Not Wild on Soy

Someone suggested that I add “Tofu Thursday” to my weekly reminders. Already, I remind my facebook friendsies about: Meatless Monday, Wheatless Wednesday and Fruity Friday.

Im not a fan of soy (which tofu is made from). When I do eat soy (rarely), its either in the form of tempeh or natto – both are fermented and so better for one.

However, I rarely eat these even because soy is one of the most heavily pesticide/chemically laden crops, and is a major GMO crop. (The other major pesticide/GMO are corn, wheat and canola – which are found in virtually everything at the grocery).

Additionally, even if one uses organic soy, it is far too heavily relied upon in the American Vegetarian diet (based on my experience with Vegetarian/Vegan friends).

Finally, soy’s benefits are questionable.

Soybeans contain a large amount of phytochemicals, which are fond in all plants, but in soy, the primary component is isoflavones, which have found great success in cancer prevention, the relief of certain menopausal symptoms, the reduction of heart disease, and the  slowing and/or reversing of osteoporosis.  However .. this is ONLY AFTER fermentation, and in the case of tofu, EXTENSIVE PROCESSING – which uses chemicals at high temperatures to make the bean actually digestible.

Another added element to soy is phytic acid, which all beans contain, but in soy, again, is found in large amounts.  Phytic acid blocks the absorption of key minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc); so that health studies in countries where soy is eaten daily show a deficit of these minerals in people (compromising their health).  These findings, in part, have contributed to the reason why soy is NOT recommended as infant formula.

Soy also contains enzyme inhibitors, which the body needs for digestion, so that soy is often considered an ANTI-nutrient. In fact, many cannot eat soy because of this .. for it causes gastric distress, deficiencies in amino acid uptake, and reduced digestion of ALL proteins.  I’ve seen many Vegetarian websites that suggest microwaving soy before eating – don’t get me started on the dangers of microwaves!

Soy also contains hemagglutinin, which is a a clot promoting substance that prompts red blood cells to clump/clot together. This is important because this means soy prevents blood cells from properly absorbing oxygen – which must be distributed to the body’s tissues – so necessary for overall heart health, and the prevention of cancer (cancer cannot survive in an oxygen rich environment).

Then .. even if one’s soy is organic, it is still probably a GMO; because 90% of the American soy crop is.  So yes .. GMO can be grown organically, but it still makes them GMOs.

Finally, and again, far too many rely on soy as the “necessary protein”.  First, the amount of protein needed in the daily diet is SERIOUSLY OVER ESTIMATED.  Secondly, fruits and vegetables contain protein, so if one is eating these, they are getting enough protein. Third, soy is marketed by the FDA as a ‘wonder food’ .. not because of its health benefits but because its cheap to grow, easy to Genetically Modify, virtually thrives on pesticides, is a great filler ‘food’, and can be fed to both humans and livestock. So for them, its a win-win situation.

For more info, to include the latest medical studies, read the RISKS of soy:

Notable concerns here are increased tumor growth in breast cancer in women, and lowered testosterone levels in men, and a correlation to prostate cancer.

So .. for these reasons (and more than I can list here), I do not endorse soy products on a regular basis.  I think miso is a good food additive for its saltiness, but prefer seaweed overall.  Natto is an excellent source of Vitamin K, but is also found in avocados, cabbage, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and spinach.  So when it comes down to the bottom line, I don’t need to eat soy, and you probable don’t either.

Shanti and Metta!

Yogini Valarie Devi


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kieran
    Dec 30, 2010 @ 12:54:40

    I’m lactose intolerant and I’ve used Soy to replace my milk intake. I know you are all for raw foods, but, what can I use to substatue my milk and calcium?


    • Raw Yogini
      Dec 31, 2010 @ 12:35:42

      Thank you for reading my blog Kieran!

      I suggest Almond Milk. And its easy to make, and costs far less than store bought!

      Almond Milk
      -1 cup soaked almonds. Just put them in a bowl, cover with pure water and let soak overnight. I do this before I go to bed at night.

      3-4 cups of pure water

      3-8 dates, optional. This is a great way to sweeten almond milk. Dates have an impressive list of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals, so are good for overall health and well-being. Plus, I think its the best snack when you cant get your hands on chocolate!

      After the almonds have soaked, drain them. Place them in a blender with the 3-4 cups of pure water (thin or thick milk, personal preference). The dates add sweetness and additional nutritional punch (personal preference).

      Blend on high for about two minutes. Strain the mix to remove the almond granules (some people like to keep this because its a great addition to .. cookie or bread recipes, for example).

      Drink right from the glass, pour over cereal, or you can add it to recipes that call for cow’s milk (I add it to my Raw Vegan Mac and Cheeze).

      You can make larger batches because it stores well .. for at least 4-5 days in the frig, in an air-tight container.

      Almond Milk is an easy base for a morning smoothie .. just add a banana or an apple, a dash of cinnamon, and your mouth will smile!

      Eat Well to Be Well!
      Yogini Valarie


    • Raw Yogini
      Jan 29, 2011 @ 20:11:34

      Namaste Kieran,

      Calcium is found in many foods we commonly eat. Here are a few cooked and uncooked choices:

      Almonds, 1/4 cup, 89mg

      Almond butter, 2 Tbsp, 86mg

      Blackstrap molasses, 2 Tbsp, 400mg Calcium

      Bok choy (cooked), 1 cup, 158mg

      Broccoli (cooked), 1 cup, 94mg

      Collard greens (cooked), 1 cup, 357mg

      Kale (cooked), 1 cup, 179mg

      Okra (cooked), 1 cup, 172mg

      Mustard greens (cooked), 1 cup, 152mg

      Tahini, 2 Tbsp, 128mg

      Turnip greens (cooked), 1 cup, 249mg


  2. Trackback: what about soya milk? | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page 3

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