Soy Isoflavones

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Soy isoflavones, an established holistic treatment, have wide range of health benefits beginning to be recognized and appreciated by a wider and wider audience. A plant estrogen, they have proved effective in a variety of conditions that include prostate and menopausal issues. They have also become the subject of an increasing number of clinical studies in Western medicinal research.

They, as the name indicates, are most concentrated in soybeans and thus in all soy products. Because soy isoflavones are molecularly stable they are not destroyed in the course of typical cooking methods.

This is makes life easy because it makes adding them to your menu easy. Tofu with stir fried vegetables, soybeans in soups, soy powder in fruit smoothies, to name a few. At least one or two servings a day are recommended—an ounce of soynuts, 8 ounces of soy milk, for example.

What Soy Isoflavones Do

One of the magic words and phenomena of the late 20th and early 21st centuries is antioxidant. Soy isoflavones have that property. Specifically, soy isoflavones also help inhibit LDL, the bad cholesterol, from oxidizing in the bloodstream. That is, they help prevent fatty build-up, called plaque, that constricts blood flow, weakens the heart and leads to heart attacks and strokes. The most prominent and plentiful of the isoflavones in soy, and there are many, are genistein and daidzein. Genistein inhibits the growth of cells that form plaque. Daidzein has similar properties.

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