April is National Soy Foods Month. What are your favorite soy products? Have you tried tempeh yet? Do you have edamame in your freezer to top salads?
Soy foods are beneficial for health, though some question the safety of soy products. Here’s what you need to know.
- Soy foods are high in protein, versatile, easy to prepare, and taste great in so many dishes
- Soy foods lower the risk of breast cancer occurrence and recurrence in recent scientific studies.
- Soy foods do not affect fertility or reproductive health
- Soy foods have a protective effect on men’s prostate cancer risk
- Soy foods are anti-inflammatory and good for heart health
- In Asian countries, studies have found that female soy consumers have fewer bone fractures
I recommend using less processed organic soy foods like edamame, soy milk, tofu, and tempeh. Soy protein isolate is added to many foods to boost protein like cereal, granola bars, shakes, and frozen veggie burgers. Soy protein isolate may not be healthy. In general, do not eat lots of products that have soy protein isolate. Also buy soy milk made from whole organic soybeans, not soy isolate.
Here are some ideas for incorporating more soy into your diet:
- Drink soy milk, put it into coffee, or use it for recipes that call more milk.
- Add thawed or frozen edamame to stir-fries, salads, soups, or just snack on them.
- Cube tofu and bake on parchment paper or in an air fryer until browned on the outside. Use in stir-fries or soups.
- Add paprika and turmeric and other spices to tofu and mash it in a saute pan and serve like scrambled eggs.
- Use tofu to make desserts like pudding or in creamy salad dressings.
- Tempeh can be marinated and then sliced and baked and served in so many dishes as a meat replacement, even bacon.
- Sprinkle roasted soy nuts on salads.
Tempeh is whole soybeans that have been pressed together and has the added beneficial step of being fermented. It is denser and “earthy” compared to tofu. Marinate tempeh or cook in ways that it takes of the flavor of foods around it as in sauces or stews or stir-fries. Here is a link to Lemon Pepper Baked Tempeh Cubes.
Here is a link to Dr. Kumar’s Vegetable Curry with Tofu (or Tempeh)
Enjoy trying new recipes with soy products in April.
Bring joy to your kitchen and eat more plants like soy!
April 2021, Joy Lenz, RD CD is a Registered Dietitian at Ommani. She sees clients who are free of symptoms on Thursdays. She also offers zoom visitation. Call our office at 262.695.5311 to schedule an appointment.