Soybeans: Healthful or Harmful?
All plants contain chemicals that are healthful and chemicals that can harm us. Fortunately for us, our ancestors learned which plants are edible and healthful, and taught us to avoid those that are poisonous. However, if you eat very large amounts of one food, you can poison yourself, even though reasonable amounts are harmless or beneficial. For example, soybeans contain a plant estrogen called genistein, omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, all substances with known health benefits. But they also contain small amounts of trypsin inhibitors that could damage the pancreas; hemagglutinins that could cause clots to form; goitrogens that could block thyroid function; and phytates that can block the absorption of minerals. You would need to eat very large amounts of soy products to get any of these negative effects.
Enjoy a moderate amount of soy foods, but do not let health claims lead you to eat huge amounts of soy to the exclusion of other foods. A healthful diet is a varied diet that includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and other seeds.
Related Tags: nutrition, diet, soy, soybeans
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Dr. Gabe Mirkin has been a radio talk show host for 25 years and practicing physician for more than 40 years; he is board certified in four specialties, including sports medicine. Read or listen to hundreds of his fitness and health reports -- and the FREE Good Food Book -- at http://www.DrMirkin.comYour Article Search Directory : Find in Articles
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