Soy is a food that has become very popular in our Western culture. This is due to its specific taste, but especially because of the many health benefits that this plant has. For example, it improves cognitive function, protects against osteoporosis and relieves the symptoms of menopause. In addition, it can be an aid in losing weight.
Soy against menopause
As hormone replacement therapy has lost its appeal, soy has become increasingly interesting as a potential replacement. Soy contains plant hormones or phytoestrogens that can compensate for low hormone levels during menopause. However, its effects on the body remain quite controversial. Studies have cast doubt on the virtues of soy in relieving the symptoms of menopause, also known as menopause. The French Food Safety Agency (AFSSA) emphasizes the fact that none of the effects have been scientifically proven. A scientific study in which menopausal women were given soy or a placebo for one year showed that hot flashes were reduced by more than 30% and in extreme cases by 45%.
Influence on bone structure
Although the positive effect of soy on hot flashes during menopause remains quite controversial, soy does appear to have a clear beneficial effect in menopausal women. Studies have shown that soy helps against osteoporosis and strengthens bone structure. A study conducted in China on around 24,000 people shows that there is a direct link between soy consumption and the reduced risk of bone fractures during menopause. This is due to the combination of phytoestrogens and vegetable proteins.
Improve cognitive function
Soy can also stimulate the neurons. Several studies have shown a preventive effect on cognitive decline. Recent research has shown that there is a positive correlation between regularly eating soy over the age of sixty and the results obtained in written tests. Other studies have shown an improvement in long-term memory. In these cases, the effect was noticeable in young women. Despite these promising results, the benefits of soy on the brain remain difficult to prove.
Influence of soy on men
It’s not just women who can benefit from the benefits of soy. Soy can have a particularly good effect on the prostate because it contains foods that lead to a lower concentration of the protein PSA or prostate-specific antigen in the blood. This protein plays an essential role in various prostate conditions. Although not enough studies have been done to really say that soy helps prevent the development of prostate cancer, it is certainly an avenue that is being investigated by scientists.
Slimming with soy
Obesity is a major risk factor for the development of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and other conditions included in the metabolic syndrome. The rapid increase in obesity can only be stopped by a drastic change in lifestyle including more exercise and better nutrition.
Studies on animals have shown that soy protein or isoflavones help prevent obesity and also diabetes. These results indicate that soy protein consumption reduces body weight, fat mass, cholesterol and triglycerides.
As early as 1996, Japanese researchers discovered that soy protein can be very useful in the fight against obesity. When fatty rats were fed soy protein instead of casein, there was already a drop in body weight in the rats after three weeks. Humanitarian studies show beneficial effects of soy protein on cholesterol and triglycerides, but the effect on weight loss was less convincing. Replacing milk protein with soy protein in obese women did result in weight loss but did not produce significant results.