“Soy contains a treasure chest of health-giving nutrients with potential medicinal properties,” says Stephen Holt, M.D. author of The Soy Revolution: The Food of the Next Millennium. “Every year, new studies are finding additional benefits from consuming soy’s vegetable proteins and isoflavones [antioxidant compounds].”
The isoflavones in soy foods have been associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer and a reduced incidence of menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes.
Soy has also been shown to reduced the risk of heart disease. “A massive amount of research spanning five decades shows that you can beneficially alter your blood cholestrol profile with soy,” says Holt.
Besides isoflavones, research has shown that the amino acids soy contains help reduce LDL (bad) cholestrol, increase HDL (good) cholestrol and reduce triglycerides, the chief forms of fat in the body.
A high percentage of triglycerides have been associated with atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and heart attacks.
Studies have also found soy contains properties that may prevent and treat osteoporosis.