We’re calling out soy for menopausal women because it has unique properties for women’s hormones. Menopause happens when women’s bodies reduce oestrogen production. That has led some people to recommend soy for women going through, or have already gone through, this change of life.
Why soy? Because it naturally contains two plant compounds (isoflavones) similar to oestrogen. These compounds are called “genistein” and “daidzein”. To learn more about why this is important, read the full article on soy.
Soy is a legume (bean) that is sometimes eaten raw as “edamame” or used to make tofu and soy milk. It is often fermented into other foods like soy sauce and miso and is a great source for meat alternatives and protein.
Hello soy! Good-bye hot flashes.
Soy contains plant compounds similar to oestrogen, resulting in some health benefits that mitigate against menopausal symptoms. Here's how:
- It can reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes.
- Studies suggest soy is good for your heart. It reduces risk of heart disease and (slightly) reduces “bad” cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Soy has also been found to reduce the risk of breast cancer. It was once thought that soy could contribute to cancer risk since high levels of oestrogen have been linked to the development of breast cancer. However, food sources of soy do not contain enough of the isoflavones needed to increase the risk. With a decline in oestrogen, the isoflavones may help to keep oestrogen levels consistent. Please note: soy or isoflavone supplements are much more concentrated and not recommended outside of consulting a medical professional.
- Soy can increase calcium absorption from our food and may increase bone density. This is important, as 5 – 7 years after menopause, women can lose up to 20% of their bone density putting them at higher risk of osteoporosis.
Recipe - Miso soup (2 servings)
2 cups Water
2 tbsp Miso paste
1/2 cube Tofu (chopped)
5 Mushrooms (sliced)
1 stalk Green onion (chopped)
1 tsp Sesame seeds
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small pot. In a small bowl mix miso paste with several spoonfuls of hot water and stir until well combined. Set aside.
Once the water comes to a boil, reduce heat and add tofu, mushrooms, and green onions. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes.
Remove from heat and add thinned miso paste.
Serve hot with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.