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How soy foods can benefit you and your family

Published 5:26pm Saturday, August 24, 2013

We are growing something new this year in the Hy-Vee Sprouts – Get Out and Grow Garden.

It’s something we see a lot of in fields in the Midwest but rarely grown in home gardens.  What is it?  Edamame, otherwise known as soybeans.

Why plant soybeans in the Sprouts garden?

We are focusing on cancer-fighting fruits and vegetables and helping kids find tasty ways to incorporate them into their meals.  And the health benefits of soy foods apply to all of us.

I recently attended a lecture by Dr. Mark Messina, who is a professor at Loma Linda University and executive director of the Soy Nutrition Institute.

He has done multi-million-dollar research on the anti-cancer effects of soy foods in his previous role at the National Cancer Institute and continues to study soy.

Here are a few reasons he shared to include soy in your day:

•Soy foods have healthy fats which help lower blood cholesterol levels.  In fact, 25 grams of soy protein per day may reduce the risk of heart disease.  This has been an approved claim by the FDA since 1999. It is also a widely recognized claim in many countries in the world.  LDL cholesterol generally lowers 4-6 percent with regular consumption of soy.  And for every one-percent decline in LDL, there is a 1-2 percent drop in heart disease risk.

•Research indicates that girls (ages 5- to 11-years-old) who consume one to two servings of soy foods per day may reduce breast cancer risk by as much as 60 percent.  If girls are older than 11, that risk reduction drops to 25 percent. Current thinking is that soy isoflavones cause changes in developing breast cells that make them permanently less likely to develop cancer.

•Two servings of soy per day can alleviate menopausal hot flashes by 50-65 percent due to soy being a rich source of isoflavones.

•In 2012, the American Institute for Cancer Research stated soy foods are safe for breast cancer patients.  Regular soy intake as part of a normal diet is safe and may be beneficial for women with breast cancer.

•Men should eat soy as research suggests there may be a 30-50 percent decrease in prostate cancer risk.

Asian chicken edamame pizza

Serves 8

All you need

•3 tablespoons peanut butter

•2 tablespoons water

•1-1⁄2 teaspoons soy sauce

•1-1⁄2 teaspoons rice vinegar

•1-1⁄2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

•1 pre-baked pizza crust

•½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

•1 cup cooked diced chicken breast

•½ cup shelled edamame, cooked according to package directions

•½ cup sliced red bell pepper

•¼ cup chow mein noodles

All you do

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine peanut butter, water, soy sauce, vinegar and ginger in a small bowl.  Stir until smooth.

2. Place pizza crust on baking sheet.  Spread peanut butter mixture evenly over crust.  Sprinkle cheese, chicken, edamame, bell peppers and chow mein noodles evenly over crust.

3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Canned soybeans, edamame, fortified soy milk, miso, soy-based burgers, soy chips, soy flour, soy nuts, soy protein powder, soy yogurt, soynut butter, textured soy protein, tofu

 Follow Jen Haugen’s blog at jen


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