WAIT, ISN’T SOY BAD FOR YOU?
Nope. It’s actually pretty healthful for you, according to the latest science. Here are three benefits of the soybean.
1. It’s a good source of protein.
A half block of firm tofu contains 28 grams of protein. By comparison, 1⁄2 cup of chopped roasted chicken breast has 22 grams. Among active people, those with higher intakes of protein, regardless of whether it was animal or plant-based, had a 35 percent lower risk of functional physical decline as they aged than those who ate the least protein—so found a 2018 study by Boston University researchers.
2. It may fight diabetes.
People who consumed more isoflavones, found in tofu and soy milk, had an 11 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who didn’t eat much, according to a 2017 study by Harvard researchers. One reason: Isoflavones may improve glucose tolerance and blood lipids, markers of diabetes.
3. It could protect your prostate.
Men whose diet included soy foods had a 29 percent reduced risk of developing prostate cancer, according to a 2018 metaanalysis in Nutrients. Again, thank isoflavones, such as genistein and daidzein, which the scientists think may disrupt the development of prostate cancer.
4. But what about low sperm count and man boobs?
Back in the 2000s, a few small studies and rodent research suggested that the phytoestrogens in soy products could disrupt hormones. Several news outlets may have overblown those findings. “Such a link has never been substantiated in human studies,” says Qi Sun, M.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard University. “I don’t think this is a concern at all.”