Soy is not just recommended for women! Scientific consensus supports soy as a part of a healthful lifestyle, and experts agree that soy is safe and healthy for men to consume in moderate amounts each day (2-3 servings daily). Soy is a rich source of isoflavones, substances that mimic the effects of the female hormone estrogen - leading to concerns of whether or not this will have adverse effects on the male hormone. Not only do researchers say there is no evidence of this when soy is eaten in moderation, but there are numerous studies showing the positive effects of soy on men's health.
Soy doesn't just reduce cholesterol, but according to studies done at Tulane University, by bulking up on soy protein, you can lower your blood pressure. Soy may help by providing amino acids (isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonin, tryptophan and valine) that expand blood vessels. Researchers from several Universities have concluded that adding 25 grams of soy protein to your daily diet helps lower the most damaging form of blood cholesterol - low-density lipoprotein (LDL) - by up to about10 percent.
In addition, Researchers from Japan's National Cancer Center found that increased intake of soy isoflavones significantly reduced the risk of prostate cancer by as much as 50 percent. If all this isnt enough to convince you to bite into a soy burger, there has been evidence that soy can minimize hair loss, keep blood sugar levels stable and help with overall digestive health.
Soy is a must have for everyone. Soy is good for the heart because it is high in soy protein and fiber, contains heart-healthy fats, and is low in saturated fat. Soy is an all natural nutrient-rich food delivering high-quality protein, carbohydrates and fiber. It is also full of essential vitamins and minerals such as zinc, magnesium, iron and bone-building calcium.
With soy's increase in popularity, manufacturers have been producing more soy products to receive these amazing health benefits. Below are some ways to incorporate soy into your daily diet_
Breakfast:Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so start your morning off right. Soy milk enhances any cereal or oatmeal. If that doesn't do it for you, combine a low-fat soy yogurt with a high-fiber cereal and berries for a breakfast that will leave you satiated throughout the day.
Lunch:You don't have to clog your arteries with a high-fat meal like pizza or cheeseburgers. Enjoy a whole grain veggie sandwich with melted soy cheese or soy burgers on whole-wheat buns with all the fixings. You can also toss soy-filled edamames into your salad for some added soy protein.
Snack:When you're on-the-go, avoid the mid-afternoon crash with some soy nuts. Smear a tablespoon or two of soy nut butter on an apple or whole-wheat crackers. These snacks will fill you up without filling you out.
Dinner: Start your meal off with a soy-based miso soup, which will help keep you full until you get to your main dish. Try opting for a tofu stir fry which will tantalize your taste buds. Get creative and add soy cheese crumbles to your favorite pasta dishes.
Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD is a nutritionist and founder of
. She is also the creator of The F-Factor DietaC/, an innovative nutritional program she has used for more than ten years to provide hundreds of her clients with all the tools they need to achieve easy weight loss and maintenance, improved health and well-being. For more information log onto