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Isoflavones in Soy Foods

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The USDA, in collaboration with Iowa State University, has compiled a listing of the isoflavone content of soy foods. The values are expressed in milligrams per single serving of the food. The foods are organized from the most isoflavones to the least. (From Wellness Foods A to Z)

No one is precisely certain how soy lowers cholesterol, but the evidence of its doing so is so incontrovertible that in October 1999 the PDA gave soy its official backing by allowing soy-food manufacturers to make health soy consumption have lower rates of dementia than populations who do not consume soy.

A study in Nutrition and Cancer reports that people who regularly consume as little as one and a half servings of soymilk daily enjoy better cancer protection than those who occasionally consume soy. Try to use soy daily, either as soymilk on your cereal or oatmeal or as soy protein powder in a fruit smoothie or as a snack of soy nuts. Studies suggest that two separate soy foods a day, in separate meals, work best.

Does soy help with menopausal symptoms? While it’s controversial, some evidence says it can. For example, researchers from the University of Bologna, in Italy, gave two groups of menopausal women 60 grams of either soy protein or a look-alike placebo of dried milk protein daily for twelve weeks. The women eating soy protein experienced significantly fewer hot flashes and night sweats than the placebo group. Again, soy’s estrogen mimicking isoflavones are responsible. As a woman’s natural levels of estrogen frill during menopause, the isoflavones seem to help take up the slack.

There is evidence that, because of its estrogen like behavior, soy contributes to bone health and thus helps stave off osteoporosis. One study of sixty-six postmenopausal women at the University of Illinois found that soy protein added to the diet significantly increased both bone mineral content and density in the spine alter six months.

Many people are confused about how much isoflavones to consume per day. Estimates of dietary intake in people in Asian countries indicate that intakes of isoflavones from soy foods range from 15 to 50 milligrams a day. The average intake is 30 to 32 milligrams. From whole foods not fortified products.

Soy sauce is not a good source of soy! It has little to no nutritional benefit and is very high in sodium.
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