Different Types of Soy Products: Are They Safe for Children?
Over the years, studies have shown conflicting evidence about soy products. Some studies have claimed that soy is the panacea for many health ailments, a superfood that is the solution to prevent many health problems. Other research, however, states that soy is responsible for behavioral problems and disrupts hormones in the body, thus causing serious health concerns.
Different Types of Soy
Soy is a protein derived from soybeans, which are legumes that historically originated from Eastern Asia in oriental cultures.
Traditional soy products are divided into two groups: fermented – such as miso, tempeh, tamari, natto, and unfermented – such as soybean oil, soy sauce, soy milk, soy protein powders, infant formula, and tofu.
Fermented Soy Products
Fermented soy products are produced as a result of microorganisms such as beneficial bacteria and yeast breaking down the specific carbohydrates found in soy.
This improves the digestibility and allows for better absorption into the body. Soy fermentation also enhances the solubility of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, copper and zinc and enhances vitamin levels and overall nutrition by concentrating large amounts of the vitamin B complex and forming an enriched product. According to a 2006 study published in the Journal of Nutrition on osteoporosis, Japanese fermented soybeans, natto, have been associated with reduced bone loss in postmenopausal women. However, no comparison study was conducted to test the effect of unfermented soy products on this cohort group.
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