Soy – Good or Bad? I Set to Find Out.
Over the past number of years soy has been a topic of great controversy and debate. When I started researching soy I found myself in the midst of endless articles, videos, and studies. At first it all seemed a bit overwhelming. On one side, soy is a health superfood and on the other it is said to be dangerous to your health. So, who is right and who is wrong? This is the question I set out to answer a few years ago, but what I discovered was just not that simple.
I became intrigued by the topic after I had tested positive for a soy allergy. However, at the same time I was taking a fermented soy beverage to help aid in my battle against cancer. How could something that was helping me this much get such a bad rap?
Soy Studies Show That the Details Matter
There have been well over 10,000 studies on soy and/or its components since the early nineties. These studies cover a broad spectrum, from cancer to genetic repair mechanisms. For years the FDA has held that soy protein can lower your risk of heart disease. However, they are now proposing to revoke that stance.
Soy has been a part of a traditional Asian diet for thousands of years. A study on residents of Okinawa, Japan found a soy rich diet to be a major contributor to some calling it “the healthiest place on earth.” With so many conflicting reports I felt that something strange was going on. And I was right.
GMO VS. Non-GMO Soy – An Important Difference
What I found was that not all soy is equal. The overwhelming majority of soy consumed today is not the same as the soy that has such great health benefits to the residents of Okinawa. A little back story… In the early 1990s the agricultural implications of genetic engineering were starting to be realized. With this type of advancement, they could produce a crop that could resist drought, herbicides, disease and increase or decrease specific profile traits of the crop. This sounds great! Right? Well, yes and no.
Over the years they have been able to develop a more robust crop with a better yield, but by changing the genetics of the plant itself they also changed some of the great health benefits. In fact, these changes have placed soy GMO crops in a “high risk” category. Herbicides and pesticides are now able to be sprayed directly onto the crop. This poses additional health risks to consumers.
Fermentation – Finally Some Common Ground
Another component to consider is fermentation. As I continued my journey, I began to see a consensus that fermentation dramatically improved the nutritional benefits of soy. I was familiar with the fermentation health benefits of many other foods, so this made sense. There are several things that happen during the process. One of these things was the breakdown of the soy protein I am allergic to.
Fermentation also breaks down many of the anti-cancer compounds, making them much more bioavailable and easier to digest. There are some common fermented soy products that you may recognize like miso, natto, tempeh and traditionally made soy sauce. What I found is that while not everyone agreed that conventional or unfermented soy was healthy, pretty much everyone agreed that fermented soy has great health benefits.
To say that there is an overwhelming amount of information out there about soy is an understatement. While the jury may be out in some areas there are others that are very clear. Almost everyone can agree that there are some amazing properties in the soybean when these qualifications are met:
All in all, I have been excited about my findings on soy. Yes, there are many negatives to most of the soy that is consumed today due to the genetic modification, pesticides and herbicides used to grow this crop. But, with the proper fermentation process of the right bean the benefits are quite amazing. It started to become much clearer why the fermented soy beverage, Haelan 951, has helped me so much.
Haelan 951 is a fermented soybean beverage manufactured from whole, non-GMO, organic soybeans. Production involves a very specific growing process and a proprietary microbial fermentation process that breaks down the beneficial soybean nutrients into bioavailable compounds that are able to be assimilated into the blood and tissues resulting in health benefits at a cellular level. These benefits include DNA repair mechanisms. Haelan’s development has been refined with over 25 years of experience by eminent scientists who feel they have achieved a food product that offers multiple and diverse beneficial biological effects and superior health benefits.