WAIT, ISN’T SOY BAD FOR YOU?

Men's Health (Singapore) - - AM / NUTRITION -

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.”

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