intake of soyfoods had the lowest likelihood of developing stomach cancer. Eating more soyfoods reduced stomach cancer risk by 44 percent, whereas tofu intake lowered risk by 68 percent and soymilk by 32 percent. In contrast, consumption of the fermented soyfood miso was associated with an increased risk. This is most likely because miso can be very high in sodium. More information here.
Isoflavone-Rich Soy Protein Improves Vaginal Dryness
The reduced estrogen production that occurs with menopause causes a number of physical changes. One of those is vaginal dryness which affects close to one out of every three women. Research from Brazil shows that consuming about 90 milligrams of isoflavones daily, the amount provided by about three servings of soyfoods, alleviates vaginal dryness as effectively as the hormone estrogen. Soy can serve as a natural choice for treating vaginal dryness for women who prefer not to use estrogen replacement therapy because of the side effects. More information here.