Can I Eat Soy with PCOS? | The Healing Roots

Should You Eat Soy if You Have PCOS?

Let’s talk about the consumption of soy and how it impacts women and PCOS.

For starters, soybean originated in China. It has been harvested there for 5,000 years. It eventually made its way to the states in the 19th century. 

And, since the 1940’s soybean has been an incredibly important crop for the American economy. 

It has also provided $114 billion to farmers across the globe.

For example, in the 2011-2012 season, the USA was the largest soybean producer of the world. Specifically, producing more than 35% of the production world wide.

So why has soy become so popular?

It may range from the health and economic benefits.

Soy protein provides a complete amino acid for humans. This can be especially beneficial to individuals who do not eat meat. 

Soy isoflavones are polyphenols found in soy products. While polyphenols pack a nutrition punch. These micronutrients typically have a wide variety of health benefits from reducing degenerative diseases, improving digestion and cognition. They also contain an abundance of antioxidants.

So how does soy impact women with PCOS?

Research has found that women with PCOS may see improved insulin function and better cholesterol levels when they consumed soy isoflavones.

Your Biology and Soy Consumption

How we metabolize soy can depend on our genetic makeup. For example, women of Asian descent have been consuming soy for over 5,000 years. Ancestors have had all these years to develop a microbiota that can specifically digest the soy and extract the nutrients from it. This may play a major role in if someone actually benefits from eating the soy. 

Because of this, individuals of Western descent may not see the same benefit of eating soy foods. 

But Don’t Just Go For Any Soy Product

As I’ve mentioned soy production has greatly increased. In modern day farming, Glyphosate or pesticides are typically used to keep crops growing and production high. Soy is also a major genetically engineered food. 

Soy, corn and cotton together (three major genetically engineered foods) accounted for about 200 million pounds of glyphosate used in a year’s time. 

More research is suggesting glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen.” Studies also show that exposure to humans may negatively impact the metabolism and organs of the body. 

Sadly, glyphosate is also impacting the environment, the honeybees, butterflies and crustaceans. All important pieces of a healthy environment and food production.

If you choose to enjoy soy for the health benefits you may want to focus on these areas:

-Organic and Non GMO

-Fermented soy: Natto, Miso and Tempeh 

-Consider what amount is best for you and your genetic make up

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