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Soy ~ Femented vs Unfermented
March 27, 2015
|J.R. and I hope you're well and adding natures super foods to your family's diet!
It's when information meets inspiration that a newsletter can help you lead a healthy and active life.
Knowledge is important when you have what it takes to become a healthier you!
One of our readers (Joyce) responded with a question based on our previous newsletter; "Don't soybeans/edamame need to be fermented?
I read they are very toxic."
We had many readers actually, questioning us on this issue.
The short answer is "Yes".
The most important thing we know is that fermented and unfermented soy products are vastly different foods.
So here's exactly what that means, along with a few other highlights:
The Japanese/Asian Diet:
Soy farming originally started in China, where it was used to build soil fertility and feed animals.
Soy beans were not considered fit for human consumption until the Chinese learned to ferment them (which makes soy digestible).
Asian diets now include mostly fermented soy beans in the form of natto, miso, tamari, and tempeh.
Here's the important part: most soy foods that Americans consume on a regular basis are unfermented soy products: tofu, soy milk, soy ice cream, soy burgers, edamame, etc...
Soy sauce as a condiment.
In today's world, the people who promote soy as a health food are quick to point out that Asians, who consume a diet higher in soy (30 times greater than North Americans), have lower rates of breast, uterine and prostate cancer.
Those statistics comes with a caveat, however.
Asians, especially the Japanese, also have a much higher risk of developing cancer of the esophagus, thyroid, stomach, pancreas and liver.
Hard to say which is worse, isn't it?
Usually, it's safe to say, anything in moderationn is okay for you.
It's when you go overboard, where it becomes a problem.
Going overboard is where the North American diet continually runs into problems.
We don't seem to understand what 'in moderation' means.
In the Asian diet, roughly 10 grams of soy is consumed per day (or two teaspoons, usually as a condiment).
But a soy manufacturer recommends that North Americans should eat as much as ten times that (100 grams of soy per day)!
Fermented Soy is the only type of soy that offers any health benefits, as fermentation takes care of many of the dangers of soy (but not all).
- Tempeh is a type of fermented soybean found in solid, cake-like sheets that can be cut into any size you'd like.
- Natto is another type of fermented soybean that shaped in smaller, bite-sized chunks.
- Edamame is a popular side dish in the US.
- Miso is a thick, fermented paste that can be made from soy beans (but read the label carefully as it is sometimes made from barley or rice).
- Pickled tofu, which can also be called tofu cheese.
You may be less likely to find this product in grocery stores but look for it at Asian foods market or a large-scale natural foods stores.
- Keep in mind that tofu is not on the fermented soy list.
Most of the tofu available in supermarkets has been coagulated into its thickened, moist, cake-like form, but it has not been fermented.
Pickled tofu is the exception.
Like other fermented soy products, it makes a great addition to soups.
-Most soy sauces you find in the supermarket have NOT been fermented, and you should look specifically for tamari if you want the full benefits of a fermented soy product.
What Does Fermentation Do?
After a long fermentation process, soy becomes more easily digestible for the human body.
The phytate and 'anti-nutrient' levels are greatly reduced.
It is only after this fermentation process that soy's beneficial properties become available to our bodies.
One of the main benefits of fermented soy is that it's a great source of vitamin-K2.
Vitamin-K2 is essential to preventing osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and diseases of the brain such as dementia, and protecting you from various cancers including prostate, lung, liver cancer and leukemia.
But again, this is ONLY after the soy bean has been fermented.
Unfermented Soy (tofu, soy milk, soy ice cream, soy burgers, edamame) we believe should be avoided.
Unfermented Soy provides us with no nutritional benefit, and in many cases, causes us more harm.
Aside from being a genetically modified and a heavily-sprayed (with pesticides) crop, unfermented soy also contains natural toxins ('anti-nutrients'), hemagglutinin, goitrogens, phytates, isoflavones, toxic levels of aluminum and manganese, and is extremely high in estrogen.
One Last Tidbit
One final piece of information to keep in mind: both fermented and unfermented soy are goiterigenic (thyroid suppressing).
This means that all forms of soy "contain hormonal mimics in the form of isoflavones which can not only disrupt delicate hormone systems in your body, but also act as goitrogens, substances that suppress your thyroid function".
When the thyroid is suppressed, a host of health problems result, namely:
-Anxiety and mood swings
-Difficulty losing weight
-Difficulty conceiving children
If you do choose to consume any soy products, they should always come from organic soybeans.
As previously mentioned, in North America, soy crops are one of the most heavily-sprayed crops, and are mostly grown using genetically modified seeds (91% of soy grown in the US is genetically modified).
Unfortunately, that's all the time we have today.
We wish you and your family the very best in health and happiness!
J.R. and I truly hope this information helps, and you found some value in this edition!
Until next time, we want you to,
live longer, live younger!
You can do it with
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