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By Ken Zimmerman

Soy products have been part of the standard diet in Japan, China, and other Asian countries for centuries. Soybeans are high in protein, and are the only plant based protein that has all of the amino acids our bodies require, making it a complete protein. Soybeans do not have any cholesterol, and contain many vitamins, minerals, and phytochemical compounds, such as isoflavones, that work together to create numerous health benefits.

The FDA and the American Heart Association agree that eating food that has soy protein can actually reduce the cholesterol in your blood and that can lower your protein and isoflavones provide antioxidants which reduce artery clogging plaque, promote healthy blood vessels, and can improve blood pressure. They also provide the body with protection from free radical damage, boost the immune system, reduce hardening of the arteries, and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Not only does soy help cut your cholesterol level, it is also naturally low in saturated fat. The FDA is currently recommending 25 grams of soy protein per day.

Soy foods may also help lower certain cancer risks. Soybeans contain cancer fighting compounds called isoflavones, which may reduce the incidence of breast, colon and prostate cancer. It is theorized that these isoflavones prevent cancer by inhibiting the growth of existing tumor cells. While menopause is a part of the natural aging process for women, the decreasing levels of estrogen produced by the ovaries can cause many unpleasant symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, mood swings, and vaginal dryness, loss of libido, headaches, anxiety, fatigue, and insomnia. Many medical doctors are now recommending soy protein as a safe, effective dietary addition to alleviate menopausal symptoms.

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