Soy: The golden ticket to health

Has your body ever been burdened with an inexplicable, unbearable hunger that paralyzes your very being? Have you ever considered a tasty soy treat? Well, if you answered “no” to that second question, you may want to seriously reconsider.

Soy products are made from the soybean, which according to Ronald Takaki’s, History of Asia, first took root in northern China as early as the 11th century B.C.E., as one of the first crops to be grown by man. In the 7th century, soybeans made their way to Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, Nepal and northern India. By the 17th century, soy had reached Western shores by way of a favorite modern day condiment…Soy Sauce.

Generally when people think about soy, most just contemplate on the taste and don’t ponder over its wonderful benefits.

According to Victoria Dolby’s book, “All about Soy Isoflavones & Women’s Health”, the soybean not only contains more protein than other plants, but the protein it contains is of a much higher quality. Plus, the soybean is the only plant source of protein considered to be a complete protein. This means that it not only provides all the essential amino acids your body must get from food, but these essential amino acids are also in the right balance to meet human needs.

According to a soy website found at, “Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of both women and men in the United States and nearly 60 million Americans have at least one type of cardiovascular disease, whether its high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, etc.”

Research from the California Institute of Health, has shown that soy protein aids in reducing the cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood; therefore, reducing the number of people suffering from heart related illnesses.

“We have also proposed that soy has various mechanisms that inhibit the development and growth of cancerous tumors, lower incidence of menopausal symptoms, and enhance memory within men and women,” Carol Dobbs, a representative from the California Institute of Health, said.

Not many people, much less students, are aware of all the valuable benefits soy has to offer. In order to be able to say soy is something you would are not a fan of, it is important that you try it first.

Selvilla Irvin, an 18-year-old pharmacy student from Tampa, openly admits to her lack of knowledge about soy.

“I’ve never really tried soy or any soy products intentionally, but I’m definitely open to trying new foods, especially if they improve your health,” Irvin said.

Although some people are simply misguided eaters, not all students are uninformed about the advantages of consuming soy.

Yashema Mack, a junior computer information student from West Palm Beach is aware of some of the benefits of the protein.

“I’ve heard that soy helps to reduce high blood pressure and prevent memory loss. I like the soymilk and soy pastas they make and in fact, although they (the cafeteria) have vegetarian/vegan menus, I think that the cafeteria should incorporate soy into more of those dishes,” Mack said.

Although soy and soy products may seem like a new health fad, good health never goes out of style. With the organic market expanding, more organic and healthy foods are available at your local grocery stores.

Publix, for example, carries a full range of Genisoy products in their natural foods section. Wal-Mart has its own brand of soymilk, and Tallahassee’s natural food market, the New Leaf Natural Food Store located on Apalachee Parkway also carries various soy products.

Contact Yewande Addie at