The Verdict on Soy: The Good, the Bad and the Questionable
There's a lot of conflict and confusion about soy: Does it prevent or cause cancer? Does it protect your heart and ease menopause symptoms? iVillage Health Editor-at-large, Dr. Madelyn Fernstrom, sets the record straight
A member of the pea family, soy is a subtropical plant native to Southeast Asia, where it has been a dietary staple for more than 5,000 years. Like peas and beans, soy beans are rich in protein and fiber, making soy one of nature’s most nutrient dense foods. And soy is rich in a type of fat called lecithin, an important component of body cell structure and function. In population studies, people who consume soy foods as a regular part of their daily diet have a lower risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and certain cancers, including prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women.