There's a lot of controversy over the use of soy in our diets, particularly for women and even more so for women with hormone imbalances. Some studies say that soy is beneficial to our bodies and hormones, and others seem to say the complete opposite! I'm asked often by women as to whether I recommend soy, as a nutritionist.
Considering that the Juice Plus Complete powder's main source of plant-based protein comes from soy, I thought this would be an interesting topic to touch on tonight. Note that the soy in the Juice Plus Complete is minimally processed and water-washed. The protein has been isolated from the whole particle in order to reduce the fat and carbohydrate content of the protein. Studies have shown that isolating this protein can actually increase absorption and aid in digestion! So by minimally processing the soy protein, it has become a healthier source for our body!
Even with an estrogen-dominant hormone imbalance within my own body, I eat soy products (soy milk, tofu, soya sauce, Juice Plus Complete) a few times every week. Eliminating soy from my diet for a number of months did not make a difference in my personal hormone imbalance, so I went back to eating it and still didn't experience any negative effects on my hormones. Therefore, for me personally, I have ruled it out as a trigger in my life.
I do also recommend others to enjoy soy products as it's a wonderful, versatile, and delicious plant-based protein source that includes all 9 essential amino acids that our bodies require via diet as they cannot create them! It also contains an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and other essential nutrients!
But I do so with the following tips:
  • Ensure that the soy you buy is certified organic AND Non-GMO, as it is one of the harshest 'dirty' produce in the world.
  • Introduce it slowly to your diet, if it's new for you, and monitor any changes you may experience.
  • Remove it entirely from your diet for a few months if you currently eat it and see if anything in your health changes (positive or negative) - this will indicate to you whether it's a trigger or not.
  • Listen to your body! We all respond differently to food and combinations of food so take that into consideration in deciding whether it's right for you.

In case you were curious: (Taken from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/soy/)

The Shanghai Women’s Health Study which followed 73,223 Chinese women for more than 7 years has been the largest and most detailed study of soy and breast cancer risk in a population with high soy consumption. In this study, women who ate the most soy had a 59% lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer compared with those who ate the lowest amounts of soy. The risk was 43% lower when soy was eaten during adolescence. [14] Seven years later, the study authors published a follow-up analysis from the same cohort over 13 years to evaluate any association between soy foods and specific types of breast cancer defined by hormone receptors and by menopausal status (Estrogen [ER] +/-; Progesterone [PR] +/-). [21] Key highlights of the study:

  • A 22% lower risk of breast cancer when comparing the highest to lowest intakes of soy during adulthood.
  • A 28% decreased risk of hormone-positive (ER+, PR+) breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
  • A 54% decreased risk of hormone negative (ER-, PR-) breast cancer in premenopausal women.
  • A 47% decreased risk of premenopausal breast cancer when comparing high to low intakes of soy during adolescence and adulthood.
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