The holidays are over and winter is in full swing. This is the time we start thinking about our hopes, dreams and goals for the New Year. I usually write down a few goals and from time to time as the new year unfolds evaluate my progress. I also make a personal and professional “to do” lists and then start checking them off during the year. It provides me with a bit of a road map and a sense of accomplishment as I check them off (I’m a list junky).
Better health is usually on my list. My guess is health and things to do with health are usually one of the top goals for most. If you are reading this column, it is no surprise that I encourage all of you to begin incorporating soy into your diet.
If you are a woman and have been reluctant to do so because you are confused about the relationship between soy and breast cancer then this New Year brings especially good news. A just-published study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that consuming soy may actually improve the prognosis of breast cancer patients. More specifically, among the more than 5000 Chinese breast cancer patients in this study, those who consumed the most soyfoods (about 1 ½ or 2 servings per day) were about 30 percent less likely to die from breast cancer or to experience breast cancer recurrence over a four-year period compared to patients with the lowest intake of soy.
Researchers from the National Cancer Institute and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle commented in an editorial on the JAMA article, saying, “…patients with breast cancer can be assured that enjoying a soy latte or indulging in pad thai with tofu causes no harm and, when consumed in plentiful amounts, may reduce risk of disease recurrence.”
But women aren’t the only ones who should feel good about consuming soy. As there is exciting evidence that consuming modest amounts (as little as one serving per day) of soyfoods during childhood and/or adolescence may substantially reduce the chances of developing breast cancer later in life. According to soy expert Mark Messina, PhD, from Loma Linda University, “the notion that early soy intake reduces breast cancer risk is one of the most exciting hypotheses in the entire diet and cancer field.”
It’s pretty clear that soy should be part of healthy diets and lifestyles for the whole family. Chili, soups and stews are perfect foods to enjoy during these colds days, so add edamame, black and tan soybeans to your favorite recipes to start including soy in everyday meals.
From My Kitchen to Yours,
Black and White Chili with Wagon Wheels