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Q: I've read negative news about soy recently, following links on the web, I stumbled across some articles which really alarmed me. Should I stop eating soy?

A: All beans and seeds contain enzyme inhibitors that exist naturally to prevent them from sprouting prematurely. Particularly with soy, these inhibitors prevent the absorption of certain nutrients, as well as inhibiting your digestive enzymes from working on that meal. Forcing the beans or seeds to sprout, or fermenting them, helps to remove these enzymes and makes them more easily digested.

Good fermented forms of soy are tempeh and miso. When you read about studies of the health benefits of soy use in Japan and China, most of the soy consumed there is in the form of tempeh and miso.

The process of making tofu also dissipates some, but not all, of the enzyme inhibitors because it is precipitated out in the soaking liquid, which is then separated from the solids (curd) that become the tofu.

If this is a concern for you, you might want to avoid eating too much textured vegetable protein or soy protein isolate, because the enzyme inhibitors are concentrated in it, and it also undergoes alkaline baths, acid washes, and high-heat spray-drying which concentrates nitrites.

Personally, we still eat soy products, but I just wouldn't base my diet on it exclusively. There are lots of great sources of vegan protein, it's best not to play favorites.

Also, taking Beano or other digestive enzymes with a soy meal really helps to break it down and prevent any uncomfortable symptoms.

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Please note that we are not medical professionals, and our advice is not intended to treat any disease or to substitute for the knowledge and advice of a medical professional. We're just trying to help by passing on what we've learned from others.





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