There’s no doubt about it – pregnancy is a beautiful, magical experience. But with great power comes great responsibility, and one of the many things you have to think about when you’re growing a tiny human inside of you is what you’re putting into your body.
Soy has long been touted as a healthy food choice for people looking to cut back on meat or dairy, but how safe is it for pregnant women? Let’s take a closer look.
What even are soybeans?
To understand whether soy is safe during pregnancy we first need to know exactly what we’re talking about. Soybeans are members of the legume family and originated in East Asia thousands of years ago. They can be eaten whole, as edamame pods, or processed into products like tofu, tempeh, and milk.
Fun fact: In 2018/19, Brazil was the world leader in soybean production with an estimated crop yield of 117 million metric tons! That’s enough tofu for everyone!
The Great Debate: Phytoestrogens
One big question surrounding soy consumption during pregnancy has to do with phytoestrogens – compounds found in plants that mimic estrogen in our bodies.
Some experts worry that consuming too much soy (especially high amounts of highly-processed products) could disrupt hormone balance and cause negative effects on fetal development. Others believe that moderate levels of phytoestrogen exposure aren’t harmful at all.
Let’s start by breaking down some points from both sides:
‘But Wait! There Are Risks!’
- High intake may harm infant brain development (source needed lol)
- Higher rates (lower???) mean more issues relating hormones (source needed lolx2)
- Lowers sperm count (?)(Source!)
‘Hold On Just A Minute…’
- Doesn’t actually decrease sperm count(source)
- Studies suggest no increased risk for malformations, complications etc. (multiple sources, take your pick)
- All things in moderation!
But What About Soy Milk?
Here’s the deal: Soy milk is a great option if you’re lactose intolerant or vegan but I have to issue a warning here – not all soy is created equal.
Soy beverages often contain added sugars and little protein,(source) so it’s best to read labels carefully when choosing which brand to buy. Also, keep in mind that drinking excessive amounts of caf feine (some soy brands add caffeine from black tea powder) during pregnancy can be unhealthy as well.
TLDR: Go ahead and enjoy some soy lattes at your local café—but make sure you’re checking ingredients before stocking up on gallons of unsweetened vanilla flavor for your daily consumption!
Reducing Your Risk
Ultimately, whether or not you decide to include moderate amounts of whole-food-based soy products into your pregnant diet, reducing processed foods with high concentration of phytoestrogens found typically within highly concentrated supplements allegedly containing high amount saponins present evidence supporting their positive effects on overall health states will likely maximize benefits while also limiting potential risks —for mom-to-be and baby alike. Additionally prenatal vitamins are another way to supplement any missing nutrition specifically needed during pregnancy!
Pro-tip: Look only for daily required value (DRV) or less/most come too close!), aka ‘low dosages.’
You might think more = better but remember TMI could lead to negative outcomes + discomfort. Stay safe by taking it slow!
So there you have it – the great debate around whether or not soy is safe during pregnancy continues.
But hopefully this article has helped inform you about some of the pros and cons surrounding consuming this popular plant-based protein source – because now? Now isn’t just time for birthing ruckus offsprings the old fashion way, but time for spreading that poppy-good soy milk on your morning cereal or adding it into everyday meals with confidence!
Hey there, I’m Dane Raynor, and I’m all about sharing fascinating knowledge, news, and hot topics. I’m passionate about learning and have a knack for simplifying complex ideas. Let’s explore together!
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